What do you do when you are really afraid? This post gives two quick ways to pray through your most terrifying moments.

Two Quick Ways to Pray through the Fear


What do you do when you are really afraid?

I’m talking about the kind of afraid that grips you when you are standing in the doctor’s office waiting for the diagnosis, or when the phone rings in the middle of the night, and it’s not a wrong number.

That all-consuming, I-can-hardly-breathe kind of fear that consumes every thought in your mind and every cell in your body.

What do you do? Do you clutch on to control? Shrink back inside yourself? Put on a happy face so no one knows?

If you are like me, maybe you’ve tried all of the above. There are a lot of ways we can react to fear, but they are not all necessarily good or helpful.

The thing is, when we find ourselves in the grips of intense fear, it’s already too late to evaluate how we will respond — which coping mechanism we will grasp on to — because at that point, we are in survival mode, relying on instincts.

That’s why I think it’s important to talk about fear now, in the relative calm of life.

When we gaze at fear like this, it’s almost as if we can see it from an outside perspective. It helps to get a grasp on ways to overcome the fear, so when it starts to push in all around, we are better equipped to deal with it.

So here are a few things I’ve learned (and am still learning) about handling fear:

1. The power of mini prayers.

In those moments of fear (especially intense fear), I like to use catch-phrases — mini prayers — that are just a few words.

These are prayers I can whisper when I don’t know what else to say. One of my favorites is, “Lord, save me!” I pray this when I feel like I’m drowning in anxiety.

And sometimes, all I can muster is, “Jesus.”

But somehow these whispers are enough to ask God for help when I feel like the devil is working overtime to strip the prayers from my mouth.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27)

2. Have a prayer partner.

Another way to offer up prayers when the fear is too crippling is to have a prayer partner. I sort of fell into this when my friend and I started sending a quick text whenever we needed prayers. It has been such a blessing.

The arrangement we have is not complicated. We just know that if we need someone to pray we can text each other. Often it’s just a simple message like: “Hey, can you pray for me? I’m feeling overwhelmed today.”

There is something so comforting about knowing a friend is praying for exactly what you need at that moment.

We have prayed each other through sickness, new endeavors, and big events. And since we have made a habit of asking for prayers, we are more likely to rememberin times of major anxiety. With the asking, Got takes our hand.

For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. (Isaiah 41:13)

These are simple tools. But in the throes of all-consuming anxiety, can we really handle much else?

I would be so interested to hear what has worked for you when you encounter anxiety in your life. Please consider leaving your thoughts in the comments below!

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25 thoughts on “Two Quick Ways to Pray through the Fear

  1. I love the one word prayers…the crying out to Him–His name–Jesus. It symbolizes the constant turning to Him as fears gather around us. I notice that you have endured a child with cancer. I’m so sorry to see this…but I am sure that your book will be a blessing to others. So many have walked that path including a dear friend of mine. God bless…

  2. I have a group text with a few girlfriends. We check in w/ each other here and there and send out prayer requests when needed. I find it so comforting to have these God-loving ladies at my fingertips. I’m going to start trying your “Lord, Save Me” suggestion. Blessings, Jenni!

  3. Hi Jenni, I’m your #RaRaLinkUp neighbor this week! God spoke to me so strongly through that very Isaiah 41:13 verse two weeks ago. I like the mini-prayer idea. It helps to even take a small step to turn our fears into prayers. Also have a prayer partner just like yours! Another thing that helps me is to memorize or turn to scripture passages. Sometimes I just keep my Bible open or close at hand. Helps to ground my mind.

  4. Wow! I love that you give tools in this piece. So often our blogs can be abstract and full of very sound, Biblical advice, yet they sometimes leave our readers with little to grab hold of as they continue through the days and weeks to come. Great job Jenni! #RaRa

  5. Thank you, Amy. I have hopes that my book will be of assistance to those walking through the struggles of their life. It is jam packed with honesty, and I always joke that either it will help them say “me too!” or “at least I’m not as crazy as that lady!” 🙂 Thanks for stopping by Genuflected today!

  6. Oh, isn’t the power of prayer just amazing! Love how you say it’s right at our fingertips. Amen! So glad to hear you are going to start using “Lord, save me!” God answers this prayer! Thanks for stopping by Genuflected today, Laura.

  7. Yes, Betsy, the word is our sword! So grateful God gives us such a powerful weapon. Thanks for stopping by Genuflected today!

  8. Thank you, Meg! I’m glad you liked that aspect of the post. I’ve found it helpful when other writers do that as well. Thanks for stopping by Genuflected today. Blessings!

  9. Thank you for sharing these tips 🙂 Fear has crept in with all the terror going on in the world right now. Your advice is needed to a desperate world needing a Saviour! Thank God for Jesus 🙂 Blessings!

  10. Sweet reminders when in the midst of those hard times, those circumstances that don’t seem to have an answer…A few words sometimes reminds me of the One to Whom I belong…”How long, O LORD?” or “I don’t know, LORD, but You do.” These types of prayers have been an anchor while I cared for Mama for 15 years. God never left me. How grateful that I felt Him near even in the inbetweens and the hard moments.
    Glad I saw your sweet face on Holly’s linkup.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

  11. Thank you, Ruth. Yes it seems to be a time of upheaval for our Christian faith. All the more reason to passionately turn to Jesus. Thank you for stopping by Genuflected today!

  12. Linda, I’m so grateful that you could feel God’s presence as you endured the trials of your life. It’s an amazing gift God gives us, when He caries us through the hard parts. Thank you for stopping by Genuflected today. God bless!

  13. Jenni, beautiful encouragement today – especially to say those mini prayers throughout the day! Thanks for sharing on #raralinkup. Have a great day! Kim

  14. Mini-prayers….love it. You’ve set it out there, given us all permission to be childlike in those prayers. That’s real grit, running to the One even when words are few. Enjoyed your post today, Jenni, as I visited from #TellHisStory.

  15. There is so much wisdom in reflecting on our responses to anxiety during times of relative peace. It is true that once we are in the situation our instincts kick in. Great practical advice on having a simple prayer ready to ask for help, or a prayer partner we can call on to pray for us.
    Thanks for sharing,

  16. Just discovered your blog through the #RaRaLinkup… and so glad I did. I love that verse in Isaiah… He has a grip that does not fail, so if He says He’s got us, He means it!
    Yeah, gotta tuck that away in my heart for the next while, so there’s no room left for anxiety and panic! Thanks for this assured reminder!

  17. Fear has a way of sneaking in and overwhelming in a matter of seconds. It consumes us to the point that we cannot think rationally. Recognizing our fears and taking your simple steps will be so helpful in combatting the never-ending battle with fear. I love your prayer partner idea because I have done the same thing with a good friend of mine. Some days the text message looks like encouragement and some days it is prayers for each other. Thank you for sharing something that affects so many of us. Blessings!

  18. Hi, I saw your linkup in the Testimony Tuesday and here I am reading your posts. Thanks for the tips about this topic, I need it in my life since there is a lot of times I’ve been having a fear battle inside of me. God Bless You.

  19. Battling fear is something I have to do in two seasons – in the middle of it and also when I am not afraid. In the middle of it, I think what’s most helpful to me is to keep my mind fixed on what I know to be true and to keep repeating those truths to me. God will never leave me or forsake me, he knows the plans he has for me, they are to prosper me and not to harm me, etc. And in specific situations looking for very specific scriptures that deal with the same thing. When I’m not going through a season of fear, filing my mind with truth, committing verses to memory also helps so that I can pull it out when I get thrown into something seemingly out of nowhere.

    Thanks for writing this post, and thank you for the helpful suggestions.. I’m sure your family’s journey has uniquely shaped you to deal with fear in a way that many of us could not imagine. Your faith is evident here, perhaps you may not even see it.. Christine Caine spoke at IF a few weekends ago and said this: “Being faith-full doesn’t mean that you are fear less, it just means that your faith is bigger than your fear.” And I liked that.. the idea that God is not looking for us to be superheroes, he knows we struggle, but he loves the faith that we have, whatever we have. Blessings to you! (I’m stopping by from #TellHisStory.)

  20. The idea of speaking out truths is so powerful. It is the mini-declaration of truth. Thank you for reminding me to speak out the idea that I belong to someone greater than this world. I love your blog, girl! Cheering you from the #RaRalinkup on Purposeful Faith.

  21. Love those ideas. in those times of fear and despair, that’s when we need to lean into prayer the most – even if we can’t find the words. Let the Spirit intervene and pray on our behalf through our wordless groans. Sometimes I’ll just sit with God and just be in His presence and trust He knows the prayers on my heart.

  22. Coming from Beloved Brews 🙂 Fear is so overwhelming and I think sometimes it’s the ones we fear the greatest that actually happen. I don’t even know how that works, but it at least feels that way to me. Overcoming fear for me has become a mind battle. I’ve struggled with forgiveness on some really big transgressions from those closest to me and fear overwhelmed me in the early days of that journey. It was a daily battle and I had help navigating the feelings, someone to listen and not try and solve it, along with knowing while the Lord has my soul Satan likes to attack the easiest access point. My mind was that for years and still can be…so scripture and constant reminders that the Lord calls us by name. Not sin, not fear, not insecurity. Knowing where that fear comes from and bringing it to light with a trusted friend has been life giving.

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