Posts tagged: fear

Praying through Fear and Doubt

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By Paula Marolewski, July 11, 2010 4:19 pm

The other day, I was praying and found myself saying urgently, “God, don’t fail me!”

I stopped, caught by my own words.

I was praying to the God of the universe. The God who not only speaks truth, but who is Truth. What he promises, he will do. What he says, he will accomplish. He is all-powerful, all-loving, and in control. Why then, did I pray, “God, don’t fail me!”

My uttered plea was really the result of my fear and doubt. Fear that God would lie or talk in double-speak, like the anthropomorphized gods of Greek and Roman mythology. Doubt that God loved me or had the power to do what he promised he would.

So right there, I flipped the prayer around to the way I really needed to be praying:

“Lord, you know my fear and my doubt. You see my anxious thoughts. You know how frail I am; how easily I fall. But I pledge right now to stand on the truth of your Word – that you are always truthful, always loving, always sovereign. God, don’t let me fail you!”


© 2009 Paula Marolewski


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Sentence Prayers

God in a Box

Seedling: Right in the Eyes

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By Paula Marolewski, February 8, 2010 12:10 pm

“If the devil tells you something is too fearful to look at, look at it. If he says something is too terrible to hear, hear it. If you think some truth unbearable, bear it.” – G.K. Chesterton

The devil has many schemes to hold us back. One of his key methods is fear. Consider:

  • We are afraid of failing. So we never try.
  • We are afraid of what might be lurking deep inside us. So we never root out the sin in our lives.
  • We are afraid of facing the consequences of our actions. So we run away.

The list goes on. Fearful to speak, lest we upset the person spoken to. Fearful to confront, lest we destroy a relationship. Fearful to admit, lest people scorn us. Fearful to commit, lest we not be able to live up to expectations.

And on, and on.

When we are afraid, we do what a child does during the scary part of a movie: we hunch up, screw up our eyes tightly, and clap our hands over our ears.

If I can’t see it, if I can’t hear it, if I deny it exists … it can’t get me.

But the truth is, shutting our eyes and ears will never succeed in protecting us from the scary things in life. Think what would happen if a soldier was afraid and closed his eyes and started singing nonsense songs loudly so he couldn’t hear the noise of battle around him? He would be dead in a moment.

No, the only way to conquer both fear and the enemies you are frightened of is to open your eyes. Open your ears. Acknowledge the truth. Look reality right in the eyes.

When you do, you will see the situation is vivid color. And it may be even scarier than you thought. But by opening your eyes, you’ll be able to see something else as well: the God who is right beside you, leading you, guiding you, directing you.

And suddenly, you’ll find there’s nothing to fear.

  •  How have you historically dealt with issues that frightened you? Why?
  • Are you frightened of anything right now? Why?
  • If you are fearful of something today, take a deep breath, and bring the whole matter before the Lord in prayer. Be detailed and specific – about the situation, about why you are frightened, and about what you have done about it to date. Then ask the Lord to give you the courage, wisdom, and grace to face the situation.


Copyright © 2010, Paula J. Marolewski. All rights reserved.

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What Are You Doing Here?

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By Paula Marolewski, November 9, 2009 5:50 pm

Elijah had beaten the priests of Baal at Mount Carmel and outrun Ahab to Jezreel – but when Jezebel tacked up a “Most Wanted” poster, he tucked his tail between his legs and ran.

You know the story – the wind, the fire, the earthquake. Then the still, small voice of God.

Remember what God said first?

He asked a question (I Kings 19:13):

“What are you doing here, Elijah?”

I don’t think the question was reproachful or demanding. In the previous verses, God had provided angelic cookery for his weary prophet, and comforted him with gentle words. Perhaps God even asked his question with a hint of a smile:

“Elijah, you’ve seen me stop the rain for three years, provide for you by the stream at Cherith, supply flour and oil for you and the widow and her son, raise the boy from the dead, bring down fire from heaven, and restore water to the earth. Yet here you are, living in a place of fear and doubt and depression. What are you doing here?”

Does God sometimes ask that of us? I think so. When I consider everything God has done for me over the decades in which I have trusted him, I am astonished and overwhelmed. He has never failed me. Never forsaken me. Yet all too easily, I fall into fear and doubt and depression. It is then that I hear his still, small voice asking me the same question: “What are you doing here?”

And here’s the key: I have a choice about where I am going to live. I can live in fear and doubt and depression, looking only at the problems that surround me. Or, I can live in confidence and faith and strength, looking only at my God who is sovereign over all.

Where are you living today? And is God perhaps asking you, gently inquiring,

“What are you doing here?”


© 2009 Paula Marolewski,

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