A Prayer for When You Feel Afraid
Open Your Bible
BY Erin Davis
Scripture Reading: Psalm 27:1-14
Perhaps you’ve heard it said that in a storm, any harbor will do. When the tidal waves of life threaten to capsize our little ships, we will look anywhere for respite, often seeking shelter in places that cannot ultimately protect us. Age has alerted me to an alarming truth: the waters of life are almost always choppy. Smooth-sailing days are rare in a world as broken as ours.
Here in Psalm 27, we see David sending out the distress signal. He is looking for a lighthouse to point him toward shore. He starts with a pep talk, saying, “The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?” (v.1). But the answer to his question must have made his knees wobble. I can imagine him now, penning words of praise with one hand, while anxiously chewing his fingernails on the other.
Through the storm of his own anxiety, he saw an army positioned to take him out. In David’s case, this army may have been literal, but we all know how it feels to be surrounded and hard pressed on every side (2Corinthians 4:8). We see serious threats against our hearts and homes every day. But we can’t fight our fears by convincing ourselves there’s nothing to fear. There is! The list of rational fears is so significant there’s not a bucket of sand big enough for us to bury our heads and fully hide from the threat.
Recently, in my own life, physical, relational, and emotional forces collided to create the perfect storm. Many of my worst fears were realized, and my anxiety that there was more to come left me frantically searching for a safe harbor. As all other life rafts sunk around me, I finally clung to God’s Word. As His truth anchored me, I found myself locking eyes with the disciples when they faced the storm.
Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
Any hope that we can calm the storms of life on our own is misplaced. We cannot. But we will find ourselves buoyed when we look for the One no storm can stand against. Ultimately, the disciples clung to the same truths that David did—the same truths that you and I can cling to:
God is faithful.
His care is relentless.
His promises are true.
His presence is the only place where our fears truly subside.
Our hope is not that the day of trouble will not come because it will. But our God will see us through. No calamity can untether us from God and His Word. Never. When anxiety twists our stomach in knots, when we look around and see an army of threats, not just any harbor will do. But this one will:
The LORD is good, a stronghold in a day of distress; he cares for those who take refuge in him.
Written by Erin Davis