Prayer For A Greater Serenity Of Heart
10 Great Prayers For Courage
There are many great prayers in the Bible that can be read and studied to help you know how to pray for strength. Though one of the stories mentioned below doesn’t contain the text of the prayer the Bible says that they prayed and God heard them.
Do you find yourself in need of courage for situations that come up in your life? Praying and asking God for courage is the first place you should turn.
Read through these ten prayers for courage and let us know in the comments your favorite
Praying and asking God for courage is the first place you should turn.
Jacob When Meeting Esau – Genesis 32
When Jacob was returning to meet Esau after running away several years earlier, he was more than a little scared. He had tricked Esau and fled for his life. As he returned he heard that Esau was looking for him with 400 men at his side. Jacob prayed to God for courage.
Genesis 32:9-12 “And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the LORD which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee: I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands. Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children. And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.”
Hezekiah’s Prayer – 2 Kings 19
A group of kings was preparing to do battle with King Hezekiah and the Israelites. They were kings who had wiped out whole nations. When Hezekiah received the message that Israel was to be invaded, he prayed the following courage prayer.
2 Kings 19:15-19 “And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD, and said, O LORD God of Israel, which dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth. LORD, bow down thine ear, and hear: open, LORD, thine eyes, and see: and hear the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent him to reproach the living God.
Of a truth, LORD, the kings of Assyria have destroyed the nations and their lands, And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them. Now therefore, O LORD our God, I beseech thee, save thou us his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the LORD God, even thou only.
Gideon – Judges 6
Gideon was chosen by God to lead a small army to defeat the Midianites. Through a series of prayers by Gideon and proofs by God, Gideon gained the courage he needed to lead the men.
Here is one exchange between Gideon and the messenger of God. Gideon said he was not brave enough to do the job, but he trusted in the God who promised to lead Israel.
Judges 6:13-16 “And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? but now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.And the LORD looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?
And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.
And the LORD said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man.”
Asa Prayed for Victory – 2 Chronicles 14
After the 12 tribes of Israel were divided into the Northern and Southern Kingdoms (Israel and Judah respectively), there came a king in the south named Asa. He was a descendant of David and Solomon. An Ethiopian ruler by the name of Zerah came to fight against God’s people. Asa asked God for courage and for a victory in the battle.
2 Chronicles 14:11 “And Asa cried unto the LORD his God, and said, LORD, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O LORD our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O LORD, thou art our God; let no man prevail against thee.”
Prayers For Courage From the Psalms
Psalm23 “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”
Psalm 27 “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.
For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.
Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.
When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.
I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.”
Psalm 31“In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me.For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me.
Pull me the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength.Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the LORD.I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities;And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room.Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly.
For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me.I am forgotten as a dead man mind: I am a broken vessel.
For I have heard the slander of many: fear was on every side: while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life.But I trusted in thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God.My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.
Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies’ sake.Let me not be ashamed, O LORD; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave.Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.
Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.
Blessed be the LORD: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city.For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee.O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.
Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.”
Micah’s Prayer – Micah 7
Part of Micah’s prophecy (which was to warn the nation of Israel of coming judgment) was a prayer to God asking for protection and courage to face the enemy.
Micah 7:7, 8 “Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me. Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.”
Peter’s Prayer for Boldness – Acts 4
When Peter and the other disciples were on trial in Acts 4 they boldly proclaimed the Gospel. At the end of his sermon, Peter still prayed for courage and boldness to continue to preach God’s Word. When they finished praying the Bible says that the place was shaken and the Holy Ghost came upon them with power and they were able to boldly preach as they had prayed.
Acts 4:29-31 “And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.”
The Serenity Prayer
A well-known prayer called the Serenity Prayer talks about having courage to make wise choices and act upon them.
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
Were these prayers for courage helpful? If so, you might also enjoy reading this one:
20 Bible Verses About Courage
The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV)
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The Serenity Prayer Explained
Posted at 00:01hin Health and Wellness by Jeff1 Comment
The Serenity Prayer is used in recovery worldwide. In 12 Step recovery, we close out our meetings with it, and in times of strife and struggle often refer back to it’s comforting words. Let’s break down the serenity prayer today and discuss what it really means, for the more that we understand, the better we can put it to use.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
We ask our higher power for serenity
In sobriety, we are constantly reminded to stop trying to control things and to simply live life on life’s terms. To take things as they come without being the grand orchestrator. This was part of our problem all along, wasn’t it? Our attempts to control and dictate our lives regardless of what our Higher Power had planned for us always failed.
Under our own control, our lives crashed and burned. We made mistakes and wrong turns and found ourselves in darkened alleys with no idea how we ended up there. So we must continuously be reminded to relinquish our control to our higher power and to let go.
We ask our Higher Power to give us serenity, to imbue within us a sense of calm and happy resignation so that we stop trying to fight for control.
We accept what we can not change
This concept is in the same vein as the first line of the prayer – we must accept life as it is. We must accept things as they are and not how we want them to be. When we have defined expectations of ourselves and others, the outcome will never be what we plan.
We have to stop trying to change the things that are not within our power and accept the fact that our higher power is in charge. Life is in session and there is no remote to pause or rewind. We have to go with the flow.It is much harder to fight to swim your way upstream than it is to allow the current to carry you gently in it’s wake. We acknowledge those things which are not within our control and then we give it all up to our higher power.
In times when I find myself trying to run the show so to speak, I say the serenity prayer to remind myself that I must live my life in acceptance and willingness.
We have courage to change what we can
While much of life is not within our control there ARE things that we can choose to change. Our attitudes, our outlooks on life, these are the things that we can control. We can look at life as a battle to be won or a journey to be experienced. We can see events as blessings or curses. Only we have the power as individuals to change our viewpoints and adapt our outlooks.
Life can be beautiful or tragic and it is our choice which will win out. Much of the time changing our mindset takes courage. Walking through things that are uncomfortable or scary takes courage.
The instances that are the scariest and most difficult to walk through are often the ones that are also the most important, and so we look to our higher power to give us the courage to do what we know is right.
We ask for wisdom to know the difference
It can be a struggle to recognize those things which are in our control and the ones that aren’t, especially when our will is strong. If we want something badly, even if deep down we KNOW it is against what our higher power has in store for us, we can easily convince ourselves that it is still one of those things we can control or change.
We have to take time to be quiet and listen and ask our higher power to help us know which things are about our will and which are about our higher power working in our life. Meditation is often a good time to reflect on our choices and to ask for guidance delineating between the two.
When we do not listen to our inner voice and higher power, we often walk down paths not meant for us and find ourselves lost. If you are trying to recognize the difference between the things which you can and can not change, simply take a deep breath, quiet yourself, and then ask if this is God’s will or your own. Listen.
Your gut will tell you the truth, and then it is on you to choose whether or not to follow suit.
The serenity prayer comes down to how we exercise our free will and in what ways we allow our higher power to work in our lives.
When we can find a balance we will be amazed at how much easier our lives become, but at the times when we are feeling unsure we repeat the serenity prayer to remind us that we are not alone and that all we need to do is look to our higher power, be honest with ourselves, and act accordingly.
Serenity Prayer – Applying 3 Truths from the Bible
One of the most popular prayers today is known as the Serenity Prayer. Written by Reinhold Neibuhr (1892-1971), the prayer was widely used in sermons and Sunday school groups and studies. In the early 40s, the group Alcoholics Anonymous began to use a shortened version of the Serenity Prayer in their twelve step program.
Serenity Prayer – Full Version (composed in 1940s)
God grant me the serenity To accept the things I cannot change; Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; Taking, as He did, this sinful world As it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right If I surrender to His Will; So that I may be reasonably happy in this life And supremely happy with Him Forever and ever in the next.
God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
3 Biblical Truths We Can Apply to the Serenity Prayer
1. «God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.»
When life feels control, it’s easy to try to work harder at controlling everything and everyone around us! Some of us do the opposite and just throw our hands up and give up on the situation or person. Whichever extreme you go to, peace and serenity continues to move further from your life.
Accepting and submitting to God’s control and plan for your life is the only way to find peace in situations you cannot control or change. We may not always know God’s plan but we can let go of trying to orchestrate and manipulate events and people and let God work through us. God promises a supernatural peace when we bring our worries and concerns to Him in prayer.
«And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus» — Philippians 4:7
“Be still and know that I am God!” — Psalms 46:10
2. «the courage to change the things I can,»
If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, you have received the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is able to supply you with the courage to follow and act upon God’s plan for your life. Instead of fearfully ignoring hard decisions or running from what seems too difficult, we can call upon the power of God for courage to move forward into the full life He has planned for us.
«For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.» — 2 Timothy 1:7
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. — Proverbs 3:5-6
3. «and, the wisdom to know the difference.»Wisdom is a gift that God promises to give to those who ask for it! You can grow in wisdom each day and make better decisions as you spend time reading the Bible and communicating with God through prayer. God will tell you, through his Word or answers in prayer, when to accept things and when to take courage to change them.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” — James 1:5
“and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” — 2 Timothy 3:15-17
Adapted from: Single Moms & the Serenity Prayer by Donna Stanger
Share how the Serenity Prayer has encouraged you and how our large community can pray for courage for you in the comments below!
This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can't find the words to pray.
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Prayer for Strength
Prayer for Protection
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The Prayer of Jabez
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