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 Prayer Of The Month

Akanu Ibaim's prayer against fear

This prayer comes from Nigeria and is included in Desmond Tutu's collection 'An African Prayer Book' (Hodder & Stoughton, 1995). As African prayers so often do, it seems to go straight to the heart of our human condition, because all of us - if we're honest - have fears of one kind or another...


FearO Lord, we beseech thee to deliver us
from the fear of an unknown future;
from fear of failure; from fear of poverty;
from fear of bereavement; from fear of loneliness;
from fear of sickness and pain;
from fear of age; from fear of death.
Help us, O Father, by thy grace to love and fear thee only,
fill our hearts with cheerful courage and loving trust in thee:
through our Lord and Master Jesus Christ. Amen.

 To think about.....

  • When was the last time you felt afraid? Perhaps you are afraid right now? Pause for a moment and try to identify what it is that you are afraid of - it could one of the things named in the prayer, or something else, however big or small
  • Having named your fear, can you now ask God to "deliver" you from it - not to remove it (which rarely works for long!) but to help you travel through it and rise above it. You may find it helpful to picture yourself putting your hand into God's hand and allowing him to gently lead you
  • What do you think it means to "love and fear" God? After all, St John said that "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear." (1 John 4:18) Can there be a different kind of fear, a good fear, one that helps us find our place in the order of things and to know who holds the true power? Some people would describe this as "awe" - is this something you have experienced?
  • Rest in silence for a moment and think about the greatness of God the Creator and his infinite love for you

Source: Prayer, introduction and thoughts kindly provided by Jenny Dann, August 2010

(Copyright of prayer belongs to Hodder & Stoughton)

Prayers...

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