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I’m Scared to Pray Boldly

May 25, 2017

I have to admit: Sometimes I’m scared to pray boldly.

It’s not at all that I don’t believe God can do anything. I absolutely do. I’m a wild-about-Jesus girl. Wild in my willingness. Wild in my obedience. Wild in my adventures with God.

So my hesitation isn’t rooted in any kind of doubt about God. It’s more rooted in doubts about myself and my ability to absolutely discern the will of God. The reality is sometimes God chooses not to do things. And if His will is “No,” while I am boldly praying for a “Yes,” it makes me feel out of step with God.

Can you relate?

I so desperately want to stay in the will of God that I find myself praying with clauses like: God please heal my friend, but if it’s Your will to take her, I will trust You.

I wonder why I don’t just boldly pray: God, please heal my friend. And then stand confidently knowing my prayers were not in vain — no matter what the outcome.

Praying boldly boots me out of that stale place of religious habit into authentic connection with God Himself.

Prayer opens my spiritual eyes to see things I can’t see on my own. And I’m convinced prayer matters. Prayers are powerful and effective if prayed from the position of a righteous heart (James 5:16).

So, prayer does make a difference — a life-changing, mind-blowing, earth-rattling difference. We don’t need to know how. We don’t need to know when. We just need to kneel confidently and know the tremors of a simple Jesus girl’s prayers extend far-wide and far-high and far-deep.

Letting that absolute truth slosh over into my soul snuffs out the flickers of hesitation. It bends my stiff knees. And it ignites a fresh, bold and even more wild fire within. Not bold as in bossy and demanding. But bold as in, I love my Jesus with all my heart, so why would I offer anything less than an ignited prayer life?

Jesus speaks specifically about igniting our prayer lives in Matthew 6, verses 6-8, “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (NIV).

So let’s ask. And ask again. Not because we can cause God to move, but so that we’ll position our souls to see our sweet Jesus move in any which way He pleases.

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37 Comments
  1. Patty

    Lisa
    This was so good..It’s so important for us to know we just ask and trust it right there.
    I use to struggle so with my words not being good or long or big enough to get to Gods ears. I use to say God why use these big words I don’t always understand the meaning of them…I’m a very simple person with simple prayers that I want to move his heart as mine is moving from what I’m asking. To know he is listening even if I said Jesus and he read the rest from my thoughts..
    so many struggle with not praying because of not feeling spiritual enough…that’s when I think we run to the phone and call a friend instead of going to the throne and call our friend who is closer than a brother or sister and can answer very prayer …
    Bless you♥️

    Reply
    • Sheila

      I could have written this! I have felt the same way.

      Reply
  2. Teri

    I try to pray Scripture especially when praying boldly. And as a retired oncology nurse, I have done a lot of praying for healing. My question/view is that God is sovereign, He has a plan for each of our lives; He knows the very number of hairs on our heads — so, I’ve also come to the point of praying for healing IF it’s His sovereign will. Sometimes when I can see the prognostic implications of a specific diagnosis, I’ll pray specifically for a miracle, supernatural healing because that’s what it will require. There is just so much that we are unable to see in terms of what He is doing in the lives of those afflicted and in the lives of their loved ones, I have come to believe that His sovereign will is best to pray for — because it may be that He wants to mobilize believers and build our faith, work some things out in others, etc. He does want us to pray because, ultimately, it puts us in communion with Him.

    Reply
    • Mary

      I believe it’s always best to have the attitude of “God, whatever Your will is, that’s what I want.” He sees beginning to end. His ways are higher than our ways. He knows. So I can tell Him the desire of my heart, which He instructs us to do in Scripture. But always with the attitude that “God knows what’s best.”

      Reply
  3. Kathy

    Good Morning…Lysa…..

    I woudl just like to send you some comments….but i would like to do it thru e-mail….your devo the other day on P31…on humbleness…was awesome….thank you ….kindly e-mail me..
    If possible…I hope you receive this…..& respond

    Have a blessed day………Kathy Wyg

    Reply
  4. Joy

    I love a “sacred echo”. I just had my morning quiet time with the Lord and had already underlined in my Bible 2 Sam 7:27. David is praying and says, “I have been bold enough to pray this prayer to you because you have revealed all this to your servant, saying…” David then goes on to repeat back what was revealed to him through the prophet Nathan. What spoke to me this morning is that there are so many things that God has spoken to us, His servants, through His Word saying _______ (fill in the blank; the choices are many!), that we can pray boldly because of what God has already spoken in His Word. We can also pray boldly because of examples in Scripture. For instance, if we have seen God respond/act in a certain way evidenced in Scripture, we know He can, and we know He is the same yesterday, today and forever, so we can pray with boldness knowing we are not asking anything outside of His character, desire etc… I know this doesn’t mean He will always answer the way we hope He will, but we can certainly come with boldness in asking. I’m so thankful that the Lord sees and understands the longings of my heart and my love for Him. He knows when my requests are based on selfish gain (which I pray they aren’t…but when they secretly are). He also knows when they come from a place of surrender and deep longing to see Him answer for the greatness of His glory. Yes, let’s ask. Let’s pray believing bold prayers…for nothing is impossible with God!!

    Reply
  5. S Sanford

    I needed this post. I too have often wondered if my prayers for healing were what was God’s will and does that work? Thank you.

    Reply
  6. Kira Swygert

    I have a hard time when I pray. I tend to “babble”. I have people in my life that I am trying to pray for and then I start thinking about all the wrong in the world or things going on in our town and I feel like I need to pray for all of that, too. Hence the “babbling”. And lots of times I will forget where I am at or I will fall asleep.

    And I ALWAYS say “but whatever your will…”. I would never want to sound bossy. Who am I to tell GOD what to do?

    I need help with the “babbling” prayers.

    But I wanted to thank you for this post and letting me know that it is ok to “pray boldly”.

    Reply
    • Bridgette

      I only recently became frustrated with praying boldly. I think because I’m going through a terrible trial with a prodigal son. The enemy has allowed fear to creep in and I didn’t see it taking root in my life.
      I find that I do best with my prayer when I see God as my best friend. Being the one I want to turn to whenever something happens. Keeping that constant dialog with him as my prayer. That’s when the words aren’t as important. I’m not trying to be formal or perfect in my prayer, but allow myself to communicate with the Creator who amazingly wants that intimate relationship with me.

      Reply
    • Cindy

      I have trouble keeping focused when praying, thoughts drifting to just whatever. I tend to be scatter- brained a lot anyway, not just praying. This kind of discourages me.

      Reply
  7. Linda

    I’m right there. I need Jesus like never before. I’d rather be bold than silent.

    Reply
  8. Jill

    I think my hesitation in praying boldly lies in my fear the answer will be no and I will be painfully disappointed – my prayer for the last 20 years is a healing in my marriage – I’ve been married more than 30 years, but not in a place where love abounds – in a place where we interpret Galatians to say “keep a full and complete record of wrongs so you may use it when needed”

    Reply
  9. Donna O'Rourke Mabrey

    I pray often, “Lord please give me ears to hear you and courage to follow you”. I love Jesus, and want to be obedient, no matter the cost. Sometimes I feel so close to God, other times it’s like I am in a metal room, with my prayers echoing around me, but not connecting. Your writing is clear and transparent. Thank you!!!

    Reply
  10. Vickie

    Thank you, Lysa! I do the same thing. But if I pray boldly for someone or something that I know is God’s will (like healing) then I have done MY part. I would be showing my belief that God can do it. And I would not be wavering or doubting. Take it one step at a time in prayer.

    Reply
  11. Nancy Jean Smith

    I learned in November 2012, to pray boldly! Yes, that’s correct and I remember that time because it was my third month of a six-month stay in the hospital because I had a car accident with a drunk driver.

    I remember asking God for just a small thing, and I heard Him say to ask bigger. So when I went before Him the next time, I did ask for something bigger, and again I heard Him say, ask bigger. I started praying a third time and God told me to ask bigger, yet again. He told me to ask as big as I know how because He would do something even BIGGER, and I did and He did!

    God taught me to be BOLD, as His Word says that we can come boldly before his throne. I finally understood that I could ask for anything I desired, and if it was within His will and His power, the desire of my heart was MINE! Thank You, God, for your answers of Yes, No, and Wait! My prayers are always answered, as there is no such thing as an unanswered prayer, whether I choose to be BOLD or not!

    Blessings to all!

    Reply
  12. Kanefield

    When you pray, My Dear friend, believe right there and then that God will answer your prayer coming from your very, sweet and pure heart. It will be in His will.

    Reply
  13. Linda

    I liked this as I read this morning. I’ve been praying for my son with bi-polar to commit his life back to God. I feel in my heart God has a specific plan for him in our community working with young adults..having mental illnesses and so much drug abuse. His best friend got saved couple years ago.. what a miracle that was ! Such a blessing. sometime i feel should I quit asking. but you encouraged me.. to keep it up. Thanks

    Reply
  14. Aja

    I just literally told my husband how fearful I’ve been to pray and questioning so much about what I think I am hearing verses what God is truly saying. I cried as I read this aloud. My husband simply said, “Does this answer your question? “

    Reply
  15. Dee

    Rejection is so painful that I cannot hear Gods voice. Satan’s lies are louder and I am afraid to trust.

    Reply
  16. Melody Weller

    It’s a hard one to hear but there’s sure an attack in marriage today. Be strong and courageous ladies.

    Reply
  17. Tammie

    A verse the Lord has given me in this long season of suffering is Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Thanks for sharing Lysa.

    Reply
  18. Sherry Landry

    Lysa,
    I am very sorry to read this, I have always enjoyed your ministry. I have a very similar story of yours. I found out about the many, many other women 5 years ago. Did my best to save the marriage also. But about 2 years later found out he had not changed at all and was still cheating and living a double life. I too had to make the most difficult decision of my life and divorce. It has been a hell on earth experience that feels never ending. I’m still not divorced (lawyer issues and he refuses to sign, wants to stay married) It breaks my heart to hear of other christian woman in the same situation. We have 3 children. I pray the Lord keep you and make his face shine upon you. Sherru

    Reply
  19. Ali Newton

    Dear Lysa,
    I cried for you today and that’s really rare that I cry for one I’ve never met, but through your writings I get a burst of color like running in a color run 5k where color is shown onto you. You have brought so much beauty into situations of my life I thought were forever black and white, but now have color. I want to give you a big and cook you dinner as a sister in Jesus. But I’ll just say thank you, I love you, and rest in Jesus.

    Love, Ali Newton

    Reply
  20. Lisa

    My heart is breaking for you, Lysa and your family. Sadly, I too know what you are going through… the betrayal, hurt, anger, sadness and all the other yucky feelings. I was faced with the same incredicably hard life changing decision about 2 years ago. My former husband had sustance abuse issues which he couldn’t (and still can’t) get a handle on. After several, I mean several times of seeking help, counseling, forgiving and praying I soon realized he had abandoned myself and our 2 small boys. Like you, after many conversations with my pastor, family and close friends I decided it was what needed to be done. It was hard. So hard. My faith was shaken, but I soon remembered I am the daughter of the one true King! Your encouraging words popping up in my Facebook newsfeed, listening to you on klove and reading your books has helped me so much during those dark days. You are such an amazing person and I love that you are real, and show it. It’s going to be tough but like you said, Our God is ALWAYS faithful! You aren’t alone.
    Sending love and many prayers ~Lisa

    Reply
  21. Shelly Krahn

    I am going through my own season of grief with a marriage ending after 33 years and much of what you say speaks to my heart. A post recently by Gary Thompson was also very key where he talks about the church questioning the legitimacy of the divorce while the woman is being destroyed by the marriage. He said this and it sticks in my head, “all divorces are caused by sin but not all divorces are sinful.” And further…” Divorce is a protection and a provision given by God, mainly for the protection of women”. A year and a half ago I would have said divorce is never right, God is bigger than any problem, God has called us to suffering, sacrifice and perseverence but now I think very differently and I am glad for Jesus and his provision for me. Can’t tell you the hell I have been through and how much I look forward to life without my husband. Soon.

    Reply
  22. Lois Andringa

    I am so sorry that you are on this very painful, but all too familiar, journey. Thank you for sharing that you are “more committed than ever to trusting God, His promises and His plans, whatever they are from here.” Me too!

    My husband broke our marriage vows and abandoned me, as you so accurately articulated in your blog. For years, I did everything that I knew to do to save my marriage; however, nothing worked. (Professional counseling, prayer, pastors, men’s groups, and mentors.) Doug would continue to lie and hide his pornography addiction. It escalated to him having affairs, stalking and staring at neighbors, trying to pursue my friends, being caught at the library by my coworker, and me acting as the “porn police” – meaning no internet in our home, no smart phones, no cable, etc.

    I was very tired and emotionally spent and afraid of legal ramifications due to the escalation and where it might lead. To this day, almost 1 year since my decision to divorce, July 7, 2016, my ex-husband continues on his journey deeper and deeper into pornography.

    I am brokenhearted, both emotionally and physically. (My cardiologist explained to me that broken heart syndrome is a real physical thing. I had an event in December of last year, 2016, that “stunned” my heart and caused it to not pump effectively.)

    Reply
  23. Mary

    Dearest Father, You are always amazing and gracious. Thank you for giving Lysa wisdom and strength.. Please answer all our prayers for her and her husband. Cleanse his body of all that is toxic. Make him sick of the sinful relationships and evil life that entices him. Open his heart and mind to desire, love You and turn to You again in true repentance. Lead him to The Light of Life. Precious Savior protect their children, grandchildren and all her family from the evil one. Allow them freedom to live this life. Release them from worry and fear as The Truth of The Word is planted deep in their lives. Make Your Presence known every morning and throughout the day. You are True God! Our Only Creator and giver of Life. Help us all to long for heaven more knowing this life is temporary. We ask in The Name above all names. Jesus Christ, Who came to live and die and rise from the grave. Through The Holy Spirit’s Power we boldly come to Your throne of Grace with love and thanksgiving in our hearts for Lysa and the Proverbs 31 ministry.

    Reply
  24. Marjorie

    Thank -you for your ministry and I will pray for you and your family!

    Reply
  25. Jaina Ellis

    Lysa, I have had you on my heart ever since I learned of your struggles. Please don’t give up. I will be praying for you. Please don’t listen to people saying to take him back. You have done what you could. God knows your heart. I am thankful that I have come across some of your books as they have been uplifting. I am currently reading Made to Crave and am learning so much. You have too much to teach to stop now. Thanks for all you do!

    Reply
  26. Linda Mosbo

    Lysa, I lead a small women’s group and we have studied all of your books. Amazing and we are all praying for you and your family . So sad and sorry. Please continue writing and sharing what God is saying to you that He wants us all to know! May God continue to hold you and your family tightly and fill with His love.

    Reply
  27. Emily Ryder

    Lysa,

    I have been looking for an update and cannot find one. I want you to know that you are still in our prayers. I hope you are taking time to refocus on the positive, there is a lot of beauty in the world.
    On a silly note, my husband likes to use this line from Parks and Recreation, “Treat Yo’ Self!” So Lysa, go treat your self, and be happy.

    Emily

    Reply
  28. Mary C

    Dear Lysa: I applaud your humble courage to be honest with your supporters and readers about your divorce. Having been through divorce due to my husband’s cheating, drug use and abuse, I am reminded by Him constantly, that He loves me more than any human/man ever will. I am reminded by Him that divorce is not ‘the unforgivable sin.’ I am reminded by Him that I must protect my faith first. I will pray earnestly for you, your kids, your grandkids. I will also pray for your husband that, someday, he finds Christ. While I know others are judging you and telling you to step down from your ministry, I know only Jesus had the perfect ministry, and only God is our Judge. Follow what He leads you to do, rest in Him. I pray you will be surrounded with Warrior Angels of protection, love, healing and comfort. God bless you!

    Reply
  29. Susan Miller

    Lysa,
    Your transparency and honesty is so refreshing. Your insights and lessons have blessed and taught me so much. Thank you for the courage to open up and share your intimate struggles, for we are all part of the connected network of God’s family.
    My heart hurt for you when I read what you had shared about the state of your marriage. I am so sorry. I heard something (I think it was from Joyce Meyer) that helped me a lot. ” Every time you forget that character is one of God’s purposes for your life, you become frustrated by your circumstances. Difficulties enable us to grow, for we exist for God’s purposes, not our own.” Lysa, our faithful God will continue to walk with us through anything that the devil intends for evil. Our Lord’s plan is to make us more like Him in the process and He is at work and will make beauty from ashes. Look how far God has brought you through the extreme difficulties of your past! As you know, He loves you and will not fail you-ever. People fail us big time, but not our faithful, beautiful Jesus.
    When we are on the front lines of the battle for God-as you are in your ministry- the enemy looks for ways in which to derail and disempower us. However, we are not in the battle alone, for God is with us. Yes, your are so right, we can pray boldly. I heard it explained this way: a traffic cop does not have the power to stop a car, but cars stop when he puts his hand out because of the authority he represents. God has given us access and has equipped us to use His name and His power in order to pray boldly This spiritual battle shakes things in the heavenlies. May our Lord thwart the enemy’s plans against you and your family in order for you all to become stronger in your faith and more like Jesus in this process. May we all learn the power of prayer and use it daily as a weapon against the wiles of the enemy.
    I prayed and will continue to pray for each member of your family in order for God to have His perfect will. May He continue to bless, protect, and heal you and each member of your family, dear sister.

    Reply
  30. renee

    I hope someone could help me . I attend a large church and there has recently been a guy there who seems to like me and he is always waiting in the lobby where most of the members congregate after the service I attend. I am somewhat shy and I am very nervous to approach him I rather the guy take the lead to iniate. However, I usually will not hang out in the lobby but I will speak to some folks I know that congregate in the lobby of our church then go on my way. Its the same every week where this guy is standing near the entrance of the sanctuary to catch me walking by but since he is very attractive I don’t have enough nerve to even say hello to him but think he has given up on me . But what is troubling me is that he never makes any attempts to come into the sanctuary and maybe take a seat near me to strike up a conversation to get to know me. Its always seems he’s waiting for me to come into the lobby as if he does not want other women in the church to see me sitting with him in case I may not be the One for him ? I think he maybe lusting after me instead of being seriously interested in me. His restrictions in meeting me seems to be the lobby but he refuses to come into the sanctuary as if he wants to meet me on his terms . Just a general observation is that what I notice in our church is that when a guy is seriously dating someone or seriously interested they show no fear of sitting with the girl they are interested in during church service. Any advise I would appreciate it ! Thank you all!

    Reply
  31. Alexis Meade

    Lysa,
    A few years ago, I heard you speak at the Fathers House in Rochester, NY. You are so inspirational! I’ve been reading your “Unglued devotional” each morning as I wake up with my kids. I’m 24 with 3 children, ages 5, 2, and almost 1, along with a 7 year old stepson. My marriage has had its ups and downs for sure, but today as I read Day 55..”Advice to unglued wives: Stop Praying” it really encouraged me. Your words “My focus shouldn’t be on having the right partner. My focus should be on being the right partner.” It is so true. To turn my attention over to loving him instead of trying to fix him. God will do the rest and I’ve been living that truth now for the past few months. I need to focus on what truly matters which is being a good and faithful servant by doing the will God has for me. Loving my husband unconditionally. The battle is the Lords. I want you to know you have helped me so much. You have such a talent for writing and explaining the most complicated situations and simplifying it with God’s truths. God is using you to do great things. Thank you for your ministry. And I will continue to pray for you and your family every day.

    God bless,
    Alexis

    Reply
  32. Lydia

    Dear Lysa,
    My heart aches for what you are going through with health issues and with your marriage.

    Our 27-year marriage ended in dissolution on April 19. But I was Art.

    My husband was the faithful one, and he didn’t find Jesus until he left our home. He told me over and over after he left that he believed that it was God’s will that our marriage end. This, despite my confession, repentance and his forgiveness.

    How I wish we could have agreed to turn to God to help us at least attempt to restore our marriage, rather than just to walk away from it without making any effort to reconcile.

    I believe your post regarding God’s will is wise. I wish it could have been shared with my husband, too.

    Thinking of you with compassion and gratitude,
    LJH

    Reply
  33. Patsy McWhorter

    Please pray for my sister Rosemary. Her marriage is falling apart and she is as far away from God as she can get.

    Reply
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