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Vital signs- Wednesday, May17th,2023

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

‭‭John‬ ‭14‬:‭27‬ ‭NASB1995‬‬

Many of the Psalms are written as laments to model how to pray during hard times. Tim Keller says, “Most of us just stop praying when we are suffering or put up nothing but the brief petition asking for relief. But the Lament Psalms show us that the right thing to do is to process out our suffering through sustained prayer.” In Psalm 3, as David pours out his heart to God while being pursued in a coup attempt by his son Absalom, he offers us four steps to guide us as we pray through our own fears.

First, work to identify or define the source of your fear so you can specifically ask God for help. David is very clear in Psalm 3:1-2 about the danger he is facing. (If you, however, struggle instead with a vague sense of anxiety, tell God that, too.) Next, move from a fixation on your fear to focusing on God’s character. In Psalm 3:3-4 David carefully lists what God does for him. Thinking of God’s promises and ways He protected you in the past reminds you He will help you now. Then in Psalm 3:5-6, David affirms his faith in God’s protection and actually falls asleep! He can rest even in the midst of danger because He knows God Is in control. Finally, in Psalm 3:7-8 David expresses his need for God’s help with full emotion. He is honest about his desire to be saved from his enemies but also for justice. We can pray the same way also, even while recognizing God calls us to love our enemies and justice doesn’t always come quickly.

Ask Yourself:

-How does reading David’s prayer change the way you think about praying through your fears?

-You may not be hiding from your rebellious son and an army of 12,000 men, but how can you use this model of David’s prayer to pray about your anxieties and worries more honestly?

Pause to pray through your fears: Identify one fear you face and read Psalm 3 aloud as your personal prayer to God with your own fear in mind. You might need to change the words a bit to make it your own.

Take a Next Step: Begin a list of promises and characteristics of God that you can pray back to him when you are afraid. Start with John 14:27 and Joshua 1:9.

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