A Prayer For You: For Courage

With its distinctive navy blue ribbon, the George Cross medal is the highest award for bravery, granted in recognition of “acts of greatest heroism or of the most courage in circumstances of extreme danger”. Few have received it and only 12 of its individual recipients* are alive today. The actions of these people, who despite the wounds they suffered, acted selflessly saving the lives of others, are worthy of our deepest respect, gratitude, and admiration. One thing is certain, they are worthy heroes and the world is a better place because of them.

But not many of us find ourselves in such grave circumstances, where acts of heroism are possible. Our safety-conscious culture reminds us constantly of the importance of assessing and minimising risk, and not putting ourselves in danger. But the fact remains that the world is often a dangerous place, and life is fragile. But when you read their stories you discover that our heroes are ordinary people, who when faced with extraordinary circumstances are so motivated by their inner beliefs and what they value most, that they feel compelled to act in spite of their fears.

In these increasingly technology-dependent times, where we share so much of our lives online, and we watch and listen to the latest influencers alongside news outlets and our own social media feeds, the pressure to fit in with what everyone else is doing is getting stronger by the day. In this post-modern, post-Christian world, the outcomes of reacting ‘wrongly’, or out-of-step with current trends are becoming swifter and more extreme. For many, the threat of being ‘cancelled’ is as real as is the risk of having our employment terminated. Sometimes it seems that courage is needed, just to hold a world-view that varies in any way from the ones we are expected to accept.

To act with integrity and to speak honestly and openly in the world, has always required courage. Whatever we believe, there will inevitably be others who understand things differently. Our personal preferences and passions are always important to us, but not everyone is equally animated by the same things, and so discerning truth, and connecting and communicating with others consistently requires, care, thought, and tact.

As individuals, very few of us will be awarded the George Cross. But courage is needed so often in the everyday demands of living. Many circumstances we face, can cause us to feel overwhelmed, or afraid. Illness, opposition, and hardship can all present a challenge too great, or a demand too difficult. Interactions with other human beings, or leaving the safety of our own home, for some of us can require strength that we do not always have. The willpower to not reach for the substance or snack that will make us feel better in the moment may seem beyond us. And, often these hard moments come when we are at our lowest, exhausted by the act of living, made weary by all the other challenges we face.

If this is you, then please let me pray for you, and with you, because courage is something we all need.

Let’s pray:

Father God, We come to you in prayer because we know that you are a prayer-answering God. We ask, today, for courage, because we know that our own strength is often, not enough.

Father, we thank you for Jesus, who spoke truth, faced rejection, injustice, humiliation, torture, and death with incredible courage. And thank you, Jesus, for your promise to be with us and never leave us through all the trials and challenges of this life. With you Jesus, we know that we are never alone, and in you, we find a friend who has lived through circumstances more arduous than our own and that gives us strength.

We ask for courage. Courage to overcome our fears, courage to live life the best we can, and courage to ask for help when we feel weak; from you, and from other people. Help us, Father, to trust and to rely on you more. Help us to let go of the security we feel holding on to spaces and substances that make us feel safe, and give us the courage that comes from knowing that your arms are strong enough to hold us and your love for us is deeper than we can ever know.

Help us to live Lord, in a way that brings honour and pleasure to you. Help us to discern when to keep silent and when to speak, and in these moments guide us to the truth you would have us share. Give us the courage to say the things, that though they may make us feel vulnerable, allow us to bridge the gap between us and someone else, and in these moments help us to bring your understanding, healing, and hope.

We ask, Father, for grace and courage in moments of crisis. Courage to act for the good of others, and the grace that restrains our eagerness to be admired, so our desire to impress the crowd diminishes and our actions become a demonstration of your love, and compassion acting through us.

When we are faced with illness or a diagnosis that we fear, for ourselves and for the people we love, we ask Father for the courage that living each day to the full requires and courage to continue living with hope, for healing, and for better times ahead. When we live with constant pain, we ask again Lord for healing, but also the courage to make the most of what we can do and the resolve to hold on to you no matter how much it hurts.

And Father, for those who are facing death, and who know their days of this life are limited, we ask for strength for them and for their friends and family. We ask that you will be close, and if they do not yet know you, that you will reveal yourself to them so that in you they will find hope in this life and for the life to come. Give them, and us, courage Lord. In Jesus name,


Be encouraged.

If you’d like prayer for something else or if you need or would prefer personal one-to-one prayer, as some of you do already, then feel free to get in touch by direct message or through the contact form on our website.

Or, if you’d just like to know more about Dales Faith, then please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

(*Three Collective Awards have been made, the most recent being to the NHS of the UK, who received the George Cross in July 2021 for the countless selfless acts of so many who cared for us through the COVID 19 pandemic. The George Cross  was also awarded to the Royal Ulster Constabulary, and the people of the Island of Malta. For more information about the GC please visit: https://vcgca.org/our-people )

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