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Praying Away Fear

There is only one way to face a world of bombings, shootings, and uncertainty.
Praying Away Fear

Earlier last summer, just blocks from my house in Aurora, Colorado, a shooter opened fire in a movie theater, killing 12 and injuring 70. One of the victims—a young dad and stand-up comedian named Caleb Medley—lost an eye; he can only stand with assistance and is struggling to speak again. Then in Boston, two men decided to bomb the city, killing several innocent civilians, including an eight-year-old boy.

And my job is to just pray?

For a full answer, I turn to Jesus. Sitting at his feet, Bible in hand, I study the story of the anxious father with a demon-possessed son. The father begged Jesus' disciples to heal his tormented boy, but there was a problem: "They couldn't heal him" (Matthew 17:16-21).

Only Jesus could heal. This he did—rebuking the demon, which immediately fled—and "from that moment, the boy was well" (17:18). Perplexed, the disciples came privately to ask Jesus, "Why couldn't we cast out that demon?" To this Jesus replied, "You don't have enough faith."

Faith? That's it?

Isn't there more, Jesus?

After Newtown? After Boston? After ultrasounds and bombs and shootings and complicated families and rainy Sunday mornings, isn't there something more than faith to stomp out fear? Faith in me, Jesus keeps promising us, is the more. Especially in fearsome times.

As A. W. Tozer said of this God and his people: "Then we must throw ourselves before him and pray with boldness for whatever we know our good and his glory require, and the cost is no object."

So we pray for people who can't, for people who won't, and for people who aren't sure. Pray morning by morning. Evening by evening. Tell God our frustrations. Believe he can hear them—and can do something about it all. That kind of praying is how we find power to face and overcome fear.

Adapted from TCW article "Praying Away Fear" by Patricia Raybon.

Patricia Raybon

Patricia Raybon inspires leaders and believers with her award-winning books and essays on mountain-moving faith. Her newest book is a vulnerable conversation with youngest daughter, Alana Raybon, titled Undivided: A Muslim Daughter, Her Christian Mother, Their Path to Peace. The book's prequel is I Told the Mountain to Move, Patricia's acclaimed memoir on prayer. Learn more at PatriciaRaybon.com.

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