Not long ago, I got a message from a young woman who was about to take a trip with her husband for a much-needed vacation. But there was a problem: She was afraid to fly. Since I travel a lot, she was asking my advice on how to enjoy the journey.
Now, you may or may not have the same fear as she did, but let's be real: Most of us are afraid or worried about something at one time or another. Maybe it's failure, or sickness, or heights, or rejection or not having enough of something: money, love or supplies. Maybe your fear paralyzes you or keeps you awake at night, or maybe it's just a niggling annoyance.
Whatever it is, God doesn't want you to be worried or afraid about anything. Second Timothy 1:7 says, "For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and self-control."
After asking her several questions, I found out this girl was mostly afraid of being trapped in a tight, crowded space. Here's what I told her.
Whenever I'm nervous or anxious or wonder how something will go (afraid or worried), I pray what I like to call a "best-case scenario" prayer according to Philippians 4:6-7, which says, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with gratitude, make your requests known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will protect your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
Here's what I hear God saying to me (and you) in these verses:
- Don't be anxious. Don't fret. Stop imagining the worst! In other words, don't be afraid or worried—about anything.
- Instead, I'm supposed to tell Him what I want to happen. What's the best-case scenario here? That's what I'm supposed to pray and then keep thanking Him for, speaking out the Word continuously instead of what I see or feel.
- Then I can expect God's peace in any situation, even scary ones. (Read "Stuff Happens").
I suggested she pray something like this: "Father, I ask for a peaceful trip. Let there be a lull at the check-in counter when I get there. Help me to be aware of others and be a blessing where I can. Cause every flight to be on time, and pave a path before us" and so forth.
I think sometimes the anticipation of a situation can be even worse than the reality, don't you? All that fretting can often bring to pass exactly what we've feared (Job 3:25).
Instead, we can use our authority in Christ (Luke 10:19) and the power of our words (Proverbs 18:21, Mark 11:23) for our benefit. Praying out the "best-case scenario" is releasing our faith, which gives God all sorts of opportunities to move on our behalf, working all things together for our good before we even get there (Rom. 8:28).
And it worked! Here's what she sent me after her trip: "Even though there was a bump or two, it was a wonderful trip. God's peace and presence were so very real that I cried tears of joy. My hubby was amazed. Thank you so much for the great advice ... it set me on a path for success."
I believe this kind of praying can work for you, too, in every area of your life. Begin today to release your faith in the best-case scenario and speak it out!
Karen Jensen Salisbury has been in ministry over 30 years. Formerly a lead pastor, then an instructor at Rhema Bible College, she is currently an itinerant minister and author of several books. Connect with her on her website, karenjensen.org, on Facebook, Instagramor Twitter.
This article originally appeared at karenjensen.org.
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