“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.'” (Genesis 2:15-17, ESV)
The passage from Genesis presents the genesis of man’s first interaction with fear, the fear of death introduced by God’s command. God put Adam in the Garden of Eden with all he needed. Yet, He also set a limit, a boundary. The fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was off-limits, and transgressing that limit meant death.
That boundary, that rule, must have instilled a certain fear in Adam, a fear of the consequence of disobedience. However, this isn’t a cruel fear meant to terrorize but rather a cautionary fear meant to protect. It’s in this context that prayer becomes a crucial tool to navigate fear.
Prayer is our direct communication with God, our Creator, who knows our anxieties, fears, and worries. It’s in prayer that we can acknowledge our fears and present them to God. He doesn’t desire for us to live in constant anxiety but to have a reverence for His commands and find peace and safety within His guidelines.
We can draw from the garden experience to understand our fears. God has set boundaries in our lives, too. While the fear of overstepping those boundaries might cause us anxiety, through prayer, we can transform that fear into respect and obedience towards God’s commands.
As we pray today, let’s lay down our fears before God, who understands and guides us. Let’s pray for wisdom to discern the boundaries in our lives, for strength to respect them, and for faith to trust in God’s perfect plan.
Wonder in the Word
How can your prayer life help you to transform fear into respect for God’s guidelines in your life?