Every parent knows the desperation felt when a child is lost, wandering, or in crisis. Regardless of their age, when we see them heading towards destruction or in danger, we get on our knees and cry out for mercy on their behalf. Our fears of the worst are stirred and our imaginations can run wild.
For those interceding for this nation, the desperation is just as real. The rising tide of liberal leadership and anti-faith legislation is now at our front door. Ungodly laws being passed are threatening our safety and security and believers are seeing the spiritual battle as never before. A spirit of fear and terror is spreading across the land, and if we’re not careful, we will fall into its trap.
God promises to meet us at our point of need (Heb 2:17-18) and give comfort to the broken (Ps 34:18). But, we must guard our hearts from the spirit of fear when interceding for others (2 Timothy 1:7). Though the emotional turbulence may not abate quickly, the posture of our heart towards the crisis is critical if we are to pray in faith.
“So, let us boldly approach the throne of grace.” (Heb 4:16)
Many know the story of Job and how God vindicated this righteous man because of his unwavering faith in God. Even so, Job was given to fear. When introduced in the first chapter, Job is said to have prayed for his children every day – not with great faith – but with apprehension. “For Job said, ‘It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.’ Thus, Job did continually.” (Job 1:5)
Though firm in his convictions and solid in his obedience to God, this father feared the worst when it came to his children. He acknowledged as much when, after hearing that they were killed, he said, “What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me.” (Job 3:25) Job’s prayers had been marked with fear, and it opened a door to the enemy.
In Hebrews we are to come “boldly” before the throne of grace. That means to come “in free and fearless confidence, assurance, and cheerful courage.” How can we do this when faced with impossible odds and overwhelming circumstances? How can we adjust our mindset so that our prayers begin in faith?
Here are three simple attitude adjustments to consider before interceding for loved ones, challenging circumstances, and even our nation, as we face the rising tide of fear:
SET YOUR HOPE IN GOD – Do not allow circumstances, conversations, or negative reports to determine your faith. Your faith must rest in His unconditional love, His unchanging character, and His absolutely perfect methods in bringing breakthrough and deliverance.
Ah, Sovereign Lord, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for You. (Jeremiah 32:17)
JOYFULLY THANK HIM FOR THE JOURNEY – Remember that God is more interested in maturing our faith than He is in fixing our problems. Thank Him for using the tribulations and hardships to strengthen our faith and establish our hope, making us shining reflections of His power and glory.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)
SPEAK HIS WORDS ALOUD – Rather than rehashing the challenges, rehearse His decrees! Speak His Promises aloud and declare into the atmosphere that His purposes are greater, His love is stronger, and His ways are unmatched.
As for God, His way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; He shields all who take refuge in Him. For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. (Psalms 18:30-32)
Let’s not allow a spirit of fear to direct our prayers and intercession. Let’s guard our hearts from anxiety and worry in order to pray with a free and fearless confidence! The devil may be like a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8), but only because his whimpers are a counterfeit. With the Lion of Judah as our source, our prayers produce a roar in the spirit that silences his empty threats. Arise in faith, for the King of Glory is coming with retribution in His hands!
Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, He will come with vengeance; with divine retribution He will come to save you.” (Isaiah 35:4)