Anchor Prayer: Courage | 2 Timothy 1:5-14
I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.
2 Timothy 1:5-14| ESV
A second prayer to help anchor us – this one to keep us from running aground on the reefs of fear.
If wisdom is seeing the wide angle view on life and what specific actions or steps we need to take, then courage is the ability to actually take those steps. It’s one thing to see what needs to be done, another thing entirely to do what needs to be done. Then again, from a biblical perspective, these are both connected, the one naturally flowing into the other, what we see leading to what we do.
Fear paralyzes and stymies us;
courage unleashes us.
So the question is, what is that feeds our fears – and what unleashes courage within us?
While we can contrast fear and courage, it is perhaps crucial for us to realize the kinship between fear and courage. “Fear and courage are brothers” is not just an old proverb, it’s an ageless truth. Piers Anthony catches it: “Being terrified but going ahead and doing what must be done —that’s courage. The one who feels no fear is a fool, and the one who lets fear rule him is a coward.”
Last week we prayed the anchoring prayer of wisdom – and if the “fear of the Lord” is the beginning of wisdom, then it’s clear that “fear” is not a cringing, immobilizing fear of the divine, but a “fear” that serves as a deep catalyst for moral action. Clearly, all “fear” is not the same “fear.” “God has not given us a spirit of fear, says Paul; “Perfect love drives out fear,” muses John.
This week we explore the anchor prayer of courage – and we’ll do this by reflecting upon four “anchor” stories illustrating this ageless dance between fear and courage. Once again, we are departing from the usual flow. You will be given a passage to reflect upon and then challenged to listen and write your own musing, observations, and thoughts. It’s the discipline of journaling.
Be not afraid.
Let your thoughts tumble onto page through pen or pencil.
Don’t try to be profound or polished or right.
Simply listen, and allow thoughts, whether many or few, to tumble out onto the page. Try it. Read. Reflect. Pause. Listen. Write. Or even Draw, Paint. And if you are engaging in this study with a small group, be bold and share something that you saw through the point of that pen, pencil, or brush…
Where in your life do you feel paralyzed by fear? When most recently did you overcome your fears and speak or act in spite of them? What happened? What was the catalyst for that courage?
Living God, I invite you to take hold of my life today for your purposes.
Please fill me with the Living Water of your Holy Spirit that as you pour me out:
my motives may be rooted in your Love,
my decisions may be rooted in your Wisdom,
and my actions may be rooted in your Courage.