Even though the truth is I never understood the song “Tin Man” by the music band, ‘America,’ and the words have some pretty poor grammar, my favorite line is, ‘Oz never did given nothin’ to the Tin Man that he didn’t already have.’ I think everyone remembers Dorothy and her three companions going to Oz. Oz really didn’t give them anything except the realization of what they already had. The brain, the heart, the courage.

Courage. The Word tells us, ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.’ (2 Timothy 1.7.) There is no time for casual faith. The Word tells us, ‘The thief comes, to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10.10) What thief and what is he stealing?’

The thief is our enemy – the devil. The thief takes our hope, our life, our happiness, our loved ones.. and so on. Jesus came to give life and gave us the power to overcome the evil in our world. Jesus gave us the power to help those around us, but we need to be aware and we need courage. Abraham had courage. Genesis 14.14-16 says, “When Abraham heard that his nephew had been captured, he armed …. 318 trained servants …and pursued the enemy….and he brought back all the goods and also brought back his kinsman..and his possessions, the women and …”

This is one of my favorite examples of a believer hearing his family is in trouble and he ‘goes and gets them.’ This speaks to me to pray for God to use me to fight the devil (and a great big fight it is sometimes) and ‘get my family’ back. We are in battle every day. Prayer and putting our faith into action is how we have the courage to rescue our loved ones. Luke 19.46 says, ‘(Jesus) said to them, “My house will be a house of prayer…” ‘

It is my heart, and the Heart of the Father, for God to do a miracle for everyone in my family and everyone I meet. Others have tried to convince me that in order for people to have prayers answered, the person being prayed for must be ‘willing’ to receive a miracle. That may be true and it may not be true. I read in Joshua 2.13, where Rahab asks for her family and states, ‘and save alive my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all they have and deliver us from death.’ AMEN. She prayed for her loved ones and her prayer was answered.

Also in Esther, I see her, her uncle Mordecai, and all the Jews fasting and praying for God to intervene. They were ordinary people who became heroes to those they loved. I am ordinary and believe that for ‘such a time as this’ (Esther 4.14) God has called me to pray and fast for my kindred and everyone I come in contact with.

The Bible tells of healing that happened when fathers and mothers asked for their children. Jesus did not ask if the recipient was ‘willing’ to receive. (as in Matthew 8.5-13 as Jesus responded to the Centurion.) This compels me to have courage and  be bold in prayer and hold nothing back. It compels me to ask that the ones I love have healthy relationships, be happy in life, be well, have healed hearts and minds, have good lives, strong positive behavior patterns and leave the old destructive lives behind. I pray they be delivered from death. I pray they live and not die because my Savior died for all these things.

These are not the words of lifeless idols, these are the Words of the Living God to us.

Have courage! We have been endowed with it by our Heavenly Father.

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