A Prayer for the Discouraged
By Andy Lee
Discouragement is dangerous. It’s one of the greatest tactics of the enemy, because discouragement ushers in doubt, and doubt makes us question our calling or even worse, our faith. Discouragement stirs frustration and apathy. It whispers to our hearts that we aren’t good enough, nothing will ever change, or we heard God wrong. Discouragement strips our courage to continue, but our God is bigger than discouragement.
God knows the human heart. He knows our weaknesses, and that is why as he prepared Joshua to step into Moses’s shoes to lead the Israelites into the Promise Land, he knew Joshua and the generations of believers to follow would need this command and promise.
But this is not just a command. This is an assurance. Another way to translate this scripture is: “Have I not appointed you?” God was reminding Joshua that God himself had chosen Joshua for this position. God had prepared him. God believed in him, and God would never leave him.
Perhaps this is why, centuries later, as Paul sat chained in a prison cell, discouragement did not silence his pen. Despite his lack of freedom, Paul preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ in prison through his letters to the churches. Chains did not stop him because he never doubted his call nor the presence of Jesus.
Discouragement only holds power over us when our eyes are fixed on failure or disappointment rather than the promised presence of God. When we lean heavily on our feelings rather than Scripture, we risk allowing the giant of discouragement to threaten us as Goliath did David. Remember how David responded to Goliath’s taunts?
David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defiled.” – 1 Samuel 17:45
Not only did David knock down this giant with one smooth stone, but he also used his sword to cut off Goliath’s head. The giant’s lips would never again speak words of discouragement and doubt. This bully was silenced by the power of YHWH working through a little shepherd boy who had been appointed by God.
For those of us discouraged today, may we stand up against discouragement. Let us grab our swords of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and stand up against our feelings. May the Lord help us lean on Scripture and practice His presence in prayer. God has called us. He is with us.
We are so easily discouraged. Social media constantly reminds us that someone else seems to be doing a better job, has a stronger marriage or is a better parent. Our success pales in comparison to others, and even though we know better, we can’t silence the taunts of discouragement weighing down our hearts. We want to quit. We’ve lost our courage, our strength to continue. We need you.
Lord, please speak louder than the doubts. Lead us to scriptures that speak into our circumstances and remind us of your presence and promises. Your Word is active. It’s sharper than any double-edged dagger. Pierce the lies. Silence the foe and clean out the wounds infected with doubt.
We want to serve you in the workplace, in our marriages, and in our families knowing without a doubt that you called us to these places. You will not, and you have not forsaken or left us. Open our receptors to your Presence and our ears to your voice. Forgive us for our doubts and fears and help us trust your truth more than our feelings.
Thank you, Lord, for the trials of faith. Thank you for this discouragement because it draws us to you. It keeps us humble. Just as Joshua couldn’t go into the Promised Land without you, neither can we. On our days when we feel we’re finished and should quit, give us a glimpse of hope. Show us why it’s not time to change directions. Show us you’re here. Don’t let us measure success with the world’s measuring stick. Give us an eternal perspective.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Photo credit: ©SalemDesign/BethanyPyle
Andy Lee is an event speaker, blogger, YouTuber, and award winning author of three books, A Mary Like Me; The Book of Ruth Key-Word Bible Study, and Radiant Influence: How an ordinary girl changed the world. She passionately teaches how to find life in God’s Word in order to live abundantly. You can catch her life giving messages weekly on Instagram and YouTube. She also provides monthly Bible reading plans and articles on her website www.wordsbyandylee.