By Peola Hicks
How to Overcome Prayer Paralysis
It sometimes sounds spiritual to say, “I will pray about it,” even when it is clear what action we should take. When my children ask me the same thing over and over again, it is because they are looking for a different answer. I don’t like to admit having this kind of inclination myself, because it can reflect negatively upon me. But that’s exactly why I wanted to give it a name, so that I could find a cure.
Physical paralysis can be permanent, but prayer paralysis can be temporary—if I am aware of its spiritual nature. Fear of the unknown can keep me from acting in faith. Although prayer is an act of faith it means nothing if there is no demonstration. The scripture in James 2 verse 17 says that faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. Wow, what a wakeup call. I don’t want my faith to be dead.
Several years ago, I wanted to complete an advanced degree program, so I prayed that God would open a door for me to go back to school. Through connections I found the right school, but I held on to the materials for a long time because I suddenly had cold feet and started to make excuses. My husband and daughters were supportive, but procrastination had settled on my back. All I could see was the possibility of not finishing the program.
God had clearly answered my prayer, and I knew that if He gave me the strength to start He would also provide everything I needed to bring it to completion. Fear was raising its ugly head. Fear is not a fruit of the spirit and therefore I did not want to cultivate it in my life. In order to overcome it and break through the barrier, I needed to complete the application. I did just that, received my acceptance letter and now many years later I am grateful for the experience.
My prayer point today is that God does answer prayer; prayer is not something we do just to relieve tension or pass the time. Prayer is necessary to connect with God’s thoughts and intents so that we can then do the will of God. My challenge for you is to look at the things you have been praying about and see if there is an element of fear keeping you from obeying God. It’s true that we need to wait on God and be clear on what He wants. But we also need to take the time to “go and do what you know the Lord wants from your life.”
God bless you!
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Rev. Dr. Peola C. Hicks manages all prayer, volunteer and partner programs for OurPrayer. OurPrayer is a Christ centered ministry that receives and prays for over 750,000 requests on an annual basis through the web, phone and Facebook. Peola is an ordained minister and has a profile on Facebook as Peola’s Prayer Points.