Fear can, at times, be a good thing. God has given us a natural “fear” response that is beneficial to us when our physical or psychological safety is threatened. However, it all too easily grows to hold a place of authority in our lives… a place that it was never meant to hold. One of the greatest barriers to living a life on mission is allowing your life to be driven by fear. Fear can prevent us from doing what we have been called to do… and behind every irrational fear is a lie that must be identified and confronted with truth. Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather living a life of obedience despite its presence. This week we pray that God destroys the fear that lurks in our hearts and that He bring us to a place of such great faith that we joyfully follow Him boldly & courageously wherever He leads us!
“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and a sound mind” – 2 Timothy 1:7
Prayer Focus #1: You as an individual
Some of the most common fears that keep us from living a life on mission are listed below. Take a few minutes to evaluate the list – ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any of these, or any other fears that are holding you back.
- Fear of death
- Fear of embarrassment
- Fear of failure
- Fear of rejection / disapproval
- Fear of being victimized
- Fear of the unknown / the future
- Fear of other cultures
- Fear of confrontation
- Fear of leaving young children behind (short term) or family behind (long term)
- Fear of discomfort
- Fear of spiritual warfare
- Fear of not knowing enough / being able to do enough
- Fear of financial hardship
Take a minute right now to confess that you have allowed these fears to control you and in doing so have lacked faith. Thank the Lord for His forgiveness. Renounce, in the name of Jesus Christ, that fear has any authority in your life and ask God to reclaim all surrendered ground for His glory in your life. Ask the Lord to increase your faith in Him!
Now courageously ask Him what is the next step of obedience He wants you to take for the sake of His Kingdom – pray for the courage necessary to step out in faith to do what He is calling you to.
Prayer Focus #2: His Church
Pray that God, in His divine power, would destroy the stronghold of fear in our church. Pray that we would be faithful to put on the whole armor of God and stand firm amidst the pressure from our culture and from the enemy to be fearful (Ephesians 6:10-18) Pray that God would replace our fear with relentless faith. Faith in who He is and our place of identity in Christ. Pray that we would seek first the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33).
Ask God to lay someone on your heart that is struggling with fear – take a moment to pray for them. Ask God to do mighty work – to destroy the stronghold of fear, to destroy the argument raised against Him in their heart and mind. Ask the Lord how you can be an encouragement to them this week, how can you strengthen them with truth, scripture, and love.
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, – 2 Corinthians 10:3-5