God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. --1 John 4
The early church believed that Jesus’ return was imminent. 1John in particular was preparing for him to come back and physically reestablish God’s reign on earth at any moment. It had been 60 years since the first Easter and folks were wondering...and waiting...and watching. The Christian church has been watching for that moment for 2000 years, which may ultimately be just a blink in God’s time...but it’s a lonnnng time in our life span. Doubts eek in. Fear rears its head.
The early church was dealing with fear. Fear of persecution. Fear of rejection. Fear of abandonment. Fear of falling apart. Fear of being wrong about Jesus coming in the flesh to save them. Fear filled their world from within and beyond themselves.
Maybe you have that experience of fear, too. Perhaps you are experiencing it now. 1John believed that God’s love could help drive out fear. He noted that the elimination of fear was a holy process. It was not a one time fixer upper, but an ongoing journey bringing us closer and closer to God.
1John wisely observed that fear often had to do with punishment.
Do any of your fears connect to a sense of being punished? By someone? Something?
Today we will call on God to help us drive away some fear, and replace it with a peaceful love. Tapping prayer focuses God’s healing on events or issues in our lives that keep us from experiencing peace. Try and identify a single fear that is causing you distress right now. Say, “I am afraid of..........(and fill in the blank).” On a scale of 0-10, how true is that statement for you? 0=not very true. 10-very true. The number you come up with is called a Subjective Unit of Distress. Write it down so that you can refer to it after you do some prayer tapping. If you are new to tapping prayer, read this article first so that you can learn the basic recipe.
Before you begin prayer tapping, please note that sometimes when we are praying for issues like fear, our SUD may suddenly spike upward. This can be very distressing and cause us to feel even more afraid. I am telling you this ahead of the prayer so that if it happens, you will be prepared and know that you can just shift your focus to whatever is causing the SUD to spike, and ask God to shift to that fear instead. There is no need to ignore the strong feeling and muscle forward with your original prayer! God derives no pleasure in your pain. What has probably happened is that the fear you were originally focusing on has been alleviated by God’s love and in the process, a deeper seated fear has bubbled up...blooop!...to the top of your awareness. You can use the same format of the prayer to attend to this new issue. Tapping prayer is a very versatile tool.
Ok? When you are ready to apply God’s healing spirit to your fear, please take responsibility for your participation in tapping prayer, and let’s pray:
Karate Chop: (taking a deep breath) Ok God, here we go. I am nervous just thinking about praying for this thing I fear. I am concerned that invoking its name will somehow hurt me. I need your help. I need your protection while I pray. I need you to fill me with your peace and especially, target the thing that I am praying about today. 1John said that perfect love drives out fear...I’m ready for your love to do its work on me right now. Even though I am afraid of.........., I am deeply loved and completely accepted by God. Even though...........scares me, I am completely loved and deeply accepted by God. Even though...................makes my skin crawl and my heart race (and not in a good way) I am deeply loved and completely accepted by God.
Top of head: I am afraid of …......................
Eyebrow: This.......................makes me feel anxious.
Outer eye: My fear of …...................has a SUD of …...............
Under eye: I can feel my anxiety rising just thinking about.............
Under nose: I’m so afraid of....................
Under lip: I have this fear.
Collarbone: I feel terrified.
Underarm: I am afraid of....................
Wrists: So afraid.
Top of head: Even though I have this fear of …........... I am deeply loved and completely accepted by God.
Eyebrow: This fear has power over me.
Outer eye: This fear keeps me from doing things I want to do.
Under eye: I wonder if this fear is keeping me safe?
Under nose: I can consider feeling safe without this fear.
Under lip: Collarbone: I have this fear.
Underarm: What would happen if I let go of this fear? How would my life change?
Wrists: So much fear.
Top of head: Even though I am afraid of................. I am deeply loved and completely accepted by God.
Eyebrow: Afraid of …..................
Outer eye: Feeling peaceful about.....................
Under eye: I can taste the fear of........................
Under nose: I can consider God’s love replacing this fear.
Under lip: That would be so cool.
Collarbone: Even though I am considering replacing this fear with God’s love, I am deeply cared for by God.
Underarm: This fear of....................with a SUD of …..................
Wrists: So much love. So much love. So much love.
Top of head: Even though I have this fear of................ I am deeply loved and completely accepted by God.
Deep breath.....and thank you God for sending your spirit to attend to my fear today. You are working on my behalf to bring me peace.
Try saying, “I am afraid of.......................” On a scale of 0-10 how true is that statement? If your SUD went up, what are the issues that raised the number? Try applying God’s love to those concerns. If the number went down, is there any remaining fear? Assign it a SUD and experience the kind of peace and healing that God has in store for you. When God has tamed cleared this particular fear for you, try bringing another fear to God’s attention with tapping prayer.
Being a person of faith does not mean that you will live without fear. In fact, acknowledging our fears is a great way of inviting God’s love into our lives. There is always room for more of that!
ps. Check out the Thursday Thump later this week, when we will bring tapping prayer to bear on negative people in our lives.