A Prayer Before You Go
It’s Launch Week around here. And what a week it’s been! Wowzers. The book, Can You See Me, Now? Good news for the lonely, left out, and less than is officially out in the world. The launching process involves a lot of people across months. For these souls, I am eternally grateful, including my launch team leader, my launch team members, and my prayer team. Honestly, the whole thing can be overwhelming and scary. You don’t know how it’s going to turn out. Like a lot of situations familiar to you, there are times when our course of action is downright frightful. Before we go, prayer must take priority. As God would have it, there is a prayer of preparation before you go.
“When you go out to war against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and an army larger than your own, you shall not be afraid of them, for the LORD your God is with you, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.” Deut. 20:1
Moses is in the midst of giving instructions to the people. This is a particular people who have been called to take over the Promised Land one battle at a time. Against warriors. Giants. And vast kingdoms with resources that make the wandering Israelite people look easy to wipe out. Naturally, the response from God’s people is fear. And here God acknowledges this. At the same time, or you could say, in the same breath, the people are told not to let fear prevail, and why.
Because the LORD your God is with you.
No. There is no denying in the text that what you and I go up against is often greater than our own resources and strength. God sees what we see: more and bigger bad guys. Realistically, victory of any sort looks impossible. But obstacles of this variety are not to push us to frenzied terror, just because they are real. We are told, not to be afraid.
Then what Are We to Do?
Instead, we are to remember our God is the same God who has rescued and delivered us time and time again. God’s intent is that you come through to the other side of the situation victoriously.
The part I love is that God seems to know we can’t get there on our own.
Moses doesn’t just leave it with the directive not to fear. He involves non-fighters in the battle. To reinforce the call to trust in the God who leads, the spiritual leader is to come forward and give a charge—an encouragement for Who God is, for what He can do, and why he will do it.
And when you draw near to the battle, the priest shall come forward and speak to the people and shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel, today you are drawing near for battle against your enemies: let not your heart faint. Do not fear or panic or be in dread of them, for the LORD your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.’Deut. 20:2-4
What Does Praying Before You Go Look Like Today?
Today, I think this looks a lot like praying before you go. For instance, during the forty days leading up to this week’s book launch, my closest spiritual leader, my husband, prayed and fasted. He’s not a writer. He isn’t on my prayer team. But he does play a prominent role in what I do as God leads. So he prayed before I went.
Chad will admit that it wasn’t a time filled with personal mountaintop experiences. In fact, he often communicated it didn’t feel super spiritual at all. It was obedience to encourage and empower those within his realm of responsibility to trust God in the unknown and the scary, to remember His history in my life, and remind me that it is God, Himself, who fights for me to give me victory in whatever He has called me to.
I believe that God saw to it that we have this obscure set of instructions to change situations, to successfully navigate what lies beyond us, and allow us to experience the impossible.
Today I want to offer you this same prayer, not as one who is spiritually over you, but rather as one who is helping to cover and encourage you. May you be strengthened with courage and in faith to move out into whatever God has called you to, unafraid.
But I encourage you to write these verses down. Keep them close. Don’t be afraid to ask one of your spiritual leaders in your life to give you a similar charge before you go.
A Prayer Before You Go
Remind my friend today of your presence. Remind her that it is You who is going before her to battle. You are not shielding yourself behind her or casually watching from the sidelines. You are in the fight, leading. You are ready to do what needs to be done for Your glory and our good. Remind her of what you have brought her through. Calm her fears, Lord. Give her the courage to trust you in the impossible and the strength to take that next step. I ask that you be faithful to your word. Do what you promise and fight for her. May the battle make your name great.
In your precious name, Amen.
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