Courage Under Fire: Open My Eyes, Lord
by Marilynn Chadwick We live in troubling times. No wonder many wrestle with anxiety. Let’s be honest. There’s no shortage of things to worry about. So how do we build courage to help us face the things we fear? One way I’ve learned to calm my anxious heart is by watching for signs of God at work all around me. “Keeping watch,” I like to call it. John Wesley believed it was important to be on the lookout for God and encouraged his early followers to practice the "discipline of watching." Here are three ways we can pray for God to open our eyes and increase our courage:
Open my eyes to Your WORD. I find it helps to get alone with the Lord and take my fears to him. Here’s my simple prayer: Open my eyes to see wonderful things in your Word (Psalm 119:18 TLB). I ask God to reveal promises that speak to my concerns. As one friend puts it, "I glance at the problem, but gaze on God's promise." God’s Word ignites faith (Romans 10:17 NIV) and faith is the antidote to fear.
Open my eyes to Your POWER. When traveling through a Middle Eastern refugee camp, I saw firsthand how God is doing amazing things in dangerous places. Several refugees even shared they had seen Jesus in dreams and visions! Though many had lost everything, their faces were alive with hope. Somehow, their joyous faith calmed my own anxieties as I thought, “If God can work in a war zone, surely he can deal with my daily problems.”
Open my eyes to Your BIG PICTURE. Let’s reflect on the biblical account of the massive enemy army that surrounded the prophet Elisha. His young assistant was terrified until Elisha calmed him down with these words: “Don’t be afraid,” he told him. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed, ‘O LORD, open his eyes and let him see!’ The LORD opened the young man's eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire (2 Kings 6:8-17).
Dear friend, be encouraged as you think about those invisible warriors—God’s angel armies—ready to do battle on your behalf. And don’t forget to be on the lookout for signs of God at work in the ordinary. If you want to increase your courage, remember to keep watch!