From butterflies in our stomach to night terrors, we all experience fear. And so do our children, unfortunately. As much as we wish we could spare them, they will be fearful and anxious at times.
Children of single moms seem to struggle with fear and anxiety even more than most; probably because of the major upheaval they had in their lives due to the death of a parent or divorce. Or simply seeing the stresses we experience from heading up a single parent household. One of the best gifts we can give our children is praying against fear and anxiety in their young lives.
Anxiety is that “unsettled feeling” you get; your soul is disquieted. As anxiety is allowed to remain in our lives, it gives way to fear, dismay, despair, and worry.
The range of fear’s intensity is varied, but it comes down to one thing – fear and worry start when we focus our thinking in the wrong area. If we focus our thoughts on our circumstances we can become overwhelmed, leading to anxiety and depression. Fear tends to stick in our minds and takes over our life if not addressed properly.
Thoughts of worry and fear enter our minds when we allow ourselves to dwell on the outward appearance of a situation that looks bleak. We only allow ourselves to see the bad or negative, or what might happen to cause us harm or stress. This is why we need to take action, and begin praying against fear in our lives and in the lives of our children.
“Fear is born of Satan, and if we would only take time to think a moment we would see that everything Satan says is founded upon a falsehood.” – A.B. Simpson
One of the best verses to meditate on, for yourself and your child, is Philippians 4:8:
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
My youngest daughter struggles with anxiety and worry. I understand her completely in that area because I was an “anxious child.” I have struggled with worry off and on for most of my life. I was the kid that had a terrible time sleeping on Sunday nights, because the next day was school and I was anxious about so many things.
In college, I discovered a verse in Isaiah that has become my “life verse.” It’s one that has popped up in my life so many times, and I know it’s not a coincidence. God uses this verse regularly to remind me of who He is, and His promise for me.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
Only recently can say I have won victory over worry. In fact, it’s been more apparent during the past 6 years than any other time of my life. Surprisingly, my victory over fear has come in the years since my husband died. The past 6 years have been a “proving ground” for God’s promises, and He has shown me that He can be trusted. This has encouraged me in my prayer life, especially in the area of praying against fear and worry.
Honestly, I can’t say that I never worry … but I run to Him much sooner and dump the worrisome circumstances at His feet much quicker. I don’t let the anxiety fester and drag me down like it used to. I have found ways to focus on God’s power and promises instead of my current situation. I have learned how important it is to be praying against fear.
Here is an idea for a prayer that you could pray for your child who is struggling with fear or anxiety:
“Lord, I ask you to help (child’s name) as she struggles with fear. Help her to focus on today, and not “borrow trouble”” by worrying about tomorrow. Help her to choose to pray and bring her troubles to you. Also, help her to be aware of all that she has been blessed with, and to focus on her blessings instead of her circumstances. Draw her to you, and allow her to rest in your love. You have given us a spirit of power, love and self-discipline. Help her to reject any spirit of fear that presents itself. Help her to be encouraged and not dragged down by fear or anxiety. Help her to remember that she is a daughter of the King, with an eternal heritage waiting for her. Please bring others alongside her to encourage her and lift her up. Fill her heart with your love, so that there is no room for fear or worry. Remind her that her security comes from her relationship with you, and your promises to her. Let her attitude be one of prayer and gratitude for all that you have done. Help her focus to be on all that is pure and lovely, excellent and righteous. Remind her that you are her God, and that nothing can ever remove her from your loving care.”
“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 6:34
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” Philippians 4:6
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
“Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.” Proverbs 12:25
“So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, ‘Abba, Father.’ Romans 8:15
“Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.” 1 John 4:18
“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13