Say Your Prayers
"Courage is fear that has said its prayers." – Dorothy Bernard
This quote makes me believe that for courage to be present, fear must exist.
But when fear covers its head with a shroud of prayer, God's hand is released, whether visible or not, to do a greater work.
“Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
He rises to show His compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice,
Blessed are all who wait for him!
O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious He will be when you cry for help! As soon as He hears, He will answer you. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your Teacher will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see Him. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” (Isaiah 30:18-21)
As soon as He hears, He will answer you. An astounding promise! Our only pitfall is expecting that answer to be a resounding, “Yes!”, or other such clear-cut replies. And when we find that our fleece remains wet with the dew, and we are afraid to talk Him down from fifty faithful to ten, while the hands on the clock stubbornly tick-tock forward, the hope wanes. "A sign!" we beg. "A sign!"
And fear takes over.
“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)
Do you see, dear reader? It does not say, “So that we may obtain exactly what we are asking for!” Receiving mercy and finding grace. Just what we needed.
And lest that little voice is whispering into your ear right now, “Prayer is so trite!”, please remember that it is everything. Paul begged for it – “Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” (Ephesians 6:19-20) Twice, he asks the church to pray against his fear! Twice!
And directly preceding Paul's request is this:
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints." (Ephesians 6:10-18)
If armor and weapons are our defense, then the linen undergarment, prayer, prevents the chafing that comes from throwing on our armor without a proper covering. Every situation, every decision, every fear demands the covering of prayer. It is the alpha and the omega of our circumstances; beginning with fear and petition, ending in thanksgiving.
Go ahead; let fear drive you to your knees. But while you're down there, say your prayers.