Prayer, Plain and Simple

“But straightway Jesus spoke to them saying, ‘Be of good cheer. It is I. Be not afraid’” (Matthew 14:27).

“In this world you shall have tribulation. But be of good cheer. I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

“Be of good cheer, for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me” (Acts 27:25).


Two of our favorite characters in literature are the Cheeryble brothers from Dickens’ Nicholas Nickelby. Their kindness plays a part in the restoration of the lives of a number of the story’s beloved characters. “Cheery” would be the best descriptive word for these identical twins. They live a cheery lifestyle, speak cheer, and tirelessly spread cheer to those around them. I don’t know if Dickens based them on real, living souls from his flesh and bone world, or if they came skipping out of that brilliant imagination of his. Either way, whenever I read that book, I fall in love with the Cheeryble brothers again and wish to be more like them.

“Be of good cheer,” is a phrase Jesus speaks in Scripture to a sick man without hope, to his disciples when they were afraid, and to Paul when he was desperate for reassurance. It simply means, “Take courage.”

Jesus offers us courage in fearful circumstances. He embodies courage, He holds courage out in His hands to us saying, “Take it. It’s mine to give, and it’s yours to receive.”

Are you facing a hopeless situation? Are you afraid for your future?

Instead of trembling, reach out your hand to Jesus. He is stretching His towards you. Take the courage that He has for you today. In faith reach your hand up to His, and…

…pray this plain and simple prayer…


I have lost my courage. I cannot seem to find a way out of the torment of fear. The future looks too difficult to step into, yet Jesus has beckoned me to, “Take courage.”

In faith I reach my hand up to His. I feel the warmth of His skin on mine, and I receive the flow of His courage, for mine was depleted long ago.

I take it. I drink in His courage. I receive it now along with the strength to step moment by moment into the future, for I know that whatever I face I will not face alone. Whatever I face I will face with Him, the Giver of the grace and courage and strength that I need to live this life.

I will walk with cheer. I will hum a tune. I will live a counter-intuitive lifestyle of cheer in difficult circumstances, for You would never ask me to do something that You aren’t empowering me to do in the first place.

So I sing.

And I will dance.

I will enjoy this day like You have called me to as I lay aside all fear and sorrow.

In Jesus’ Name and by His grace I will be of Good Cheer.


Photo credit: paul david (busy running!) via / CC BY-ND

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