When You’re Scared To Pray Boldly

by Lysa TerKeurst March 14, 2024
“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16b (NIV)

I’m sometimes 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” kind of girl. Wild in my willingness, obedience and adventures with God.

My hesitation is more rooted in doubt about myself and my ability to discern the will of God. Because 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. You too?

I so desperately want to stay in the will of God that I sometimes find myself praying with “but if” clauses. 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 confident that my prayers are not in vain no matter the outcome.

The reality is that praying boldly boots us out of a stale place of religious habit into authentic connection with God Himself. Prayer opens our spiritual eyes to see things we can't see on our own. “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16b). So prayer does make a difference — a life-changing, mind-blowing, earth-rattling difference. We don't need to know how or when. We just need to kneel confidently and know that our simple, short prayers extend wide, high and deep.

If you’ve been wrestling through some unanswered prayers recently, keep pressing into God. Keep praying. Don’t pull away. He isn’t ignoring you; He’s listening. He loves you too much to answer your prayers at any other time than the right time and in any other way than the right way.

Letting that truth slosh over my soul snuffs out the flickers of hesitation. It bends my stiff knees. And it ignites a fresh, bold wildfire within me. Not bossy and demanding but bold, as in, I love Jesus with all my heart, so I want to show up and try again. Pray again. Ask again.

Jesus said, “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” (Matthew 6:6-8, NIV).

Friend, what do you need to pray boldly about today? Don’t listen to fear — go ahead and ask again. Not so that we can cause God to move according to our plans but so that we can position our souls to be able to see Jesus move in any way He pleases.

Dear Lord, You are the Giver of life and Lord over all things. Thank You for providing exactly what I need, even when it isn’t what I want. I trust that You have my best interest in mind today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.


When we’re in a difficult season, connecting with God through praying and Bible reading can feel overwhelming. Lysa TerKeurst understands this struggle and has teamed up with other authors at Proverbs 31 Ministries to bring you a new devotional, Clear Mind, Peaceful Heart: 50 Devotions for Sleeping Well in a World Full of Worry. Written by busy women for busy women, this book is filled with 50 encouraging devotions, Scripture verses and guided prayers, making it easier than ever for you to simply show up and spend time with God at the end of your day. When you preorder today, you’ll receive the first five days of devotions plus a personal letter and “A Prayer To Read Before You Go To Sleep” from Lysa TerKeurst. Preorder now!





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Luke 17:5, “The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith!’” (NIV).

Do you believe that your prayers matter? Have you been praying in boldness or in timidity lately? Why is that the case?

We’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comments.

© 2024 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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