Praying Through Our Fears

Praying Through Our Fears

Sermon Notes


This week’s teaching is based on Psalm 3. In this Psalm we see how King David approaches God with a very real and personal fear. In order to better understand the background of this particular Psalm, we are encouraging you to read 2 Samuel 15-18. In these chapters you will see how David’s son, Absalom organizes a coup to overthrow his father’s kingship and seek revenge for David’s many failures. This was, at least in the short run, successful leading King David to abdicate his throne:
No doubt, this was a scary moment. And even though David was to blame for much of the chaos in his own house (read 2 Samuel 11-14), his fear was no less real. Here in Psalm 3, we can chart how David pours his fear out to a holy God asking for help. This sacred passage reminds us that whatever may have created our fearful circumstances, we can always seek God’s heart and His help. 

Three Types of Fear

  • Alertness: I am fully aware of my surroundings, so I am cautious
  • Avoidance: I am afraid I will fail, so I will side-step the situation
  • Alarm/Anxious: I feel I have no control over my surroundings and/or harm is about to come my way

Key Concept:
When we are afraid, our physical instincts lead us to flight, fight, or freeze. These are survival instincts we see in the nature. But humans are more than just biological impulses. We have a fourth “f” when fear comes- faith.

Background: David’s Failure as a Father 

  • David focused entirely on his career and interest – not his children
  • David provided financially, but not emotionally for his family
  • David did not lead his family with a balance of love and discipline

Key Word- Evil or Ruin – 2 Samuel 15:14 Dysfunctional, wrong, evil or wicked mischief, hurt, bad, trouble, sore, affliction, ill, adversity, harm, naught, grievous, sad, shout, noise, aloud.

1. Identify the source of your fear – Psalm 3:1-2

Sometimes fear can have two sources

  • Physical Threats (this is an attack on his body, v. 1)
  • Propaganda  (this is an attack on his identity, v. 2)

Key Concepts:

  • Fear- an instinctive response to an immediate and clear danger” 
  • Anxiety – is often diffused and vague, accompanied with dreadand can appear to have no clear source

Prayer Practice:
Bring your fears directly to God. If not clear, ask God to grant wisdom about what your fear is. This communication with God grants a proper perspective between your fear, and God’s power.

2. Elevate your focus from your personal circumstances (which are temporary) to the Character of God (which is eternal) – Psalm 3:3-4  

  • God is a shield
  • God lifts our head
  • God speaks to us in sacred spaces

3If God can be trusted, then we can sleep – Psalm 3:5-6


Consider This:

Sometimes the best way to handle fear is to pray and then get a good night’s sleep.

4Along the way- tell God exactly what you want with the emotions you possess – Psalm 3:7-8

Three Natural Responses to Fear

  • Fight
  • Flee 
  • Freeze
  • David Added a fourth option- Faith! When we trust God to handle our enemies, we can conquer our fears.

Application

  • Identify your fear
  • Label your fear as either physical or emotional
  • Bring your fear as honestly as you can into God’ presence. 
  • Trust God with the results