4 Prayers for Courage to Do the Right Thing

4 Prayers for Courage to Do the Right Thing

The Bible instructs us to make every effort to do what is right in the eyes of God. But God’s Word does not just give us instructions, it shows us by example how to do the right thing. Through real stories of everyday people like you and me, we can gain strength and courage to do what God commands us to do.

Overall, the Bible is clear that we do not have to act alone in doing what is right (2 Timothy 1:7). God is with us, and His Spirit enables us to do what we cannot do on our own. Yet, it takes faith and trust, and we often have to battle against our own selfish desires, wanting to take the easy way out, or wanting to stay comfortable. These are temptations we can work to overcome.

Here are four lessons and prayers, through the examples of Moses, Joshua, Abigail, and the Good Samaritan, you can use when you need to have courage to do the right thing in your community or workplace, for your family or for the wider world.

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1. Moses: Courage to Follow Your Calling

Man walking through a cornfield

Often God calls us to do things for which we feel ill-equipped. We need courage when faced with tasks that seem beyond our abilities. When we follow through, we gain confidence in God. We also have the joy of seeing His power at work.

When our knees are shaking or we are apprehensive at the prospect of serving God in the way He is asking us to, we can look at Moses, who felt the same way but is a fine example of a courageous character.

At the outset, Moses made excuses and questioned God’s calling on his life (Exodus 3:11-4:13). His faith looked shaky and his courage non-existent. Moses seemed far from equipped and he assumed the Israelites would feel the same way about him. Yet, he followed through. And at the end of his life, we see a man with a strong faith and deep trust in God.

Moses stepped out and spoke up to Pharaoh, even though he felt unable to speak eloquently. He led the people faithfully, even though they were fickle. Moses had the humility and confidence to follow through on his calling and, even though he didn’t get to enter the Promised Land, he had the joy of speaking with God face to face.

What is God calling you to do, for which you feel ill-equipped? Whatever is beyond your ability is within God’s ability. Step out in faith and trust God to do what you cannot do. Use this prayer to help you.

Lord God, help me to remember that when you call me, you will equip me—that I should not look at the task in front of me but keep my eyes firmly fixed on you. Forgive me when I have made excuses or questioned You. Today, I will have courage to do the right thing. I will stay true to the task of trusting You. Lord God, I want to have the joy of seeing You at work. I want to marvel at seeing Your power at work through me, your humble servant. Thank you for giving me the privilege of serving you.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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2. Joshua: Courage to Lead Well

leader teaching team about following

All of us are leaders in some capacity. We don’t have to be a president or prime minister to think that having the courage to lead well applies to us. As a father or a mother, you can be a leader in your home. As a woman or a man, you can be a leader in your workplace. You may be a leader in your church or community, too.

Many leaders in the Bible needed courage to lead in the face of physical danger. We may not face the same physical dangers today, especially in the western world, but we can still learn from such leaders, one of whom is Joshua.

Joshua had the courage to lead the people into the Promised Land as God commanded, and take possession of it. How did Joshua have such great bravery in the face of an enormous task? Many things leading up to that time had given him the fearlessness to move forward.

Joshua had previously led a battle and seen God give him success (Exodus 17:8-13). Moses had been an encourager and mentor to Joshua since his youth (Exodus 24:13). But, most importantly, Joshua trusted and had faith in God. Joshua had seen God give him victory in the past which gave him courage for future tasks.

As a leader, Joshua followed God’s leading and had courage to do the right thing in the face of danger.

Where has God given you success in the past that gives you courage to lead in the right way today? Are you focusing on faith and trust in God as you step out to lead others? Who can come alongside you to give you encouragement or even mentor you?

Lord, where I am a leader in my home, at work, my church or elsewhere, I ask you to help me lead well. Give me courage to lead in the right way and do the right things. Lord God, help me always to remember, that you go before me and you will be with me; you will never leave me nor forsake me. Help me to know I need never be afraid; I do not need to be discouraged even in the face of what seems dangerous or risky.

In Jesus’ name, Amen

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3. Abigail: Courage to Act Quickly

Teenage girls praying together

Sometimes we need the courage to act quickly to do the right thing. Knowing when to act, rather than standing by and doing nothing, is important. Making sure we do the right thing when we act is also crucial. We don’t want to be left thinking “I should have, or should not have, done that.”

On one hand, it’s easy to act impulsively when our emotions are running high. But, this can lead to disastrous results, especially if we are angry or upset. On the other hand, we can hesitate to take action, which often leads to not acting at all.

In the story of Abigail, we see that wisdom precedes the courage to act quickly in doing the right thing.

Abigail was a woman who acted quickly and wisely. She did the right thing in the heat of the moment and not only averted disaster coming on her household, but stopped David from taking revenge and doing the wrong thing (1 Samuel 25:18-34). Abigail faced David with humility and fearlessness. As a woman acting alone without her husband’s knowledge (1 Samuel 25:19), she went against the social expectations of her time.

The Bible encourages us to ask God for wisdom. And God freely gives wisdom when we ask for it.

Today or tomorrow you may face a situation where you need to have the courage to act quickly and do the right thing. Waste no time in asking God for His wisdom that is so much better than worldly wisdom.

Lord God, I want to not only have the courage to act quickly when I need to, but also to make sure my actions are right and pleasing in your eyes. I ask you to give me the wisdom to know when to act quickly to do the right thing. When I can avert disaster whether at home or across the world, show me how to act wisely. When I can stop others doing the wrong thing, whether in my family, church, workplace, or community, give me the courage to step up and speak. When I need to do the right thing that goes against the norms of today, give me common sense, and integrity. Lord, thank you for your wisdom that you give to those who ask. I ask you in advance to give me wisdom when needed. Fill me with humility and courage to do the right thing quickly. 

In Jesus’ name. Amen

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4. The Good Samaritan: Courage instead of Comfort

One woman helping another up

We can have many good intentions, but they mean nothing unless we follow through. It takes effort to act in the right way and often it is uncomfortable.

Many of us have comfortable daily lives. We are surrounded by those with circumstances similar to our own. Moving outside our comfort zones is not only uncomfortable, it takes courage.

The Bible calls for us to stand out for those suffering injustices (Isaiah 1:17). Through the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), we see it can be easy to ignore doing the right thing. Mercy and justice take time, money, and inconvenience. And, often it takes courage to step outside our comfort zones.

Jesus used the parable of the Good Samaritan in His example of doing the right thing for other people. The Good Samaritan tended to a traveler, presumably Jewish, coming from Jerusalem, who had been attacked by thieves. He tended his wounds and provided for him until he recovered.

The challenge is to have the courage to go beyond our prejudices and do the right thing for those we do not like, or could even hate. Jesus is asking us to confront our intolerances and discriminations and do that which makes us feel uncomfortable. To do the right thing takes courage to step outside our comfort zones, even when those around us are not doing so.

Where do you need courage to do the right thing for those who are not like yourself—to show kindness towards those whom you hold prejudices against? Where do you need to become uncomfortable and face any preconceived opinions? We need courage to do unto others as we want them to do to us.

Lord God, I admit it is often difficult to step outside my comfort zone. I get comfortable and I live in comfort. Forgive me for ignoring those who are not like me, but still need mercy and justice. Give me the courage to be like the Good Samaritan—to go out of my way to help others, to give of my time and money, but most of all to break down the barriers of prejudice. I ask you to show me the wrong opinions I have about other people. I ask you to show me one way today that I can be courageous enough to stand up for those unlike myself.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

When we turn to God for courage to do what is right, we can be confident that He will come alongside us, He will be with us, and He will show us what is good.

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Rachel Britton headshotRachel Britton is a British-born writer, author, and speaker whose passion is to help others become comfortable and confident in their conversation with God. Rachel holds a Masters in Religion from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Her blog “Praying Naturally” offers an extensive library of free prayer resources to help you deepen and develop your prayer life. Rachel is wife to Colin and mom to three young adults. She cannot live without a mug of English tea. Connect with Rachel on Facebook.