Category Archives: courage
Faithfulness and Courage in My Life
God of Faithfulness, we confess that in so many ways we’ve failed to live the full and adventurous life of faith that you have prepared for us. We confess that we have not loved you with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and we have not loved our neighbor as ourself. Our lack of faith and courage are displayed more often than we’d like to admit. Almighty God, pour out your spirit of boldness so that we will go forward today in great faith. When the darkness surrounds us, Lord we will look to you for light and follow you deeper into the heart of darkness. We know that you are with us, we believe that you are at work in this place. We reach out to take hold of the courage to have faith that your Kingdom is indeed at hand. O God of Faithfulness, grant that we catch a glimpse of this Kingdom so that we will be encouraged to continue forward until the light of dawn finally opens our eyes to all your greatness.
Spend some time reflecting on the ways in which you have NOT acted out of faith and courage. Then lay these specific things before God in prayer and LEAVE THEM THERE. Once you’ve released these failures to God, spend a few minutes in silence asking God to fill the void left by that baggage with courage and faith to move forward into a new day. Trust that God has the desire and the ability to transform your life in this and many other ways.
Faithfulness and Courage in the face of Poverty and Oppression
God of Faithfulness, the problems of poverty and oppression are so great. We believe that you are greater, help us in our unbelief. God we long for it to be said that no one in our midst was in need. We know that everything we have is yours, give us the faith to use the resources we’ve been entrusted with accordingly. Almighty Father, give us the courage to stand boldly in solidarity with the oppressed against the systems and structures of oppression. In all things, O God of Faithfulness, teach us to align ourselves with your values so that the people we encounter will praise your name.
What would it mean for you to show more solidarity with the poor and oppressed, whether near or far? What is one thing you could do or one thing you could stop doing to stand with the least of these? Whatever this one thing is, no matter how great or small, share it with someone else and ask them to help you put it into practice.
Faithfulness and Courage in the Global Community
God of Faithfulness, we pray for those who are working even now to proclaim hope in the darkest regions of this world. We pray that you strengthen and encourage them. Thank you God for allowing us to live in such a time that we are able to hear stories of transformation from the far reaches of earth. O God of Faithfulness, give us faith to see the ways in which we can lend our voices, our hands and our resources to join with and support these works, and give us courage to do so.
Who do you know (or have heard of) that has stepped out in courage to do something about the darkness and brokenness in some place beyond their hometown? Consider contacting them to ask 1) how you can pray for or encourage them and 2) what brought them to the point that they were willing to take such a bold risk? Spend a few minutes in prayer for such boldness in your own life, whether it leads you to the other side of the world, or the other side of the street.
Faithfulness and Courage in the Local Community
God of Faithfulness, give us eyes to see our community the way that you see it; reveal the thin places where your kingdom is breaking in and shed light on the dark places where you are at work. God Almighty we know that your heart breaks over pain that we can’t even see. We pray that you will embolden us to truly see the ugly things around us and weep with those who are weeping. Give us the faith and the courage to see and to act as you lead. O God of Faithfulness, we know you’re already at work here, we ask that you strengthen us to join you.
Where is God at work in your community? Where do we desperately need God to work in your community? How can you join in? Today, take a few minutes to discuss one or both of these with another person in your community – a neighbor, a friend at a coffee shop, a total stranger…someone.
A Faithful and Courageous Church
God of Faithfulness, your patience exceeds our comfort. We pray to step beyond the boundaries of what we call kindness. Expand our notion of mercy and enable us to turn toward our enemies even when they do not turn toward us. God, protect us from our fear; strengthen us to move forward as your people in this place, full of faith, knowing that you are with us and you are already where we are headed. O God of Faithfulness, give us the courage to move past our desire for self-preservation and trust instead in your provision in the midst of uncertainty.
What specific ways has your church community shown itself faithful and courageous; for what can you celebrate and praise God? What is an area where your church family needs to embrace a courageous trust in God and act out of a concern for the advancement of the Kingdom, perhaps requiring a bold move beyond comfort and security? Lift both of these up to God in prayer and take the opportunity to share them also with your church family.
Rachel and several of the Christ Journey ladies are currently reading a book called, Calm My Anxious Heart: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Contentment, by Linda Dillow. Yesterday evening as we were driving in the car, Rachel shared some thoughts from her reading. The author notes that if we are anxious we haven’t turned our fears over to God; we aren’t trusting.
Over the last few years I have really asked a lot of this wonderful woman. She is a self-proclaimed homebody who isn’t really a fan of change or risky endeavors. And yet several years ago, after we prayed and talked about it, I asked her to be willing to pack up (with a toddler and young baby) and move several hours away to south Louisiana, with only a 1 year contract guaranteed…and no idea what would happen next. And she did it. A year later, though we were far from home and family, I asked her to stay in the New Orleans area for a couple more years. And she did it.
When Rachel agreed to marry me back in 2000, I was preparing for ministry in established churches which, for all of its issues, was (we both thought) a fairly stable job with somewhat predictable expectations and a paycheck that comes around at the same time and in the same amount with regularity. But a few years ago, after she had followed me to Louisiana, I asked her to be willing to give up even the illusion of stability and move with me back to Texas but into the risky life of church planting. And she did it.
…And now I’ve asked her to support and help me in the starting of a new business. And she’s doing it.
If you ask her, she’ll tell you (as she said to me again yesterday) that its not that impressive because she’s been afraid the whole time and has always been at least a little uncomfortable and anxious. Though these are things that the book she’s reading says means she isn’t trusting God, my wonderful faith-filled wife has never let her fears keep her from moving forward when we believed the Lord was calling us to. She may have been anxious, but she stepped out anyway. She commented tonight that she’s still afraid, but believes that if she didn’t trust God in the midst of what we’ve been through there is no way she would have been able to cope without some pretty heavy medication.
Courage isn’t the absence of fear, its the willingness to do what is required even in the face of fear. Though I’m more introverted than many folks, I am certainly more of a risk taker than Rachel. This doesn’t make me more courageous. If anything, she is the one who has shown the greater amount of faith and courage in her willingness to constantly dwell in a land which seems so hostile to her gentle nature.
So today, on Mother’s Day, I thank God for the mother of my children. I stand humbled in the shadow of this woman whose faith dwarfs my own. My prayer for each of us as we move through this following week, dwelling on prayers for faithfulness and courage, is that we will find the courage to continue walking with God through lands in which we never quite get comfortable…until the day we look around and realize we’re home at last.
God of Faithfulness, we acknowledge that even in the midst of our unfaithfulness you have remained faithful throughout the ages. We praise you God because you have shown us a better way. When we are weak, your strength calls us to that which is beyond our own ability; when we are afraid, your courage emboldens us; when we lack faith, your continued faithfulness lights the path. Teach us, O God of Faithfulness, to embrace the Way that originates in you alone.
Where has God proven faithful in your life recently? Spend a few minutes before bed tonight reflecting on last week – where can we point to the faithfulness of God, perhaps in spite of our unfaithfulness?