Life in this world can be so scary that it’s easy to become paralyzed by fear. When you want to say or do something but you’re too afraid to take the risk, try praying. This prayer can empower you with courage if you believe that you can be bold, and if you’re willing to move forward despite your fear:
“Dear God, I know you don’t want me to live in fear, but there’s so much to be afraid of in my life. Every time I watch the news, I hear about issues like terrorism, identity theft, health threats, natural disasters, road rage, kidnapping — I could go on and on! I can’t stop thinking “What if?” questions about what might happen to me or my loved ones sometime in the future. What if I have a car accident and get injured? What if I my spouse betrays me? What if someone steals from me through fraud?
What if I develop a disease? What if my children fail in school? What if I lose my job? These questions and others constantly run through my mind, and I’m powerless to do anything about them but worry, which won’t help me at all. I wish I could control everything that happens to me, but to be honest, I know that I can’t really control much at all.
Help me to shift my focus away from dangerous circumstances and toward you. Remind me that you, God, are in full control of my safety and security. So rather than living in fear about all that could possibly harm me, I’m going to start praying about each of my fears specifically, trusting you to help me with every situation that makes me feel afraid.
Sometimes I settle for less of a life than I want (and than you want for me) because of fear. When I neglect to say something you want me to say to the people I have relationships with, it’s fear that’s preventing me from communicating love to them. When I hesitate to give my best effort to something or spend my resources (like time and money) on something even when I sense you calling me to do it, I know it’s because I’m scared. God, I don’t want fear to stop me from living well any longer!
Please enlarge my perspective whenever my fears have shrunk my life down to less than the best that you want me to experience. Encourage me whenever you want me to contribute to the world in ways that I uniquely can help others, so fear won’t stop me from moving forward. Show me what risks you want to me to take to live to the fullest and accomplish your good purposes for my life. Give me the faith I need to go ahead and take those risks, trusting that it will all be worthwhile because you will be at work in my life whenever I say ‘yes’ to you.
I realize that I probably will never stop feeling afraid as long as I live in this world. But thank you that I can still overcome fear, because the faith you give me has greater power than any fear I’ll ever feel.
Give me the courage I need to say and do whatever you’re calling me to, despite the fear I feel. Help me learn how to live courageously in all aspects of my life, from my relationships to my work. Light a fire of confidence in me so I can stand up for what I believe and work to do what’s right in this world. May my example of courage inspire others to do the same.
Thank you for your unlimited power at work in my life, God. Amen.”
Whitney Hopler works as Communications Director at George Mason University’s Center for the Advancement of Well-Being (CWB) and has written for many media organizations, from About.com to the Washington Post. Connect with Whitney on Twitter and connect with CWB on Twitter and Facebook.