By Dawn Wilson, Crosswalk.com
Listen to even one televised news report and fear or anxiety may capture your thoughts and grip your heart. We do not overcome the effects of ‘the news’ by denying or ignoring the evil in our world that causes such intense emotions, but rather by applying scriptural truth to circumstances and responding biblically.
But it doesn’t take a newscast to stir up fear. The enemy, Satan, wants God’s children to live in constant fear and anxiety as they stockpile worries and are burdened by cares. The Bible says such temptation is “common” to mankind (
What does the Bible say about fear and anxiety; and what might we pray to the Lord based on those Scriptures that can help us exchange toxic emotions for God’s wondrous peace? Let's begin to pray these prayers for anxiety over our thoughts and exchange fear for peace.
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1. Remember: God is not the source of anxiety or fear.
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
See also Philippians 4:7.
I know you are not the source of fear and anxiety. That is Satan’s realm, and he delights in causing your children pain. You do not torment us with worrisome thoughts or burden our hearts with fretfulness. You are the God of peace. You desire to give me power over my worries as I count on your love and trust in your sovereign care.
Help me remember, when fears and anxiety come knocking at my heart’s door, to answer with powerful Scripture—to remember you are a good God and faithful, and you will help me challenge my worries with life-building truth instead of destructive thoughts. Your peace will guard my heart and mind in Jesus’ name.
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2. Take your anxieties and concerns to the Lord.
Sometimes it seems like I take my worries everywhere except to you. I hear people say, “God’s got this!” But how often do I live like I believe it?
I know you hear me, Lord, when I bring my concerns to you. You care about what is going on in my life, and I know you want to give me a clear, sound mind. Forgive me when I allow anxious thoughts to cloud my thinking. Help me take my anxieties to you in every circumstance, believing you will intervene and work out your eternal purposes. Give me a thankful heart—a heart that says, “I am grateful for your lovingkindness to me, Father. I know you will work out your plans for my growth, others’ good, and your glory.”
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3. Leave anxious thoughts with Jesus.
See also Psalm 55:22.
I am grateful for your sacrifice on the cross to give me life and bring me true freedom. Sometimes I still feel chained to fears and worries when I focus on situations rather than you, my Savior.
Teach me to throw all my anxieties where they belong—into your loving arms. You understand the temptation to fear and worry, and you can handle my concerns. You cared so much for me, you died to enable me to overcome the power of sin, my selfish flesh and Satan’s lies. I can come to you with confidence, giving you all my cares, knowing that you loved me on the cross, love me still, and will love me forever. As I cast my cares on you, you will sustain me with your love and not allow my confidence in you to be shaken.
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4. Count on God’s presence.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
Sometimes I feel afraid in the tough trials of life. Sometimes the darkness overwhelms me, and I grow discouraged as I face the uncertainties of life, wearying temptations, or scary attacks from the enemy. But this is not what you have for me, and my victory comes from you.
Satan wants me to believe I fight my spiritual battles by myself. Help me remember I am not alone in my battles. Your Word is clear. You have commanded me to be strong and take courage in you, and that is my desire. I can count on your presence wherever I go, and rely on the power and provision of your presence in my times of deepest need. Thank you for being near, for walking with me every day.
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5. Don’t borrow future worries.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)
See also Matthew 6:25.
Sometimes I’m such a ‘worry wart.’ I fuss about all sorts of things—what I will eat and wear today, and the many choices I can make. But worse, I stew over things on tomorrow’s calendar—concerns that aren’t even here yet! That is so foolish.
Your words were clear, Jesus. I am never to worry about what’s going to happen tomorrow, because you haven’t given me the grace to bear up under tomorrow’s concerns until I get there. So I will not borrow worries from the future, Lord. Rather, I will invest in faith. I will choose to look for your hand working on my behalf today—and trust you, in simple faith, for my future.
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6. Eliminate any misplaced fear.
“Therefore, we may boldly say: The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6)
See also Psalm 21:1; 6:3-4.
I am so human-focused sometimes. I know it’s natural to be concerned about what others think, but you want me to live supernaturally, living according to your truth instead of the changing whims of the culture. I need to get rid of misplaced fear. You want me to fear you—to live in reverential awe of you, desiring to do your will—and not to fear man.
I know as I trust you fully, I will not give in to my distresses. I will not live in fright or dread or terror. You go before me to cast down all the giants that would make me be afraid or cause me to live with anxiety. Lord, make me bold in facing my fears, knowing you are my heavenly helper!
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7. Find peace beyond your circumstances.
“‘I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’” (John 16:33)
You are the Prince of Peace. You came to give us your peace. It’s nothing like the world gives. It is peace born in the freedom we have in you, a gift to all God’s children—to guard our hearts and minds.
I can’t escape the troubles of this world. I may face financial difficulties, relationship breakdowns, a health crisis—so many scary challenges. But you tell me to “take heart,” to be encouraged, because you have overcome the world. You have overcome all the things that would discourage and defeat us. I am grateful for your peace that is beyond all my circumstances.
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8. Cast out fear with love.
“Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.” (1 John 4:18)
I know you do not want us to be paralyzed or depressed by fear of judgment from you. You want us to be confident that you will accept us in Christ on Judgment Day. Your complete love abides in us to bring us this confidence. When we walk in the light, your love is perfected in us.
Teach me how to live in that perfected love of your sacrifice for me. When I am tormented by fears about my sins or my future, remind me of your great love for me. Show me how my love-walk with you, Abba Father, confirms the authenticity of my faith and casts out my fears.
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9. Run to your eternal refuge.
“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will drive out your enemies before you, saying, ‘Destroy them!’” (Deuteronomy 33:27)
See also Psalm 71:3; 90:1.
Sometimes I just want to run and hide. Fears come, anxieties rise up within me, and I feel overwhelmed by my circumstances. So many hide in temporary ‘fixes’—addictive habits and foolish, harmful choices; but nothing is a permanent solution.
But you, Father, are an eternal refuge for me. You carry me in your loving arms and show me how to live. Not only that, you make my “enemies” run, and you destroy their hurtful influence in my life. You are my rock of refuge where I can always flee, and I know you will overcome my fears and anxieties by your command. Thank you for being my strong dwelling place.
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10. Let the peace of Christ rule.
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” (Colossians 3:15)
See also Isaiah 26:3.
Help me remember you are indeed Lord of my life. You have the right to rule all that I think, believe and do. When I allow my mind to run to places that destroy my peace, remind me these are unauthorized thoughts. You do not want me to dwell on thoughts and emotions that contribute to unreasonable fears.
I know my mind will remain in perfect peace as I fix my thoughts on you; so Lord Jesus, let your peace rule in my heart. Remind me of the peace I have in your family, and teach me how to be thankful for those circumstances that cause me to run to you, focus on you, and abide in you. I never need live with fearful, anxious thoughts. The truth is, you are in control!
Dawn Wilson and her husband Bob live in Southern California. They have two married sons and three granddaughters. Dawn assists author and radio host Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth with research and works with various departments at Revive Our Hearts. She is the founder and director of Heart Choices Today, publishes Upgrade with Dawn, and writes for Crosswalk.com and Christianity.com. Dawn also travels with her husband in ministry with Pacesetter Global Outreach.
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