Words of comfort from the Bible when you’re anxious, uncertain or afraid.
Here are 7 of my favorite ways to pray when you feel overwhelmed with fear.
1) Gideon’s Greeting
When the angel of the Lord found Gideon cowering in fear from the Midianites, the angel said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior” (Judges 6:12 NIV). So say those words to yourself whenever you are afraid. Even when, like Gideon, you don’t feel anything like a warrior, say, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”
2) David’s Prayer
The words of David when the Philistines held him prisoner in Gath was the first “memory verse” my wife and I taught our children: “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you” (Psalm 56:3 NIV).
3) Jeremiah’s Hope
The prophet Jeremiah felt thoroughly unqualified for what God called him to do. But God said, “Don’t be afraid of a soul. I’ll be right there, looking after you” (Jeremiah 1:7-8 The Message). Those are good words to repeat to yourself anytime you quake with fear.
4) Jesus’ Promise
Jesus made this promise to His followers: “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27 NIV). It is easily turned into a prayer of affirmation: “You give me peace, Jesus; Your peace, not the kind of peace the world gives. I will not let my heart be troubled; I will not be afraid.”
5) Isaiah’s Song
The prince of the prophets sang, “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation” (Isaiah 12:2 ESV). These are good words to memorize in order to pray them anytime fear or anxiety comes upon you.
6) Paul’s Affirmation
Paul, the great first-century church planter, wrote: “I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39 ESV). Feel free to add “ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties” to that list.
7) David’s Testimony
Fearing for his life among the Philistines, David once pretended to be insane until they let him go. Psalm 34 is thought by some to include his testimony upon escaping: “I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4 NIV). When you are afraid, it is good to remember those occasions in the past when God has heard and answered your prayers and delivered you from your fears.
These are just a few suggestions. But they have often worked for me, and I hope at least a few of them will become your “go-to” for praying the fear out of you.