Praying 10 minutes today: SATURDAY 6/30

Find a quiet time and place to pray... take a few deep breaths...
be still... and know that God is near...

A word to reflect on:   
Be not afraid...


Lord, I can't count the number of times in scripture
   when you tell me to have no fear,
      to fear not, to be not afraid... 

I'm grateful for the encouragement but the truth is,
   I still have fears...  I'm often afraid...

And you tell me, Be not afraid...

Sometimes, Lord, I'm not even sure I know what I fear
   but I know when I'm afraid
      because I know how fear feels -
         and I know when I feel it...

And you tell me,  Be not afraid...

Sometimes I'm afraid of things in my past,

   things that don't even exist any more:
      the ghosts of things long gone...

And you tell me, Be not afraid...

And sometimes I'm afraid of what doesn't yet exist:
   I fear what's next, or what might be, 
      or what could be...

And you tell me, Be not afraid...  

Sometimes, Lord,
   I'm afraid of people I know I have no reason to fear,
      even people who love and care for me,
         and that doesn't make sense. 

And to make things worse:
   fear is so much more powerful 
      when it confuses and confounds me -

         when it makes no sense...

And you tell me, Be not afraid...

Sometimes, Lord, I'm afraid of myself, of who I am
   and what I've done or what I might do or fail to do
and when I'm afraid of myself 

   then fear runs circles 'round my mind and heart
      and overcomes me.

Let me see how deeply my fears are rooted 
   in my doubts about myself...

And you tell me, Be not afraid...

And sometimes, Lord, I'm afraid of you, 

   you who never tire of telling me to be not afraid.
Sometimes I'm afraid of what you know about me,
   what you think about me, what you ask of me,

      what you expect of me.
And sometimes, Lord, I'm afraid that you don't hear me
   or see me or love me...

And you tell me again and again:

      Fear not... have no fear... be not afraid...

What will it take, Lord, what must I do, 
   to step out of my fear, beyond my fear,
to trust in you, to walk with you with confidence
   that you are my strength, my safety and my shield?

Take me by the hand, Lord, 
   put your hand on my shoulder:
      guide, lead and push me where I need to go 
         and let me know you're by my side,
            that I am never alone...

Send your Spirit to fill my heart
   with the grace I need, the will I need 
      to take even one small step beyond my fear...

With the grace of your Spirit encourage me
   to trust you, to believe that you are with me always;
      to see that you are greater than anything, than anyone I fear;
         that in your company I have nothing to fear
            and I need not be afraid...

Can we start here, Lord, right now, 
   in the quiet of this time with you?

Right now, Lord, give me even a little of the faith, the trust,
   the courage I need to take a step, even one step,
      beyond what I fear...

Right now, Lord, while I'm with you and you're with me,
   nudge me just a step beyond my doubts and fears
      to a point where I can look back and see:
         that much of what I'd feared 
            had no real power over me;
         that much of what I feared I'd meet 
            was really nothing to fear after all;
         that in taking that one small step I found
            that you are at my side,
               that you are my strength, my safety, my shield;
          that you are with me and I am not alone...

You tell me again and again, Lord: Be not afraid...

And I need to hear your words, again and again,
   until my faith is stronger than my doubt,
      my trust is stronger than my worries
         and my joy greater than my fear...

Help me believe, Lord, that with your help
   I can walk out of my fear, beyond my fear, to joy...

In the stillness, Lord, fill my heart with your presence
   and be with me everywhere I go, every step of the way...

And tell me again, Lord: Be not afraid...
To ponder and pray over...
Of what, of whom am I afraid?  
How do my fears interfere with my life, my faith?
What's one step out of my fear that I will take today?
What will I ask of the Lord today?
From this prayer time, what word or phrase will I keep with me
   to carry through the rest of my day?
(After you spend some time with these questions,
   pray the reflection above one more time...)

Here are some tips for praying 10 minutes a day.  If you find these daily prayer reminders helpful, please let me know - and share them with others.  You'll find an archive of these daily posts here.

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