Suffering with hope

A Prayer for the Fearful Heart


“Put your trust in the Lord.”

Psalm 4:5

Lord, there is so much to fear as sickness and death loom all around us. Earthly security is as stable as the air around us, and the unknowns that lie ahead are unsettling at best and paralyzing at their worst.

We, your children, believe you are in control. You reign over every molecule, every dollar or job lost, every plan cancelled, and every time and season under the sun.

We confess that we have too often put our hopes in lesser things, resting our confidence in the false security of our hearth, job, bank account, routines, wisdom, talents, and loved ones.

But as the security of these things are shaken, our eyes turn toward you in repentance over how easily we rest our confidence in ourselves and the world around us. How quickly we worship the creation instead of the Creator. Forgive us for our wandering hearts and thank you that you promise to be faithful, even when we are faithless. Thank you, Father, that you are a God of patience, grace, and loving kindness, and that we can trust you with every moment of our lives.

This unsettling season we face echoes the wisdom of the sixteenth century Puritan, Thomas Lye –

“The Lord Jehovah should be the sole object of a believer’s trust. In stormy and tempestuous seas we must come to this rock for a refuge (Isaiah 26:4). Holy trust is an act of worship proper and peculiar to a holy God. Nothing in creation can share in in, for it would become our idol. Trust in God takes us off the hinges of all other confidences. More particularly, we must not repose a holy trust in anything besides God, whether within us, or without us. We cannot lean on our own understanding, it will lead us into a bog (Prov. 3:5). We cannot trust in our own heart, it is too deceitful (Jer. 17:9). We cannot trust our bodily strength. The most brawny arm will utterly fail the assaults of death and sickness. Legs that now stand like pillars of brass will shortly appear what they really are, sinking pillars of moulding clay. We cannot trust in our natural, acquired excellencies, they are altogether vanity. There is nothing outside of us that we might trust either. Trusting in any part of creation is to feed on gravel. We must not trust in the abundance of riches; even in their fullest flow they are most uncertain and will not profit in the day of wrath. Also, trusting man is but a broken reed. Man is dust and with death our hopes perish. Ah, but saints can upon stable ground build their trust in God! All that we discover in God will teach us to place the arms of our trust in him alone. Our God is a safe place on which to lean.” 

Heavenly Father, in the days and weeks ahead, strengthen our fearful and anxious hearts and draw us into your steadfast and trustworthy arms. Answer us when we call. You have given us relief when we were in distress. Be gracious to us and hear our prayer. We know that you have set apart the godly for yourself; you hear when we call. There are some who say, “Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!” Put more joy in our hearts than when they have their grain and wine abound. In peace we will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make us dwell in safety (Psalm 4).

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that no matter what we may lose in this world, our hope in you cannot be shaken. Our earthly comforts and lives may be taken, but because of Jesus, our souls dwell in safety. Even as we wrestle with our losses, confess our doubts and fears, and imperfectly walk in faith, may we be a beacon of hope to the fearful world around us and point many to the joy of our salvation and the secure hope we have in Christ.

In our own strength, we will falter and give way to fear, but in your strength, may we stand firm and walk in faith, bringing glory to your name.


~Sarah Walton

You can now pre-order Jeff and Sarah Walton’s forthcoming book, Together Through the Storms – Biblical Encouragements for Your Marriage When Life Hurts (spring 2020) here or on Amazon. To hear more of their story, you can watch the book trailer here-

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