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Asking God for Courage

As I studied for last week’s post, I learned that Elijah was a pretty obscure guy. There’s no backstory on him. We don’t know if he came from a line of brave men or a band of gypsies. He was a man with a nature like ours and he faced a very evil king with a word from the Lord.

How did he get so brave?

In this video, well known authors and pastors, Francis Chan and David Platt discuss the gift of courage given to us by God.

Chan and Platt are two of today’s heroes of the faith. And they humbly admit that God gives them the courage and they need to pray for it more.

They explain that Paul asked people to pray for him to be bold in his presentation of the Good News! He wrote:

And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should. Ephesians 6:19-20

Wow. I suppose I am guilty of admiring his brave ministry without considering that we share the same source of courage. I don’t think to ask God for courage and I don’t think to ask you to pray for me to have courage either.

In Acts 4, Paul and his friends prayed for boldness. God answered their prayer in a BIG way:

And when they had prayed, the place in which they were assembled was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they continued to speak the Word of God with freedom and boldness and courage. Acts 4:31 AMP

Oh friends — why wouldn’t God answer our request to be courageous in telling others about His greatness and love for them? He is ready for us to ask and He is able to deliver.

Will fear of the assignment keep us from asking? Maybe … Maybe that is exactly why I am not asking Him to make me more courageous. What would I need to give up? Would other people think I’m a freak? I’m already wondering what people think about the unending Jesus stuff I put on Facebook. Are they rolling their eyes and saying “Enough already, Jennifer!”

But what about the bold and courageous lives that Francis Chan and David Platt are leading? I really get fired up when I hear of their encounters of reaching out to people and helping them know Jesus.

Author and pastor, Mark Batterson nails it for us in this quote:

“Your greatest regret at the end of your life will be the lions you didn’t chase. You will look back longingly on risks not taken, opportunities not seized, and dreams not pursued. Stop running away from what scares you most and start chasing the God-ordained opportunities that cross your path.” — In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day

Those dreams, opportunities and risks could be desires the Lord has given us. He supplies the idea, the courage to get it done, and the tenacity to follow through with it. He’s a faithful God who supplies all our needs – and we are the ones He plans to use to supply another person’s need.

We need courage because the world needs Jesus.

We need courage because God’s plans to prosper us (Jer. 29:11) still include trips to the lion’s den, the fiery furnace, the other side of town, another country, the people sitting next to us who have erected a wall in their hearts and more.

Prayer Prompt

Lord fill our hearts with courage. Infuse us with your strong and courageous Spirit.

Nothing is impossible with You. You can make the meekest one of us to be bold and brave like David as he fought Goliath. We are so small, but You are a infinitely bigger than all the powers that could ever come against us. 

These are the days of Elijah. Evil rulers are slaying Christians. Evil forces are covering our land with darkness. Raise us up Lord. Use us as Your mighty army to take back Your land.

In Jesus, I pray.


Are you praying for courage? and praying courageous prayers?  is fear holding you back?

Please share your experience with us in the comment section below.

Courageous Prayers: Elijah’s & Yours

Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. James 5:17 ESV

  Elijah was a man James 5:17

This is my new memory verse.

Want to join me in meditating on the fact that we, like the prophet Elijah, have the same ability to pray powerful prayers that God will answer?

Last week in the ladies Bible study that I attend, our worship leader prepared us to sing You Make Me Brave with the story of Elijah’s bravery. Do you remember how he stood before King Ahab, God’s enemy?

 “Ahab did more to provoke the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him.” 1 Kings 16:33

Not only was Ahab ruling a nation without God’s ways or pleasure, he married Jezebel, the daughter of Ethbaal. This was an equally yoked marriage of the evil kind! Do you see what I see in that name? My study bible notes indicate that Ethbaal means “Baal is alive” and that he was a priest to two other gods. He was also the reigning king of Phoenicia.

Baal, the god they worshipped, means “lord, husband, owner.” Wow! This is an exact counterfeit of our relationship to Christ – our Lord, our Bridegroom. Baal was the storm god supposedly in charge of delivering the rain needed for the crops. (*MacArthur Study Bible notes -1 Kings 16:31-32) Another counterfeit! – God is our provider, but these people wanted Baal to provide!

Elijah had the courage to pray (declare) and represent God face to face with this rotten ruler with super evil allies like Ethbaal.

Who in your life, in this nation and in this global economy would you compare to Ahab? I’ve bet you’ve got a few in mind. I’m thinking of a few individuals I know, a person who was recently jailed for trafficking children in Louisiana, and this ISIS group who freely beheads innocent people. Am I brave enough to stand in front of these souls with a message straight from God? Am I listening to God so much that I would hear Him tell me to go? Would you?

This verse (and the song) is echoing in my mind:

A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Isaiah 40:3 ESV, emphasis mine

Elijah, like John the Baptist, was an obedient voice preparing the way of the Lord for God’s people. They had lost their way and he was willing to go against a really BAD dude so they (Israelites) could see God as more powerful than any other god. How could he have that much courage?

I believe Elijah’s courage came from his confidence in God! Elijah must have had a deep and abiding relationship with God. How else would he have been inspired to address an evil king? How else did he know to declare there would be no rain for three years?

You and I have a relationship with the God who gave Elijah words to declare – to pray – over a nation. Is God inviting you to pray or declare His truth over someone, a city, or even a nation?

We can easily get discouraged with thoughts like: “I don’t know what to pray”, “the world is in such a mess – where do I start?”, and “when will I’ll have time to pray?” Those are the enemy’s arrows aimed at distracting you from carrying out God’s plan, His will. This enemy is the author of confusion and he is especially interested in distracting you from praying.

Here’s how I am learning to deal with those distractions when I get the prompting or invitation to pray. I simply reply to God, “How do you want me to pray for _________” and then I leave the answer up to Him. Sometimes it takes just a few minutes for me to have a thought on how to pray for them. Sometimes it’s hours or days later. But God faithfully answers that simple prayer. It doesn’t seem like a super courageous move on my part. But there is courage in relying on God to show you how to pray.

How does the enemy discourage you from praying and relying on God? Where is he calling you to courageously declare His name and faithful character? I’m praying for both of us to respond obediently and courageously.

New Blog Series: Courageous Prayers

The ministry of prayer needs a steady

The ministry of prayer needs a steady dose of confidence in God and courage to believe God will respond to us. We have a persistent enemy who knows what God will do when you and I pray.

This summer at Prayerfully Speaking, we hosted a Confidence Revival focused on our confidence in God. If you missed it here’s a quick overview:

When Your Fragile Confidence Meets God’s Power

Freedom from Doubt, Fear & Pride: Praying for a Confidence Revival

Secure Your Marriage with Confidence in God

10 Simple Prayers for Your Marriage

God Can Restore Our Brokenness

Your Confidence in God Regardless of the Obstacles

Act Like God is Telling the Truth

Confidence in God’s Name

Confident Prayers: Moving Beyond the “If You Can” Plea

Surrendering Our Thoughts of Defeat and Rejection: a Prayer

Wrestling with Confidence and the Need to Be Relevant

Calling on the Name of the Lord: Danny’s Testimony

Our confidence in God should make us courageous in this world. Our next series, Courageous Prayer, is designed to encourage me and you to step into the wow world of trusting God and praying bold prayers and seeing God answer them.

courageous prayer blog series

God is a history making, life-changing God. He has proven His ability to do what humans find impossible. But …. He gives us the opportunity to be a part of the supernatural events He is waiting to release in response to our simple acts of prayer.

Today’s dose of courage comes from pastor and author, Jim Cymbala, and the IF:Pray initiative. In the first part of this video, you’ll learn how you can be a part of an international call to prayer on September 23rd. Jim Cymbala’s teaching on prayer and how it has been the lifeblood of Brooklyn Tabernacle’s ministry starts at the 4 minute 30 second mark.

May God infuse us both with even more courage to pray for the family, local and national situations that concern us most!


Prayer for New Brides: the Book Cover

August of 2014 has been a beautiful whirlwind for me. So many changes and some really cool firsts for me. How about you?

I’m excited to share with you two big beautiful wows. And I would love to hear about yours (in the comment section). [Read more...]

Her Next Brave Adventure: Pray for Meghan

They were brave and able warriors
(1 Chronicles 12:21 – Living Bible)

I want you to be a part of this brave and able warrior’s story. Meghan Scholtens has impressed me for years with her passion for Africa and her fearlessness in serving there. I asked her to share her latest adventure with us so we can join her mission by praying for her. 

meghan uganda university

My name is Meghan Scholtens and I will be a junior in college this year. I attend John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, but for the Fall semester of 2014 I will be going to college in Mukono, Uganda at a school called Uganda Christian University. [Read more...]

Praying for Others; a Healing Help for Your Soul

I have discovered that one of the VERY best ways to lift my despairing soul is to pray for others. When I first started serving in our church’s prayer room, the enormous stack of prayer cards scared me. My brain whispered to my heart, “This is going to be so depressing.” But as I finished the hour praying for other’s needs, I felt lighter. After a month of weekly visits to our prayer room, my heart and mind agreed: Praying for others brings healing to my soul.

praying for others makes me feel better

The Bible gives us evidence that this practice of praying (serving others) brings great reward. Click on over to Church4Chicks where I share the rest of the story.

Click here to Read More 


Calling on the Name of the Lord: Danny’s Testimony

Where does our confidence in God come from? It comes from hearing God’s Word.

 “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17

That simple truth is further explained this way: “The beginning, progress, and strength of faith is by hearing. But it is only hearing the word, as the word of God that will strengthen faith.” 

Prepare to have your faith strengthened. In this testimony you will hear how God reached Danny in his darkest days. [Read more...]

Know Who Your Husband is to God

This post is an excerpt from my upcoming Book: Prayers for New Brides: Putting on the Armor After the Wedding Dress. It was featured at StartMarriageRight.com.


How do you see your husband? What do you see in him? What do you hope for him?

See what God sees in your husband

Do you look at him and see your personal need meeter? bill payer? listener?

When he speaks to you, do you hear his interests? his hopes and dreams?

When you hope for something for your husband, is it that he will change, be more ______, or less ______? Do you hope for a better job for him? Do wish he could be a better ________? [Read more...]

Wrestling with Confidence and the Need to be Relevant

As a blogger and author, one of the mental battles I fight is the fear that what I do is irrelevant. Will anyone read what I write?

Other devoted followers of Jesus successfully reach many more people with their blogs and books. So why me? Why does the world need to hear from both of us, all of us? Should I keep writing?

Then of course there is the pressure to be relevant from a publisher. They look at how many people read your blog, your e-newsletter, and follow you on social media – aka – how many people are ready to buy your book.

There it is – my lack of confidence and desire to be “somebody” – exposed like the dirty floor of the restaurant kitchen floor. [Read more...]

Surrendering Our Thoughts of Defeat and Rejection, a Prayer

Abba Father,

I am leaning in to You – the lifter of our heads. I bring to You the sense of defeat and rejection we feel today (or often).

You know all about it. You know the root. You know the influence it has on us.

We reject it today in the name of Jesus.

We are Your sons and daughters, walking in victory, vessels of Your glory.

vessels of God's glory

We are here to reveal Your glory. We are simple, small, but Yours. [Read more...]