In times of trouble, how do we pray against fear? What is our response to be when unexpected disaster, or even worse, when pending disaster looms for an indefinite amount of time?

Those are the times we are in right now. We sit and wait in voluntary (for most of us) lockdown hoping that this restriction will be enough to slow the spread of coronavirus so that our healthcare workers can help those who succumb to the virus.

As we wait, the projected time seems to extend. When Houston canceled the rodeo on March 11th, the initial plan for the restrictions were two weeks. An extra week of spring break and life would go back to normal. Then the projection was April 15, by Easter it would burn out.

Now, the estimate[1] is May.[2] Our schools will be online through May 1st, but the reality is that it is most likely kids won’t be coming back to the school buildings this year.

projection of coronavirus in Texas

projected coronavirus deaths in texas

In this time of fear and uncertainty, where people put their trust becomes increasingly obvious. There are those who see this as the end of the world, saying that we have “never” seen anything like this.

That’s not true. It’s not even close to being true.

We, as in our generation may not have experienced anything like this, but this outbreak, as serious as it is, is only a tiny blip in the history of pandemics. I found this great visualization from Visual Capitalist on the death toll from pandemics in the past 2,000 years.[3] (Click here to view all the charts.)

visualization of historical pandemics

It may be true that you personally have never experienced anything like this, but it is not unusual, it something we should expect and prepare for.

We will go through things in life. Things that are outside of our control. Things that are scary and some times life threatening. As David wrote while he was in that “valley of the shadow of death” in Psalm 23, we don’t fear evil . . . Even when it is staring us in the face.

How do you conquer a fear?

How do we conquer this fear? When we see the constant barrage of dire news reports and the stream of social media posts that frantically cast blame, expecting the government and health officials to change nature and conquer death . . . What do you do?

I remember that the spirit of fear has no place in the hope in Christ.

I remember that, as I mentioned in my video on why I’m not afraid of coronavirus, it is God alone that determines the number of my days. If I walk in His will, there is nothing and no one that can take me out before he is ready to take me home.
I remember Exodus 15:26, God’s promise for healing, “I am the Lord who is healing you.”

How do I pray for fear and anxiety?

So how do we pray for fear and anxiety. As I mention in my devotional, #NoFear: A 7-Day Devotional Against Fear and Anxiety, the first step is identifying the fear. What we fear losing is evidence of where we put our trust.

If we are afraid of contracting this virus, it could be that we are afraid for our safety and wellbeing, and even death. We have the hope in the resurrection. We know that to be “absent in the body is to be present with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:8)

This doesn’t mean that we don’t take precautions, obey our local authorities,[4] and be a good steward of the bodies God has given us.[5] But we don’t walk around in a state of fear.

How do you break the spirit of fear?

We can know all these things, but how do we do it. As I note in my book #NoFear, after we identify the fear we examine it

As C.S. Lewis writes in Surprised by Joy, the quickest way to overcome an emotion is to “start examining the passion itself.”[6]

Once we do that, we can look through the Word to see what God’s response is to that particular issue.

Prayer Against Fear in the Bible

We know we are not to fear, but how do we actually step of the fear mindset and into one of faith? One of the clearest instructions regarding fear in the Bible is found in Philippians 4:6-7.

philippians 4:6-7 Dont worry about anything, instead pray about everything

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Whatever the issue, tell God what you need and thank him for what he has done.

Too often we take God’s blessings for granted. If it is a good thing, we think that it is all our own efforts that brought it about and that we deserve it. If it is a bad thing, we look for someone to blame.[7]

The reality is that all good things come from God.[8] It is his favor and blessings that allow us to live in safety and health.

Tell me . . . Do you trust in the goodness of God more than the healthcare system or the government stimulus plan? Get real, God knows the answer.

Those Who Feed on Fear

The other thing that stands out during this time are those who feed on fear. Not only do they invite fear in, but they tell it to call all its friends and welcome the whole gang. The worst outcome is imagined in every situation. They look for opportunities to spread their fears to others that they don’t think are sufficiently afraid.

People like that are to be pitied, because this is their life. They constantly live in fear and subconsciously see this as a way to share their experience with those who don’t.

But there is another type of person who takes advantage of situations like this and uses the widespread fear to manipulate and control. These are the ones who have the “secret insights” that the church/government/insert-authority-structure-here has kept hidden.

They alone know what the Bible really means . . . Everything you’ve been told has been wrong.

Again, this is nothing new.

One of the most recent and notorious[9] iterations of this is the Black Hebrew Israelites, which I came across just this morning. They have a mess of odd beliefs, but it appears they are preaching an apocalypse that includes angels/aliens coming to wage war against God’s enemies?[10]

an example of using verses to spread propaganda and fear

What does this image suggest to you? I actually sent a message to Vocab Malone, an apologist who specializes in Black Hebrew Israelites. That is what he said, but I can’t quite wrap my head around the oddness yet. Visit his YouTube channel to learn more, and if you figure it out, be sure to tell me.

So Habakkuk 3:16 does say that, but there is some uncertainty about whose troops they are.

The New Century Version translates it as the troops of the people that will invade Israel.

I hear these things, and my body trembles;

my lips tremble when I hear the sound.

My bones feel weak,

and my legs shake.

But I will wait patiently for the day of disaster

that will come to the people who attack us.

As does the New American Standard Bible:

I heard and my inward parts trembled,

At the sound my lips quivered.

Decay enters my bones,

And in my place I tremble.

Because I must wait quietly for the day of distress,

For the people to arise who will invade us.

In the King James Version, the “he” that brings the troops is a little unclear:

When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble: when he cometh up unto the people, he will invade them with his troops.

Young’s Literal Translation handles it similarly to the KJV:

I have heard, and my belly trembleth, At the noise have my lips quivered, Rottenness doth come into my bones, And in my place I do tremble, That I rest for a day of distress, At the coming up of the people, he overcometh it.

Looking at that verse without context is designed to incite fear . . . And that is the very first sign of a false and deceiving spirit. Because the evidence of the Holy Spirit is peace, not fear. God always gives us assurance.

If you come across someone spreading a message like this, and there are many, STOP LISTENING TO THEM. Do not give that fearful spirit and its message any room in your life.

The Prophet’s Prayer Against Fear

The chapter that the verse highlighted by the Black Hebrew Israelites comes from is not only much richer than you would think from that single verse . . . But it also contains a prayer against fear . . . And not only a prayer, but a declaration.

There was wickedness during the time of Habakkuk. God had given numerous warnings that a time of captivity was coming. But in this passage, God also promises his deliverance.

This is not only true for the time of Habakkuk and the End Times, but for every time in between. Regardless of the trials that come, our God is with us.

16 I heard and my inward parts trembled,

At the sound my lips quivered.

Decay enters my bones,

And in my place I tremble.

Because I must wait quietly for the day of distress,

17 For the people to arise who will invade us.

Though the fig tree should not blossom

And there be no fruit on the vines,

Though the yield of the olive should fail

And the fields produce no food,

Though the flock should be cut off from the fold

And there be no cattle in the stalls,

18 Yet I will exult in the Lord,

I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.

19 The Lord God is my strength,

And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet,

And makes me walk on my high places.[11]



[1] Todd Ackerman and Dylan McGuinness, “Coronavirus Spread in Houston Could Burn out by Mid-May under Stay-at-Home Order,” Houston Chronicle, last modified March 25, 2020, accessed April 2, 2020,

[2] “COVID-19 Projections,” Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, last modified April 2, 2020, accessed April 2, 2020,

“Turner said he signed an emergency health declaration Wednesday that will remain in place for seven days, at which point City Council could decide to extend it. Under the declaration, all events produced or permitted by the city will be canceled through the end of March, Turner said. That includes Sunday’s Tour de Houston fundraising bike ride, which officials will attempt to reschedule, the mayor said.”

[3] Nicholas LePan, “Visualizing the History of Pandemics,” Visual Capitalist, last modified March 14, 2020, accessed April 2, 2020,

[4] Romans 13:1-7, 1 Timothy 2:1-3, Titus 3:1

[5] 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Romans 12:1-2, 1 Timothy 4:8

[6] C.M. Alvarez, #NoFear: A 7-Day Devotional Journal to Overcome Fear and Anxiety (Houston, TX: Efusion Media Group, 2019), 7.

[7] Cary Cheshire, “Kathaleen Wall Ad Blames China, Vows Repercussions Over Coronavirus,” Texas Scorecard, last modified April 2, 2020, accessed April 2, 2020,

[8] Psalm 16:2, James 1:17, Psalm 127

[9] Masimba Musodza, “The Hebrew Israelites Are A Real Threat | Masimba Musodza | The Blogs,” The Times of Israel, last modified September 21, 2019, accessed April 2, 2020,

[10] IUIC Pittsburgh [@iuicpittsburgh], “The #ScriptureoftheDay from #IsraelUnitedInChrist! #Habakkuk3:16,” April 2, 2020, accessed April 2, 2020,

[11] Habakkuk 3:16-19 NASB