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Grant Us Wisdom, Grant Us Courage

As I was praying for a friend, the chorus to an old hymn came to mind:

“Grant us wisdom, grant us courage for the facing of these days…”

It summed up what I was praying, but it made me think: how often do we pray just the opposite? How often are our prayers really composed of the plea:

"Answer my questions and get me out of this problem!”

Praying for wisdom is not the same as praying for answers. When we pray for wisdom, we are asking God to grant us the discernment to make wise choices. When we pray for answers, we are asking God to simply “tell us what to do.” Children need to be told what to do. Adults understand the necessity and accept the responsibility of making wise choices.

Again, praying for courage is not the same as praying for God to take the problem away. It is certainly appropriate to pray for deliverance (the psalms are full of such prayers), but we have to recognize with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that:

“Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up” (Daniel 3:17-18).

These three men knew that God could deliver, but they also drew on courage, knowing that God might not choose to deliver them. And in fact, they needed that courage, because while God did finally deliver them, they were first bound and thrown into the fire!

Let us learn to pray for ourselves and others that God will truly:

“Grant us wisdom, grant us courage for the facing of these days…”

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