Prayer For Courage In The Christian Life
The Courage to Be Ordinary: Help for Average Christian Leaders
A friend of mine once confessed his secret ministry fantasy to me: Grow his church to place where it no longer required faith to lead it.
I knew exactly what he meant. I’ve struggled with the same fantasy.
Get enough money, people, recognition, staff, volunteers, lay leaders, salary, book deals, and speaking gigs that we don’t need to depend on God for anything anymore.
But in serving as a pastor and working with fellow pastors for many years, I’ve found two characteristics essential to do ministry in a way that depends on God: courage to be ordinary and comfort with obscurity.
Courage to Be Ordinary
One of my mentors often tells me, “It takes extraordinary courage to be ordinary.” For the longest time, I would nod in agreement but not believe him.
I needed to be extraordinary. When I replanted a church, I often over-functioned in my role as a pastor. I carried the entire weight of the church on my shoulders. I had my own scorecard full of the metrics that mattered to me. And one was becoming a self-supporting church.
“Pastor, you don’t have all the gifts the church needs. You need help.”
I prided myself on how quickly we achieved it, all the while hiding the fact that we became self-supporting because I was secretly functioning as the financial savior. I carried way too much of the financial burden. I was rarely honest about our monetary needs. I didn’t take the full benefits package the church offered me. I rarely turned in my reimbursements. And I did it for respect.As pastors, we can often trade love for respect. We are afraid people won’t love our true selves, so we keep going, wearing ourselves out doing more than we are made to do to sustain the image of a successful pastor. We quietly say to ourselves, “I can’t stop or the whole thing will fall apart.”
It is exhausting and lonely to keep up that image. Jesus is the one to build his church, rest in being just one piece of his work in the world.
How to Be More Ordinary
Three things help us find the courage to be ordinary: vulnerability, suffering, and prayer.
Vulnerability is necessary to be ordinary because it embraces the limits of being human. You will not meet everyone’s expectation. You don’t have all the gifts the church needs. You need help.
For me, it meant letting my elders know that the church wasn’t really self-supporting, and we couldn’t afford all the ministry we were doing. I know admitting that kind of need sounds simple and silly; for me, it was nearly impossible. I felt exposed and ashamed. I admitted a competency failure, which can be harder to admit than a character failure.
“Jesus is the one to build his church, rest in being just one piece of his work in the world.”
In terms of suffering, it means whatever gain you have, you count as loss for the sake of Christ. You suffer the loss of all things in order to gain Jesus. You admit your limitations and put your resume and reputation at risk.
And finally, as you embrace your limitations, you will cry out to God in “Jesus only” prayers. My pastor, Geoff Bradford, introduced me to the idea of “Jesus only” prayers.
A couple of years ago, he started making a list of things he longed to happen that only Jesus could make happen. And he started to pray for those things every day. I hear the massive problems and start looking for quick fixes.
He keeps praying Jesus only prayers, and therefore often getting Jesus only answers.
Comfort with Obscurity
A number of years ago, I was at a conference where a friend was speaking. I spent a lot of time with him during a tough season in his ministry. He’s told me he wouldn’t still be pastoring without my help. But nobody knows that.
As he started his talk with a litany of thanksgiving I thought, “It would be nice if he thanked me, too.” But he didn’t. I didn’t even get a head nod. I was surprised at how much it bothered me.
I had done valuable ministry and I wanted others to know about it.
I remembered a question my friend Paul Miller encouraged me to ask in the midst of struggle and suffering: “How is Jesus inviting you to share in his story?” My mind went to last verse in John: “Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” Jesus did a lot of ministry in obscurity. If everything he did got tweeted, it would break .
“Most good ministry is rightly done in obscurity.” Most ministry is rightly done in obscurity. My best stories are those that few will ever know. As hard as that is, I think that’s very appropriate. For in those cases, my Father sees, understands, appreciates, and affirms. And that’s enough.
One day God will say to me, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21), and give me the “unfading crown of glory” (1 Peter 5:4).
Sometimes he gives me a foretaste of that through the affirmation and praise from others, but most of my ministry will be in obscurity.
The cannon is closed. Scripture is sufficient. Our stories don’t need to be recorded for eternity. Maybe a future church historian will use our ministry as a topic for his dissertation. Most of us will — to borrow a phrase — preach the gospel, die, and be forgotten.
How to Be Obscure in the Right Way
Jesus increases; we decrease. His work is seen; ours is obscured. We need to fight to be comfortable with that. Again, vulnerability, suffering, and prayer can help.
Vulnerability will come as you lose public reputation in order to gain personal integrity. You will preach ordinary sermons. There will be good ministry you do that you can’t talk about or that won’t make a fundraising pitch. You are working with people; their stories of deliverance are theirs to share, not yours to glory in.
Suffering often comes in the form of contempt you feel from those who seem to get what you want — the church, the family, the lifestyle, the recognition — but do it in a way that seems to have little regard for God and his laws. Maybe they are other pastors. Maybe they are your pagan neighbors. Their lives seem better compared to yours.
I think that’s why Paul encouraged Timothy to do ministry a different way, even if it seemed he wasn’t as successful as others in Ephesus who experienced success in ministry without a care for God or his word (see 1 Timothy 6:3–11). As we labor in relative obscurity, we pray that God would be pleased with our work and cause much eternal fruit to grow.
The Quiet Man of God
The courage to be ordinary and obscure can leave you in a place of quietness and peace. That’s important because we need to steward our soul long before we try to steward our ministry or influence. As Francis Schaeffer wrote, “The Christian leader should be a quiet man of God who is extruded by God’s grace into some place of leadership.”
Extruded is a good word. It means to be forced, kids push Play-Doh through a die to get it into the shape they desire. This extrusion is, all good things in our life, a gift of grace. Calm and quite your soul (Psalm 131:2). Let God force you into the ministry he knows you can sustain.
Study 5 THE SUPREME IMPORTANCE OF PRAYER – Words of Life Ministries
(Scripture Portion: Luke 11: 1-13; 18: 1-8)
To the born again soul, prayer is as essential as breathing, and to neglect it must result in weakness and defeat. It is not only important that Christians should pray, but it is of supreme importance.
This fact makes our present study one to which we should give special heed. Christians need instruction about prayer - its meaning, its promises, its method and its value - look up Luke 11:1.
How wonderful to be taught to pray by John; how much more wonderful to be taught by the Lord Jesus! - and look up Romans 8:26-27.
What is prayer? C. H. Spurgeon said that, “The heart of prayer is the prayer of the heart.” It does not consist simply of words, gestures, forms or eloquence.
“Prayer is the address of a poor creature on earth to a great Creator and loving Father in Heaven.
” Think about this simple definition; it reveals the supreme wonder of prayer that a poor sinful being can commune with the high and lofty One (Isaiah 57:15).
1. THE SUPREME IMPORTANCE OF PRAYER IN THE LIFE OF THE CHRISTIAN
- Prayer is of supreme importance in the life of the Christian because of the importance it is given in the Word of God. The Bible is full of the subject of prayer. Imagine what a mutilated book we should have if every reference to prayer were taken it.
The fact of the emphasis on this subject of prayer which is made in the Word of God indicates to us the supreme importance placed upon it by the Holy Spirit who is the Author of the book (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21).
- Prayer is of supreme importance in the life of the Christian because of the teaching of our Lord.
Here again, imagine the four Gospels with every reference to prayer cut them. How mutilated the books would be! Over and over again our blessed Lord stressed the importance of prayer, gave wonderful promises in relation to prayer and encouraged His disciples (and us) to pray - look up Matthew 18:19, 21:22; Mark 11:24 and John 14:13-14.
He, in fact, is our great example in prayer - look up Luke 3:21; 5:16; 6:12; 9:18 and 28; 11:1 and 22:41-42.
- Prayer is of supreme importance in the life of the Christian because it is the first instinct of the new life.
Just as the first instinct of a newly-born babe is to cry, and in so doing to use its lungs, so the first instinct of the newly-converted soul is to cry - look up Romans 8:15, and notice the illustration of this simple truth in Acts 9:11, where we read of Saul, immediately after his vision of the ascended Lord, praying.
- Prayer is of supreme importance in the life of the Christian because it is the Christian’s vital breath. The Christian life is a new life - His life, the life of the risen Lord Jesus implanted in us by the Holy Spirit - look up 1 John 5:13-14.
This new life can only be sustained by prayer, and only by prayer can we develop into robust, healthy Christians; without prayer we shall be anaemic, lifeless and ineffective. This means that we should pray privately (Matthew 6:6), frequently (Psalm 55:17), regularly (Daniel 6:10); in times of trouble (Psalm 50:15) - in fact, without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
- Prayer is of supreme importance in the life of the Christian because it is such a glorious privilege to pray.
The Christian life is full of privileges, but can you imagine any greater privilege than to enter into the holiest of all, into the throne room of the King, and to bow in humble worship at His feet, to speak with Him face to face and as friend with friend? How great is this privilege! - look up Hebrews 4:14-16 and 10:19-22.
- Prayer is of supreme importance in the life of the Christian because of all it can accomplish in supplying every need. It is perfectly true that “more things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of”, but think of the wonderful accounts of the power of prayer which have been recorded for us in the Word of God.
How many can you enumerate? In the light of these, is it not amazing that we do not pray more? For the believer, prayer is the divine method for supplying every need - look up Philippians 4:19; and the reason we do not have is because we do not ask - look up James 4:2. If only we would ask, we would receive - look up Luke 11:9-10. What is it you need? Money? A house? Food? Employment? The salvation of some loved one? Then ask!
- Prayer is of supreme importance in the life of the Christian because only through prayer can God’s will be accomplished. His working depends upon our asking – look up James 5:17. He waits to yield to our pleas - look up Ezekiel 36:37. This is how he has ordained it. The purpose of prayer is not to make God alter His will, but to provide Him with a channel through which He may accomplish His will.
2. THE SUPREME IMPORTANCE OF PRAYER IN THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH
It is only necessary to read the Book of Acts, which contains the inspired history of the early Church, to become convinced that the ministry of prayer was foremost in the life and the service of the Church.
The Church was born in a prayer meeting, as we discover by comparing Acts 1:13-14 and 2:1-4.
These early believers also attended the regular prayer meetings in the temple - look up Acts 3:1; moreover, in times of special testings they held special times of prayer - look up Acts 4:23-31; 12:1,5,12 and 17, and 16:25.
They believed that prayer was a priority matter - look up Acts 6:4, and they prayed when they longed that Matthew 9:38 should be fulfilled - look up Acts 13:1-4. Yes, and when they said farewell they prayed - look up Acts 20:36. Years ago, Dr Reuben Archer Torrey said,
- “Prayer is the key that unlocks all the storehouses of God’s infinite grace and power. All that God is, and all that God has, is at the disposal of the pray-er. But we must use the key. Prayer can do anything that God can do, and as God can do anything, prayer is omnipotent.”
May we prove it in our own lives and in the life of the Church.
Sermon: The Prayer Life of a Christian – Colossians 4
And every time we see Jesus praying He was praying with passion.
- In Luke 3:1 at His Baptism – while He was praying the heaven was opened. Passionate prayer opens Heaven.
- In Luke 6:12 before He called His disciples – He spent the whole night in prayer. Passionate prayer gives direction.
- In Luke 9:29 at His transfiguration – And while He was praying, the appearance of His face became different, and His clothing became white and gleaming. Passionate prayer enables us to experience the glory of the Father.
- In John 17 in His high priestly prayer – Passionate prayer impacts the lives of others.
- In Matthew 26:39 in the Garden of Gethsemane – It is only through passionate prayer that we can pour out our hearts to God.
- In Luke 23:24 as He hung on the cross – a life that is lived in passionate prayer will enable us to maintain that spirit, even in the most difficult of circumstances.
Jesus always prayed with passion, because He knew Who it was He was talking to and He knew that prayer to the Father is a powerful thing and not something to take lightly and glibly.
Prayer from the heart, that's what passionate prayer is, it is prayer from the heart not just from the head.
That is how He taught us to pray, not only through His example, but specifically through His teaching Look in Matthew 6:7, in the Sermon on the Mount as Jesus instructs on prayer. It is here that we find the Lord's prayer. But just before the Lord's prayer what does He say?
“When you pray, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do.”
(Jews around the world may now send prayers via fax to the Wailing Wall)What has happened to the Lord's Prayer? People repeat it as if it were some kind of magic mantra that will bless them or move God to hear them.
They are doing with it is exactly what He was instructing us not to do with it.
The gentiles, when they prayed tried, through their religious repetitions, with their chants and their mantras to call forth or impress their Gods. That is not what you do when you are in a relationship.
You don't tell your wife. “I love you, oh I really love you and I just wanted to tell you today that I love you, I'm so glad that I just have this time to just say I love you. Please feed the children, please clean the house and may all go well with you.” Amen
James 5:16 says, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”
III. Pray with thankfulness
Paul never fails to mention it.
- Ephesians 5:20 tells us that thanksgiving is the natural result of being filled with and walking under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
- Philippians 4:6 tells us to be anxious for nothing but in everything we should pray, giving thanks as we make our petitions known to God.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us that giving thanks at all times is God's will for us in Christ Jesus.
- Colossians 3:17 says that as believers everything we say or do should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus as we give thanks to Him.
- 1 Timothy 4:4 – says that food and marriage are good things given to us by God and are to be received with thanksgiving and gratitude.
Expressing gratitude does several things:
- It articulates dependence
- It demonstrates relationship
- It communicates gratitude – proper attitudes
- It generates humility
IV. Pray, making intercession
Intercessory prayer is basically praying for others, it is praying for God's will to be done in the lives of other people.
Intercessory prayers characterized the prayer life of Jesus.
- In Isaiah 53:12 the Bible says, He Himself bore the sins of many and, interceded for the transgressors.”
- Luke 22:23 Jesus tells Peter, “I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail;”
- Luke 23:34 on the cross, Jesus was praying for others when He said, “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”
- John 14:15 Jesus interceded for us, asking the Father to send the Holy Spirit
- John 17:19 He prayed for us, the church, in His High Priestly prayer. Listen to the intercessory nature of this prayer, “I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom Thou has given Me . . . “
- Romans 8:34 tells us that Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father, making intercession for us.
- And Hebrews 7:25 says, “Hence, also, He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”
Jesus prayed intercessory prayers, He was ever praying for others.
Understanding the power of Prayer, Paul wanted to be sure the Colossian Christians understood what it was they were to pray for. He wanted them to pray with a specific purpose. He wanted them to pray for him, asking God to open a door so that they could speak the gospel.
It was the gospel that Paul lived for, it was the preaching of the gospel that had landed Paul in prison, it was the preaching of the gospel that was ever on the forefront of Paul's mind. You see, Paul wanted God's kingdom to expand.
Jesus, he was concerned about others, about their souls, their salvation and their sanctification.
It is instructive to note that Paul is not asking them to pray for his legal situation or that he would be released from prison. He is asking them to pray that he will have the opportunity to lead someone to Christ.
Paul wanted their prayers to be in accordance with God's will not simply after the greedy desires of someone living for this world.
Paul was always concerned with doing the will of God.
How many of our prayers are directed at the expansion of His eternal kingdom rather than the expansion of our petty kingdoms? If you were able to chronicle your prayers, knowing how much time you spent praying for different things, how much of your time would be spent praying for your family, for their health, for the health and well being of your loved ones, compared to how much time you were praying for the lost who are headed to hell?
Intercessory prayer changes things.
Howard Hendricks, who for years taught at the Dallas Theological Seminary and pastored in the area shared this story. He said:Years ago in a church in Dallas we were having trouble finding a teacher for a junior high boys class. The list of prospects had only one name — and when they told me who it was I said, “You've got to be kidding.” But I couldn't have been more wrong about that young man. He took the class and revolutionized it.
I was so impressed I invited him to my home for lunch and asked him the secret of his success. He pulled out a little black book.
On each page he had a small picture of one of the boys, and under the boy's name were comments “having trouble in arithmetic,” or “comes to church against parents' wishes,” or “would to be a missionary some day, but doesn't think he has what it takes.”
“I pray over those pages every day,” he said, “and I can hardly wait to come to church each Sunday to see what God has been doing in their lives.”
You see, when you pray for others, when you pray for God's work to be done, for His will to be accomplished, He will begin to use you and grow you in ways that will astonish those around you.
Sometimes I think we do not become what God wants us to become, because we are too focused on ourselves and not on others.
It is when we pray for others that we will become more Jesus, and as we become more Jesus God will grow us more, show us more, and use us more.
We must pray for others.
Five things that happen when we pray:
1. Prayer internalizes the burden
It deepens our ownership of the burden and our partnership with God. As we pray we begin to become aware of how God might us to answer the prayer, how He might involve us in ways we had not theretofore foreseen.
2. Prayer forces us to wait
Part of prayer is always waiting for God. God has three answers to prayers: Yes, no and wait. Yes and no are no-brainers. But wait, that is tough.
John MacArthur says: “There is a tension between boldness and waiting on God's will. That tension is resolved by being persistent, yet accepting God's answer when it finally comes.
” Instead of getting frustrated that God is not on our schedule, prayer forces us to be on God's timetable.
3. Prayer opens our spiritual eyes
It enables us to get in touch with what God is doing and how He is doing it.
In II Kings 6 you may recall the story of when the Army of Israel was surrounded by their enemies and Elijah's servant got nervous. Verses 15-17 say
Now when the attendant of the man of God had risen early and gone out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was circling the city.
And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” 16So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” And the LORD opened the servant's eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
Prayer opens our eyes, enabling us to see what God is doing, to see things we are blinded to without prayer. That's because prayer is communication. We speak to God, God answers us, speaking to us, showing us.
4. It aligns our heart with God's heart
Adjustment, alignment, setting our thoughts, emotions, actions.
5. Prayer enables us to move forward
Prayer engages God, enables God's people, and enlarges His kingdom. Jesus said, “without Me, you can do nothing.” Once we have prayed we are ready to do anything, until we have prayed we can do nothing, but once we have prayed we can accomplish anything.
What does your prayer life look this morning? Are you persistent in prayer? Are your prayers passionate or are they perfunctory? Are they filled with intensity and fervor or are they weak, timid and lacking faith? What about gratitude? How much time have you spent thanking God for all He has done for you? And who are you praying for? Is there anyone in your life that you are praying will get saved? Is there a burden on your heart to see God's kingdom expand, to see His will done?
Please pray for my job and financial blessings. My hours were cut back and I’m really struggling especially with the holidays. I am also struggling with a difficult person who I’ve tried my best to make amends and peace with. Please pray for restoration of this situation.
Received: December 15, 2018
My husband is currently in a Christian recovery program for alochol. Its a 5 month program. We are about a month in. He doesn't get to leave . We see him at chruch twice a week. We have a 17 month old daughter. And we are just really starting to struggle with being apart.
I know with all of my heart that God wants him to finish what hes started. I need him to. Our family needs him to. Our future is hanging on it. Please just pray for God to give us the strength we need to preserve. Give us peace in our hearts when the feelings of missing each other become almost unbearable.
Just pray for him to help us keep going. To stay the course . And to find joy in this season.
Received: November 12, 2018
Hello my name is Brandy, I've gone threw 8 deaths since 2012. Immediate family members unexpectedly. Witch inturn I sought out Grief Classes that saved my devistated life. I was a homemaker for 20years. My Late father bought my girls and I a home before he passed and opened up my Husband a mechanic garage.
Well long story short. I failed in my roll as a loving and affectionate wife towards my husband and he has fallen for the secretary. (Ok, life is about seasons) change I'm learning. Me husband has totally kicked me the nest before I was able to fly. Keeping the kids house car and moved in the secretary and her kids.
I've married my husband twice without a Divorce and I felt until death due us part would be the end result. However I'm out here struggleing to simply stay harm's way. I never new that this world was so corrupt.
I lived a sheltered life and didn't want for nothing except for the love of my family in return. I'm asking for God's Will be done. I don't know what I'm sopost to learn for this horiffic journey.
I do pray and ask for the UNITY STRENGHT IN NUMNERS FOR “PEACE BE STILL” I'M ASKING OUR LOVING FATHER GOD TO CARRY ME UNTIL IM ANLE TO WALK BESIDE HIM.
AND TO LET MU DAUGHTERS KNOW THAT MOMMY LOVES THEM AND ITS NOT THEIR FAULT.
IM ASKING FOR AN EXTRA SHEILD OF PROTECTION FOR MY GIRLS AND I.
THANK YOU KINDLY IN ADVANCED.
MAY YOU BE BLESSED IN ABOUNDANCE
PRESSED DOWN, SHAKEN, AND RUNITH OVER.
Received: October 17, 2018
Please pray for my life, literally, and the healing of myself as a whole. Way too many things to list. It’s been an extremely tough year, and a half now I guess, for myself that includes illness and severe trauma. I’ve dealt with many of the same kind, but different issues since birth. I just turned 50.
Not how I thought the road was going to go, but it never is, right. Please also pray for each of my family members. I have no support and I live alone. It’s a bad combination. That’s about all I can say about that. God will know what all your prayers are for. Thank you for asking! Many prayers and blessings to each of you.
Love and light to all.
Received: September 24, 2018
Please pray for my marriage to be restored. I pray constantly but I don't know what to do.
Received: September 21, 2018
Pray for husband he’s got health issues with kidneys and pray for me that god will open a door for me to get my GED to help share his word
Received: September 16, 2018
I am in confusion about what to do about my current job and the decision to leave it and whether or not to seek another. I am a church organist/pianist and choir director and while the people in the congregation and the choir are warm and supportive, it is impossible to work with the pastor.
God knows the details that I won't go into here. For more than 40+ years I have served churches in many denominations and have always managed to have a wonderful working relationship with the clergy.
The unremitting stress in working where I am is affecting my health and my blood pressure has become unstable after being well regulated for years. Today I realized that my health is more important than trying to make this work out for me in this church.In finally deciding to resign, soon I noticed my anxiety fading away, so I know this is the right decision for me. Officially I am “retired” (from my *day job*) but can't find peace with that and continue to drive myself to keep working at something I've done professionally since I was 12.
It's part of my identity and hard to see myself letting it go. So I need peace and clarity of mind to pray for discernment about what to do next. Thank you and may God bless you for taking a few moments to lift this up in prayer.
Received: August 25, 2018
My Daughter has a very important job interview Saturday. Please pray this all comes together and she gets the job and there are no obstacles standing in her way.
Received: August 20, 2018
Please pray for my son and my grandchildren. My son has a court date coming. He's in need of a positive outcome.
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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as: Prayers for Courage, Serenity Prayer
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