Most Beloved Savior,
In this era of increasing hostility toward Christ and His people, we find ourselves clinging to the Rock of our salvation ever more so. When all other ground is sinking sand, you are the only solid ground on which we stand. Our impoverished souls pour out to you the depths of our agony that only you can hear, only you can know and only you can soothe. The reservoirs of our courage can only be filled by your Spirit, so help us God.
When courage is under siege by the enemy, grant to your persecuted church the solemn determination to be steadfast and unflinching in their courage. Give them confidence that you will graciously lift them on eagle’s wings over rough and thorny places because only you can give them the ability to encounter danger and difficulty with firmness and resolve to resist fear, to master fear.
In the depths of their agony, bring to their minds recollection of your wondrous works – your dealings with Pharaoh and the red sea, the hook you pierced into leviathan’s jaw, the glorious victory you gave to Joshua in the hands of the evil and daunting King Og of Bashan, the ravens you called to feed Elijah at Kishon Brook, the miracle you performed on Mount Carmel, and so many more, henceforth their horizon is enveloped with courage as they stand in awe of your supreme power.
Should adversity flood them, should their heart and flesh fail, should their troubles drive them to the cliff of despair, rescue them, Lord! Turn their eyes upon Jesus, cover them with your pinions, plunge them into your deepest sea, and be lost in the vastness of your love! Lift up your countenance and smile upon them when the enemy frowns on them. Assure them that they are your beloved ones in whom you are well pleased when the world seeks to crucify them. Help them stand firm, let nothing move them (1 Cor. 15:18). Then, only then, will their faith arise again, and courage be built up again.
Help them to wait on you, the God of their salvation, perfectly at rest, even when foes surround, and darkness envelops them. As they knock and wait in silence, with fervent pleading, and strong confidence, incline your ears to them. Fix their sights on the eternal reward, straining ahead with great anticipation, that the crown of glory will eclipse the crown of thorns that prick their temples. Assure them that the heavy load that is determined to rest comfortably on their backs is a cross of which Christ carries the heaviest end of it. Henceforth, courage is revived, and all hope is resurrected once more!
Fill their hearts and lips with praise as you turn the prison into a paradise of worshipping our Triune God! May your mercy be turned into praises, that their endless songs of hymns and spiritual songs will echo through the cold and dark hallways, shining light into darkness! Jehovah shades us with his right hand, that the sun cannot strike us by day nor the moon by night. He can deliver us in our afflictions but if in your wise counsel, chooses not to, may you help your persecuted church to be well content to be a sacrifice for Christ’s sake. Though you slay us, yet we will trust you (Job 13:15).
Most of all, you are the epitome of courage, Lord. The light that shines from your courage is like the sunrays falling upon the valley below, unveiling the hidden beauty of the rugged landscape in all its splendor. How we long to be like you. Boldly, you went to the cross, committing yourself to the Father’s will in the face of tumultuous hostility and antagonism. You drew your courage from faith in your purpose and in what the Father had promised to do. Thereby, you rested completely in the victory that God would accomplish at the cross – defeating Satan, the world and sin! Hear the cries of our hearts for our brothers and sisters who are suffering for you in many places in this world, do not forsake them, and grant to them this bright courage that can only be found in you alone. Amen.
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