Fear of No-one Listening — Morning Devotions – Hope 103.2

Fear of No-one Listening — Morning Devotions

By Chris WittsMonday 22 Jul 2019Morning Devotions with Chris Witts

Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions. Photo credit: Cason Asher, Unsplash.

Whether people like to admit it or not, there are lots of things in this world that we are afraid of. 

I found a website this week that lists over 550 officially-named phobias. So,what are you afraid of? Three critical fears: fear that no one is listening, the fear of death, and finally, what I believe is the greatest fear we face, the fear of being unloved and alone. I want to talk about this fear – when we feel no one is listening.

I performed a web search using the words “need to be heard”. It was interesting the various articles that appeared. It seems everyone needs to be heard.

According to the results of my brief research:

  • Parents need to be heard
  • Students need to be heard
  • Abused children need to be heard
  • Older peoples’ voices need to be heard
  • Farmers need to be heard
  • Programmers need to be heard
  • Engineers need to be heard
  • Diverse viewpoints need to be heard
  • School mascots need to be heard
  • Little guys need to be heard
  • Children need to be heard
  • Women need to be heard
  • Cats need to be heard!

We all need to be heard. I need to be heard. It’s a basic human need, is to be heard.

Listen to this brief poem by psychologist and grief counsellor Leslie Delp.

I Need To Be Heard, by Leslie Delp

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I need to be heard…
Please don’t try to comfort me by
telling me,”You’ll be better in time.”
I need to be heard…
Please don’t pacify me by trying to
“top it” with a hurt of your own.
I need to be heard…
Please don’t look away when I mention
that precious name!
I need to be heard…
Can’t there be anger among sadness
and misery?
I need to be heard…
Meet me where I am, and listen to me…
Until I don’t need to be heard, anymore.

Fear Can Stop us Praying

We all want to be heard, especially when we are hurting. We all fear not being heard. Sometimes we wonder if anybody is listening and that is never more true than when it comes to our prayers.

I think often there are two issues that we face when it comes to the fear of praying. And, yes, I believe that most people don’t pray or don’t pray often enough because they are afraid. Fear number one has to do with the whole issue of “prayer”.

People don’t pray because they don’t really understand what prayer is or how to pray. Prayer is not meditation. There are lots of philosophies and religions out there that will tell you prayer is meditating. Sitting in a special position, contemplating space or “nothingness”, is neither meditation nor prayer. Meditation means to actually ponder something, to focus one’s thoughts. Meditation is good especially when applied to God’s Word. We are told in the Book of Joshua to “Meditate on it [God’s Word]  day and night so you may be sure to obey all that is written in it. Only then will you succeed.” (Joshua 1:8)

But meditation is not prayer. Prayer is a conversation with God. It’s talking to God and letting God talk to you. Prayer is always directed to God. It’s talking to God. That can be pretty scary, especially if your view of God is already skewed. If you see God as the “Big Mean Guy Up There” or as someone who really is not concerned about you or your needs, or even worse, as Someone who is out to get you or is against you; if you see God that way, it’s going to be pretty hard to talk to Him without being afraid.

Alongside the fear of actually talking to God is the fear that we won’t pray “right”. We somehow assume that there is some magic formula for prayer. Maybe we got this from the prayer books some of us were brought up with in church. Maybe we learned it as we were taught those cute little prayers as children: “Now I lay me down to sleep…”, “God is good, God is great, thank you for this food…”

Whatever the reason we are afraid or hesitant to pray because we’re not sure we will get it right. Let’s ask God.

Closing Prayer

Lord you do need to help us get it right. Lord we know that you’re there to help and to give us all that we need, and we thank you for that wonderful assurance, in Jesus name. Amen.

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