Today I’ve got a devotion running on the subject of facing the “What ifs” of life. If you are joining me here for the first time, I bid you a warm welcome. If you are a regular reader of my blog, thank you for coming back for a visit.
Most of have weak spots in our lives. No matter how together we look on the outside, many are just one wrong word, one party we didn’t get invited to, or one failure away from an emotional melt-down. Some women face insecurity, others face low self-esteem. The chink in my armor is fear.
I can be going along just fine, and one of my kids will be five minutes late. Or I can feel something different under my skin. All of a sudden, fear threatens to rage. Years ago, the same series of events used to happen. An iceburg lodged in my stomach. My pulse raced. All logical thought escaped as the worst case scenario crowded in. In an instant, I went from a confident woman to a fear-filled mess.
One of my worst fears was flying, and it happened after 9/11. Before that, I loved to fly. After 9/11, I gradually got more and more afraid of flying. It progressed to the point where I stopped pursuing out of state speaking events. But it got worse than that. I avoided going to the airport, and could even feel fear watching planes.
I never once told anyone how afraid I was. I was embarrassed. Especially since I was in leadership, and at that time was leading a small group of women. But one time I mentioned in passing to a friend that I would probably always deal with the fear of flying. While I tried to laugh it off, she didn’t laugh. She looked right at me and said, “You don’t have to deal with fear forever. I can tell you how to pray so you won’t be afraid of flying.”
My reaction was sceptical. It sounded like she was saying there was a way I could manipulate God through prayer. My instincts told me to reject her suggestion without even hearing it. But out of politeness, I listened. Here’s what she said.
First, she told me to tell Satan out loud to leave me alone, in the name of Jesus. She said to tell Satan he has no place around me. Telling him out loud is important because he can’t read our minds. Then she told me to pray to God, asking for the blood of Jesus to cover my mind.
I thanked her for her advice, and said I would try it. But I didn’t really plan to. It sounded far-fetched.
But then something happened. My mom asked me to take her to the airport. How could I tell her “no” without confessing my fear? I was 40-something years old, for crying out loud.
That morning I held it together until I dropped her off. As I was leaving the airport, an overwhelming fear fell upon me. My chest felt like an elephant was sitting on it. I couldn’t breath, and I started to cry hard. I was shocked at how violent this attack was. At that moment, I remembered my friend’s prayer. I was desperate, and decided to try it. Only I was crying too hard to talk. So I forced it out between sobs.
I told Satan one word at a time to leave me alone, then asked God to cover me with the blood of Jesus. Within an instant of squeaking out “blood of Jesus,” the weight left my chest, I could breath and instantly stopped crying. I thought, “That was too easy,” and the fear enveloped me again.
But I had tasted it. For just a second, I’d tasted what I can only call a miracle. And in that second of experiencing God’s power, I was emboldened to tryit again. The next time I was more confident. After finishing the short prayer, the fear completely left me.
The next time I flew, I tried it again. God answered with another miracle. Since that time, I’ve continued to pray that way over a variety of issues, and have never experienced fear in the same way. I’ve asked God to cover my heart, mind, my pulse, my thoughts, my family, my home, everything I can think of, with the blood of Jesus. When Satan’s lies can’t get to my heart, God peace fills me up.
Growing up in a very traditional Presbyterian church, I was never taught about spiritual warfare. I was unprepared to battle what I now see as spiritual (demonic) oppression. Wanting to know why that type of prayer worked, I search the scriptures and came up this verse:
Revelation 12:11, “They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”
Please hear me on this very important point: I do not believe we can manipulate God into doing anything. Nor do I think there is any special combination of words to achieve a miraculous result. But I do believe that in my desperate need for protection and peace, God revealed that Christ’s sacrificial shedding of blood has power beyond my salvation. It has power to protect me.
This story is part of my testimony of God’s faithfulness. I can’t really explain it. I can only tell you that I’ve experienced miracle after miracle in my own life. God’s peace is worth trying something that sounds kind of “out there” for those of us raised in certain churches.
I know in sharing this some may be sceptical. I understand. But if you ever get scared enough to try it, please let me know what happens. And if you’ve ever prayed like this before, and experienced God’s peace, please post a comment. I’d love to hear what happened to you.
Grace & Peace,