31 Prayers for Courage

The first in a series of month-long devotionals.

Timely devotional offers Christians guidance on prayer and supplication.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6)

Merriam-Webster defines courage as the “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.” That sounds like the typical Christian’s life, right? Courage is something that we want, but often don’t have. Our present circumstances may require us to have a courageous heart, but we may find ourselves lacking in that department.

Equipped for Courage

And that is where God comes in: by responding to our prayers and petitions, He equips ordinary people to do extraordinary things. By your personal definition of extraordinary, those feats may not be big in anyone else’s eyes, but they are to you – instances where you have overcome doubt, fear or despair, and gained an important spiritual victory.

A number of years ago I was taught to pray the scriptures. That means when praying, I may include an appropriate verse as I praise God or ask for His guidance in a matter. I believe that incorporating scripture is important as it serves to do two things: it speaks truth as the word of God is true. It also serves to build up our faith, giving us the courage to face difficult circumstances.

31 Prayers

Author Nathaniel Turner is a Baylor University graduate with a degree in Classical Philology and Religious Studies who has been writing month-long devotionals based on prayer. These daily prayers cover topics such as healing, marriage and courage, the latter book sent to me by the author for my review. Turner’s “31 Prayers for Courage” is a 94-page CreateSpace self-published book that is available on Amazon ($8.99 — paperback; 0.99 — Kindle). You can treat it as a quick read or reflect on a verse and accompanying prayer each day.

The simplicity of Turner’s book allows for the reader to easily include a daily read in with his or her devotions. Eleven categorical chapters featuring two to three devotions each cover a variety of topics including “courage when facing difficulty” and “courage when feeling weak.” For example, when needing strength, Turner directs the reader to Daniel 10:12 which reads, “Then he said to me, “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words.”

He then adds a prayer:

Dear Lord,

I pray to you humbly, O God. I am one of unclean lips, from a people of unclean lips, I am not worthy to untie the thong of your sandal. I am weak and afraid, for I seek understanding for your will for me, but I doubt that I am capable of carrying out. Hear my words, O LORD, as you heard the words of your servant Daniel, and give me strength to hear and to understand and to obey.

In Thy Son’s Name I pray, AMEN.

Precise Prayers

Of course, you don’t need to repeat these prayers verbatim. Rather, there are two principles at work here: each prayer is designed to show you how to approach God while demonstrating that long-winded prayers are not necessary or even more effective.

Indeed, most every prayer offered by Turner is short, filling one-quarter to one-half of a page, except for the tribulation prayer which is the longest and takes up a full page. If you have ever been sorely tested, then you’ll understand why this prayer is Turner’s longest.

In these trying times, we all need courage, usually to do the right thing. “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5) Praying enables us to access God’s unlimited power, giving us the courage to face each circumstance with godly confidence.

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