Prayers for Workers: When You Feel Afraid of Failure

By Mark D. Roberts

October 23, 2020

Scripture – Psalm 34:4, 8 (NRSV)

I sought the LORD, and he answered me,
+++and delivered me from all my fears. . . .
O taste and see that the LORD is good;
+++happy are those who take refuge in him.


No matter what you fear, God understands. No matter your hesitations, you can share everything with God. If you’re afraid of failing, tell God about it. And God, in his goodness, will deliver you from the grip of your fear. Take refuge in God!


O Lord, these days I feel so anxious about work. It seems like I can barely keep up with the expectations for me. And when I do, then they change. I worry that I won’t measure up. I’m afraid of falling behind, even of failing.

What will people think of me if I don’t succeed? What will I think of me? So much of my identity is wrapped up in my work, Lord. Yes, I know I should be more rooted and grounded in you and your love for me. But work is such a huge part of my life and, I admit, my sense of who I am. If I fail at work, does that mean I’m a failure as a human being?

At night, I’m awakened by these familiar fears. I can’t seem to shake them. I cry out to you for deliverance, but then I grab onto my fears even tighter. Help me!

How grateful I am for this psalm, Lord. I can relate to “this poor soul” who cried out to you because of “every trouble” (Psalm 34:5). That’s what I’m doing now, crying out to you because of all of my troubles.

Even in my anxiety, Lord, I have hope in you. You are the one who answers my prayers. You deliver me from all of my fears. Even if things at work don’t turn out as I wish, you will be with me. You will save me from despair, from self-condemnation, from shame. You will help me, once again, to taste and see that you are good.

So, dear Lord, today I take refuge in you. You are my stronghold, my safe place, my guardian, my rock. You will always be there for me. I trust that you will indeed deliver me from all my fears. Yes, Lord. You will. Amen.

Ponder Throughout the Day

God knows all of your fears and he will deliver you.

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Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the unique website of our partners, the Theology of Work Project. Commentary on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: Business Ethics (Psalms 15, 24, 34)

Mark D. Roberts

Senior Strategist

Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders,...

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