Fear! Everyone has felt it. As a teenager and young adult, I was really afraid -- of accidents, loss, rejection, loneliness, speaking in public, disapproval, offending people. I lived with fear. It even put a frown on my face! The Apostle John summed up the feeling produced by this monster: "Fear hath torment" (I John 4:18).
BUT -- another writer to the early Christians had given them hope. He told them, "God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (II Timothy 1:7). So in the hope of overcoming my fears, I explored a book called Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. The book exhorts readers not to be afraid and explains why they need not be. It shows the real universe, which God created -- the one described in the first chapter of Genesis in the Bible. This is a universe of Spirit, not matter. Its inhabitants are spiritual, not material. We are those inhabitants. There is no mention that God created anything that would frighten us, overwhelm us, or overpower us. (Read and see for yourself!)
I am seeing more and more that God gave us power, authority, absolute supremacy over all the earth. And we have dominion over everything mortal. Over anything evil or deadly, such as evil or deadly circumstances. After she discovered the healing truth she named Christian Science, Mrs. Eddy went so far as to say, "There is no power apart from God. Omnipotence has all-power, and to acknowledge any other power is to dishonor God" (Science and Health, p. 228).
All this fear, then -- where does it come from? Science and Health reveals that it rises up from a false sense of that which is real and true. A false sense -- nothing more. Fear arises from a misunderstanding of who God is and what He is doing for us. If we live in fear, we aren't realizing that we are spiritual and perfect, made in the image of God, Spirit. We don't know that God is always with us. We don't know that God is Love, and that His great love for us heals fear. We don't know that He will never leave us or forsake us.
Mrs. Eddy's exhaustive search of the Scriptures, and especially the teachings of Christ Jesus, revealed to her that God is All-in-all. So God can be absolutely All to us, and we can stop living in fear. To do so, we have got to know the truth and act as if we know it. This would be having that "sound mind" that New Testament writer talked about.
What does that mean? Well, we are of "sound mind." God is our Mind. We are the expression of this Mind. You are the expression of this Mind. So you have all the wisdom, understanding, intelligence, inspiration, you need in any given situation, not just to battle fear, but to destroy it.
You can start being fearless today. Everything that induces fear can be overcome. You have a right to stand up to evil. You have the authority from God to do it. The truth about evil is that it is not power, because God has all power, and He is the very opposite of evil. No matter how aggressive it seems, you can refuse to consent to evil's bidding. You can declare that God is good, is all-power and the only power; that God is with you, here, now, always; that God loves you and all His children. Numerous times we read in the Bible that we should not be afraid. So deny fear. Resist it on the ground that it has no right to exist, for God knows nothing about it. Do this, and you'll be praying.
Something that terrified me was public speaking. I joined a speakers' club in the hope of overcoming this limitation. Then the inevitable happened: I had to do some impromptu speaking and I became tongue-tied with fear.
I prayed. And I was directed to Science and Health, to a statement that God as Mind ". . . possesses of itself all beauty and poetry, and the power of expressing them. Spirit, God, is heard when the senses are silent" (p. 89). When given my assignment, I turned to God and listened for what the divine Mind was telling me from within. Instantly, appropriate ideas and words came, one after the other. I spoke successfully. And I was healed of my fear of public speaking from then on.
You can find other articles that discuss prayer in a weekly magazine, the Christian Science Sentinel.