Dealing with fear and insecurity (Prayer day 7)

We are emotional beings, who at times experience powerful, negative emotions such as fear.  Religious people tend to suppress these thoughts and deny that they are in us.  More secular people would encourage us to simply let these emotions out as if it would solve the problem.  But the Psalmists show us how to deal with these emotions in a helpful way.


Psalm 3:1-8 – A prayer of David, when he fled from Absalom his son

1  O LORD, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me;

2  many are saying of my soul, there is no salvation for him in God.

3  But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.

4  I cried aloud to the LORD, and he answered me from his holy hill.

5  I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the LORD sustained me.

6  I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.

7  Arise, O LORD! Save me, O my God! For you strike all my enemies on the cheek; you break the teeth of the wicked.

8  Salvation belongs to the LORD; your blessing be on your people!

Observation and Reflection

Context: Absalom, David’s 3rd son, imbittered by his father’s passivity at the rape of his sister Tamar, raised an army and political support at Hebron, wanting to overthrow his father’s kingship and rule in his place. (The history is recorded in 2 Samuel 15)

  1. What is the emotional state of David at the outset of this Psalm? [hint: verses 1-2, and 7]
  2. What are the two sources of David’s fear mentioned in verses 1-2? [hint: one has to do with his life the other with his identity]
  3. The mood changes in verse 3. Why and how?  [hint: where does he look in v1-2, and then v3]?
  4. Considering David’s emotional state, how does it help him during this rebellion that God is his (a) shield, (b) glory, and (c) the lifter of his head?
  5. Considering Psalm 3 as a model prayer on dealing with feelings of fear, anxiety, and being overwhelmed, try to identify how David prayed to God:

Verses 1-2 : eg. David told God of his problem and how he feels

Verse 3 :

Verse 4-6 :

Verse 7-8 :

Personal Reflections and Application

David felt afraid, angry, betrayed and overwhelmed by the revolt against him, lead by his own son Absalom and close friend, Ahithophel his trusted adviser. But more than these enemies, David had to battle the fear that God had abandoned him, like King Saul, because of his sins.  The external crisis gave rise to shame and doubt of the legitimacy of his kingship.  To deny or suppress these emotions are not helpful, and to submit to feelings and “let it out” are as unhelpful.  We need to process them in prayer with God, who has the power to heal our souls and to deliver us from these scary situations.

  1. Become still and consider your emotional state.
    • Identify your greatest fears that have an external source – i.e. job security, safety of kids, your health, etc.
    • Identify your greatest insecurity (where you feel unqualified in a position or relationship).
  2. Now patiently pray through the model of Psalm 3:
    • State your troubles to God who cares.
    • Declare your faith in who God is to you, in this situation.
    • Cry out to God to save you from the situations and the doubts.
    • Thank God for how you see his hand in your life.
    • Ask God for help (grace) for today.

Competence increases leadership capacity

Leadership skills increase your efficiency, productivity, plus your scope and depth of influence.  The good news is skills can be learned!

In preparation for this session, look at this introductory video on the effect of skills in leadership capacity (


Psalms 78:70-72

70  He also chose David His servant, And took him from the sheepfolds;

71  From following the ewes that had young He brought him, to shepherd Jacob His people, tnd Israel His inheritance.

72  So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.


Observation and reflection comments

Context: Psalm 78 is a lengthy poem/song answering the question: “Why do people not obey God, when he is so good to them?” It tells history of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt, preservation in the dessert, inheriting their Promised Land.  Yet in spite of God’s goodness, faithfulness and powerful miracles, they still do not serve Him faithfully.  It ends in the sad falling away of Ephraim (Samaria, 720 BC) and how God chose David (and his lineage) to lead and reform Israel.

  1. David was a very successful king. What do we learn of David’s leadership from this Text:
    1. verse 70
    2. verse 71(a)
    3. verse 71(b)
    4. verse 72(a)
    5. verse 72(b)
  2. Distinguish between “integrity of heart” and “skillfulness of hands” – what does it mean, and what does it look like in practice?
  3. David was called and anointed by God [v70] for a specific mandate [v71b] and had a godly character [v72a] (yet not without flaws!). Why would he need skills to lead Israel even though he had conviction, anointing and a godly character?  What does skill do for a leader?
  4. From this text, where do you think David acquired skills to lead the nation?  [Hint: v71] 

Personal reflection and application

David was appointed and empowered by God’s Spirit, had a godly character (yet not without flaws!), but he could accomplish so much during one lifetime because of skills he acquired while shepherding sheep and leading the band of outlawed mercenaries who became his army of mighty men.  Competence increases your leadership capacity.

  1. Review your past responsibilities as leader focusing on your competencies.
    1. Which leadership/ management skills have you definitely grown in which makes you a better leader now? Think about the five most significant skills and jot down how you have grown in it.
    2. Consider your leadership responsibilities. What can you accomplish if you had better leadership skills?  What do leaders with great skills accomplish in your circumstances?
    3. Which two skills, if you could perfect them, would make the biggest difference to your leadership influence?
    4. How will you grow in it? [Hint: consider PERSON / PLACE / PRACTICE – where/ from whom can you learn, and where can you practice these skills?]
  2. Quickly memorize this proverb: “If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success.” (Ecclesiastes 10:10)
    1. Throughout the day keep this in mind in all your activities, asking yourself “what skills can increase my capacity”?


Pray for grace to redeem your time and to grow in skills so that you may be faithful with what has been entrusted to you!  Ask that the Lord will help you find a person to coach you in these skills and opportunity to practice it.


Motivational Gifts 6 – the giver

The aim of the devotional bible study is to grow in the understanding and appreciation of motivational gift of the giver (or philanthropist).

If you have 5 minutes look at this good example of a giver at work: (


2 Samuel 24:18-25

18  And Gad came that day to David and said to him, “Go up, raise an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19  So David went up at Gad’s word, as the LORD commanded. 20  And when Araunah looked down, he saw the king and his servants coming on toward him. And Araunah went out and paid homage to the king with his face to the ground.

21  And Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you, in order to build an altar to the LORD, that the plague may be averted from the people.” 22  Then Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up what seems good to him. Here are the oxen for the burnt offering and the threshing sledges and the yokes of the oxen for the wood. 23  All this, O king, Araunah gives to the king.” And Araunah said to the king, “May the LORD your God accept you.”

24  But the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 25  And David built there an altar to the LORD and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD responded to the plea for the land, and the plague was averted from Israel.

1 Chronicles 29:1-9

1  And David the king said to all the assembly, “Solomon my son, whom alone God has chosen, is young and inexperienced, and the work is great, for the palace will not be for man but for the LORD God. 2  So I have provided for the house of my God, so far as I was able, the gold for the things of gold, the silver for the things of silver, and the bronze for the things of bronze, the iron for the things of iron, and wood for the things of wood, besides great quantities of onyx and stones for setting, antimony, colored stones, all sorts of precious stones and marble. 3  Moreover, in addition to all that I have provided for the holy house, I have a treasure of my own of gold and silver, and because of my devotion to the house of my God I give it to the house of my God: 4  3,000 talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and 7,000 talents of refined silver, for overlaying the walls of the house, 5  and for all the work to be done by craftsmen, gold for the things of gold and silver for the things of silver. Who then will offer willingly, consecrating himself today to the LORD?”

6  Then the leaders of fathers’ houses made their freewill offerings, as did also the leaders of the tribes, the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, and the officers over the king’s work. 7  They gave for the service of the house of God 5,000 talents and 10,000 darics of gold, 10,000 talents of silver, 18,000 talents of bronze and 100,000 talents of iron. 8  And whoever had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the house of the LORD, in the care of Jehiel the Gershonite. 9  Then the people rejoiced because they had given willingly, for with a whole heart they had offered freely to the LORD. David the king also rejoiced greatly.


Note: in the reading of today’s Text we will focus on the generous character and motives of King David to better understand the motivational gifts of the giver. This is one of the seven motivational gifts (also called “the gifts of the Father” according to 1 Corinthians 12:4-6) that each person is born with which drives his/her actions throughout his/her life.

  1. Giving motivated people generally have the following characteristics. How can you identify them in these two events from King David?  Comment and give references from the Scripture above.
    1. They have the ability to acquire resources but rarely use it for selfish purposes.
    2. They have the ability to anticipate future needs.
    3. Givers feel comfortable handling large sums of money.
    4. They are naturally gifted with wisdom in the area of business / acquiring wealth.
    5. They can see needs and practically meet it (not only financially).
    6. They see their own resources as “God’s temporary warehouse” where things are entrusted to them to steward, not own.
    7. They experience great delight in giving with great generosity.
    8. They give wisely and for just causes – not necessarily to everyone who asks.
    9. Their generosity frequently motivate others to give as well.
  2. From these two texts above, what of David’s giving stands out most for you?


Note: The gift of the giver is frequently called “the secretive gift” because their giving is often secretive, so people would view them as servants or some other motivational gifted person.

  1. Looking at David as an example of a giving motivated person – what should a person with this motivational gift be cautious of in engaging other people?
  2. Considering the characteristics listed in Observation question 1 above, why do we consider giving motivated people as “gifts from God the Father”? i.e. how do they benefit me, you and the world around us?

Application and Prayer

Note: If you have not completed the free online motivational gift test, do so now:

  1. Are you a strong giver motivated person? Considering this example of David:
    1. What are you grateful for about your gift, which you must cherish?
    2. What must you be cautious about in your interactions with others?
    3. Thank God for how he made you, and pray that he would bless you greatly and grace you with wisdom to steward well and generosity to give freely where he leads.
  2. Who do you know that are strongly giver motivated?
    1. Thank them for their good influence in your life – for their liberal giving to you and to just causes, as well as their inspiration to live and give generously.
    2. Thank God for them and their good influence in your life. Pray for these people by name that God will bless them with even greater wealth with the wisdom to make it grow and the generosity to give it freely as the Lord wills it. Pray that their giving will inspire greater generosity in your life and the people around you so that we may be rightly known as children of the Generous God.