The Obstacle of Fear


Examine Your Prayer Life

Key Bible Verse: Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. (Psalm 32:5)

Dig Deeper: Psalm 32

Three basic fears block our path to prayer. First, we fear having our sins exposed. As I wrote about in my first book, Radical Redemption, my life was all about the unholy trinity of me, myself, and I. I had every vice available to me. I was totally comfortable with my sin. Totally comfortable, that is, until the Spirit grabbed ahold of me [when I fled to South America to escape drug charges in the US].” It was during [a] momentous phone call with my father back in America that I found myself suddenly being drawn into the presence of the very one who is holy, holy, holy. His light began to expose the dirt inside me. And it wasn’t pretty!

Not surprisingly, such exposure leads to the fear of pain. Spiritual transformation – the uprooting of self and replacing the idol of me, myself, and I with the triune God – is usually painful. Coming into the presence of God for Isaiah involved a vision of an angel touching his unclean lips with a burning coal in order to transform his mouth into a pure vessel that could proclaim the messages of God. Suddenly the very words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts are not our own but God’s. And that can be troubling.

Finally, there’s a fear of losing control. When you seek another’s help in shared times of prayer, you give up control and indicate a willingness to do things in ways you have not considered. Coming into the presence of the one who is Almighty God, maker of heaven and earth, means his will and not yours be done!

– Manny Mill in Radical Prayer

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