Prayer When You Need Practice Trusting God
By Betsy de Cruz

“In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit…” – Ephesians 6:16-18a

My faith swings back and forth like a pendulum. One minute I trust God to see me through my challenges, and the next I fear the worst. In the morning I’m full of faith while I read the promises of God in my Bible, but by 4:00 pm God’s faithfulness seems like a distant memory, and anxious thoughts fill my mind. 

Most of us can relate to having faith one day and losing it the next. During Sunday morning worship, we sing and believe God moves mountains and works miracles. But on Wednesday as we run our kid to the emergency room or work late to meet a deadline, worry sets in again.

We can take encouragement from Paul’s instruction in Ephesians 6“In all circumstances take up the shield of faith.” It reminds us faith is something we can put on, or practice, during every difficulty we could possibly experience. 

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The image of a soldier taking up his weapons speaks of practice. A soldier’s skill grows over time as he trains to prepare for battle. In the same way, our faith grows little by little, through constant exercise. Our knowledge of Scripture and our ability to apply it to our own situation grows through practice.

Like a soldier needs continual training to maintain peak performance, we need a regular workout of daily Bible reading and prayer. It prepares us to meet the challenges of each day and grow stronger over time. When we feel worried and anxious, we can exercise our faith muscles by reminding ourselves of God’s promises and turning worried thoughts into prayers. 

Friend, you may be trembling with fear, eaten with worry, or ridden with anxiety, but you can practice trusting God today. You can practice by reading your Bible (the sword of the Spirit) and rehearsing God’s promises in your mind. Even if you don’t consider yourself a prayer warrior, you can practice by praying for one minute right now. 

And if you find yourself trusting God one moment and panicking the next like me, don’t beat yourself up over it. Draw near to God and confess your doubt. Trust Him to cleanse you from sin; rest in His love for you. Then turn your focus away from yourself and your worries and towards God, the all-powerful One who can do far more than we ask or imagine. Let’s take up the shield of faith today.

Let’s Pray:

Lord Jesus, 

I come to you, the Author and Finisher of faith, and I confess I struggle often with fear, doubt, and worry. Lord, examine my heart and help me recognize my own anxious thoughts so I might surrender them to you. Forgive my unbelief and teach me to trust you. You are a merciful God, faithful to your children, always abounding in wisdom and steadfast love.

Give me the grace and discipline I need to read the Scriptures each day and take up the shield of faith. Speak to me through your Word and strengthen my mind against fear and anxiety. I pray your peace would put my anxious thoughts to rest. 

Teach me to pray as I lift up my concerns to you, one by one. Father, empower me to take up the shield of faith today even if I’m not sure I have it in me to believe. Lord, I choose to believe your promises, and I will practice trusting you by rehearsing your goodness and love in my mind.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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