Living with anxiety? Fear? Insecurity? The power of prayer can set you free from life-crippling fear and worry.
Not too long ago, I was struggling so desperately with fear and insecurity, I thought I had lost my mind and was about to lose my ministry. Opportunities to speak and share were abounding, but for some reason I felt utterly paralyzed, immobilized, demoralized by a cloaking sense of dread and anxiety that held on to me more tightly than a toddler to the hemline of his mama’s skirt.
That’s not a good thing for a Bible teacher.
And it’s not like the fear would pop up just here and there or just every now and then. Every single day, at every single turn, no matter where I was or what I was doing, I was tormented by this urgent sense of Get Me Outta Here! I was up all night, then down all day, fighting back tears, sweaty palms, and a racing heartbeat. For the first time in a long time, I seriously questioned my calling and my capabilities. You probably wouldn’t believe how close I came to just quitting everything – whatever it took to make this awful feeling go away.
But God wouldn’t let me. On separate occasions over the course of two months, He gave a few of my friends some very specific insight and discernment into me and my situation. You’d have thought they’d bugged my house and were listening in to every single prayer. They knew so much about what I was facing – and knew it in such eerily accurate detail – there wasn’t much else I could do but listen when they came over and started talking. He ignited their tongues with words from Heaven that spoke right to my heart. Their voices, His thoughts.
And then they prayed. Oh, man, how they prayed! Not those warmed-up, leftover, mamby-pamby repeat prayers from the day before. These were the kind of prayers you can feel burrowing into your soul as each word penetrates those spiritual depths where the enemy tries to grab hold. These were prayers on fire! I walked away from each encounter leaving a trail of smoke curling up behind me. In Jesus’ name, those friends commanded me out of my fear and commanded the spirit of fear out of me.
And just like that (snap!) … it left. It really had no choice.
I’m not saying I still don’t have to work hard to keep it in check. I’m actually standing guard against it right this very minute, shooing its creepy fingers off my keyboard while I write to you. But no way is that thing taking hold of my heart again because as sure as I’m sitting here, I know when I felt the spirit of fear lift off of me and run for its life, with the sizzle of those prayers hot on its tail.
I was healed. Whole. Set free.
It was done.
Priscilla Shirer is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary. She holds a Master’s degree in Biblical Studies and considers it a privilege to serve believers from every denomination and culture by helping them to know the truths of Scripture. Her books include Discerning the Voice of God, God is Able, and two New York Times Bestsellers – The Resolution for Women and Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan for Serious, Specific and Strategic Prayer, which was named the 2016 Christian Book of the Year. Learn more at goingbeyond.com