Articles and resources to help Christians learn to pray
by David Butts
“Do not be afraid, you who are highly esteemed,” he said.“Peace! Be strong now; be strong.” When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Speak, my Lord, since you have given me strength.” (Daniel 10:19)
Have you ever had such an amazing encounter with God that you thought you were going to die? Time and again in the Scriptures, we read of those who had such encounters. Without exception, there was great fear as they came into contact with God, whether it was Moses listening to God from a burning bush, or Mary receiving a message from the angel Gabriel.
The prophet Daniel had one of the more spectacular encounters as he was given a vision of an angelic being, who in all probability was the Lord Jesus in his pre-incarnate state. The similarities of the description in Daniel 10 of the angelic being and the clear description of Jesus as seen by the Apostle John in Revelation 1 are striking. Daniel’s response was to lose all strength and fall down before the Lord.
God dealt with Daniel’s fear in ways that are encouraging to us all. He spoke his peace to Daniel and everything changed. God’s peace always has that sort of dramatic effect in our lives. The Lord assured Daniel of his love for him and then spoke peace over him. More than words, the speaking of peace into someone’s life becomes a conduit for peace actually to begin to flow into an individual’s life. With the peace of God coming into Daniel’s life, the Lord could speak of strength and courage, and it had real meaning to Daniel.
It was in this place of peace where Daniel was strengthened that he could finally summon the courage to ask the Lord to speak to him. Do you suppose that it is often fear and lack of peace that prevents us from hearing what the Lord might be saying to us? We so often play the “what if?” game, which breeds fear and uncertainty to the point that we really don’t want to hear from God for fear of what He might say. His peace though, clears out those fears, brings strength, and puts us in a good place for the Lord to speak into our lives.
We often use the phrase, “paralyzed by fear.” That’s what fear does when it takes charge of our lives. We become too frightened to make decisions or to choose which way to go. Whether the fears are based on reality or fantasy is not even the issue. It is fear that prevents us from action. That’s why we so often quote the words of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as he attempted to calm the fears of a nation paralyzed by the Great Depression, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
God has a supernatural way for us to deal with fear. It is accepting his peace into who we are. Receiving His assurances of love as Daniel did, we hear his words of peace and our fears begin to melt away. Strength comes as fears melt away, and peace resumes its rightful place over our heart.
Lord, I am so thankful that you understand the fears that I face. You don’t ever simply tell me to get over it. Instead, you assure me of your love and give me your peace. I confess my great need for this in our day of confusion and turmoil. I desperately need the peace that only comes from you.
Ask the Lord not to allow you to be paralyzed by fear but always to be strengthened by his peace.
From Prayer, Peace and the Presence of God: A 30-Day Journey to Experience the Shalom of Jesus by David Butts ©PrayerShop Publishing, 2017
PRAYER, PEACE, and the PRESENCE of GOD by David Butts
As believers, we are supposed to walk in the peace of Christ, yet we all have stressful issues and circumstances that rob us of this peace. Subtitled “A 30-Day Journey to Experience the Shalom of Jesus,” Prayer, Peace and the Presence of God powerfully encourages the reader on how to hold onto that peace in any circumstance.
The author, David Butts, started writing this book and 10 days into it he got word that he was in stage 4 with a rare form of lymphoma. God allowed him to live, in a greater way, what he is challenging readers to do in Prayer, Peace and the Presence of God.
His 30-day devotional will encourage, inspire and challenge you that you, too, can experience and walk in the peace of Jesus no matter what circumstances you are walking through.
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