Begin with Prayer


Begin with prayer.

A simple way to fight our fears

I think I was between 10 and 12 years old when I can clearly remember talking a big game. On a hot summer’s day at Camp Lone Star in La Grange, I bragged about how cool it would be for us to climb the tower for challenge course. “The Tower” is a climbing obstacle that reaches up over the trees in the woods of camp. All week I kept talking up how great it would be.

Then Thursday came. As our cabin walked to challenge course that day our path kept taking us closer and closer to the tower. The nearer we drew to this wooden behemoth the larger the pit began to feel in my stomach. Next thing I knew I was in a harness, helmet on my head, climbing.

About halfway up I froze. I knew the rope would hold me. I knew that my feet and my hands could do the work. But the heights got in my head. All of a sudden there was that height and a fear of failure began pounding through my veins and I couldn’t move. Finally, the facilitator who was belaying me talked me down and I made it back to the safety of the bark mulch at the bottom. As I ripped off my harness my counselor said a throwaway phrase that has stuck with me my whole life, “Man Ted, with how much you were talking about this, I thought you would make it to the top.”

Every time I preach a sermon and challenge everyone to follow Jesus, those words are in the back of my head. “Man Ted, with how much you talked about this, I thought you would do better at it.”

That is why I LOVE the idea of BLESS. (If you missed out on this, check out this week’s sermon here).

It is challenging, yet it is simple.

Beginning in prayer starts us all off in the right place. It reminds us that sharing the message of Jesus doesn’t start with us. It starts with Jesus. We are praying that He would work in us and with the people whom we are seeking to share His message. Talking about our faith has all of those aspects that could cause us to freeze, fear of failure and embarrassment to name a few. But when we begin in prayer we are brought back to the fact that this is all Jesus’ mission that He has called us to join. It’s not on us, it’s on Him. He is calling us to be a part of the grand narrative (see what I did there) of the Gospel.

Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:5-7