Sovereign Lord, I pray for myself and for ______________________ , that you will transform each of us into a man or woman with David's character, faith, and courage. When others are dismayed and greatly afraid in threatening circumstances, I pray that we will stand strong and firm as David did before Goliath. Show us how to face what seem to be overwhelming obstacles in your name, the name of the Lord Almighty. Lord, David had to persevere in the face of anger and severe criticism from members of his own family, who accused him of conceit and evil motives. He had to persevere in the face of Saul, who told him he was not adequate for the task. He had to endure the ridicule of Goliath who despised him and cursed him. Enable us, as you enabled David, not to be deterred or discouraged or distracted from our course by resistance from people around us. Grant us instead a steady spirit of perseverance. We see here how David's preparation for this day was forged in private as he protected his sheep, when no one was looking. He developed a quiet but intense confidence in you and was able to say, "The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." I pray that each of us will see those times when we seem to labor in quiet and in unseen and unnoticed ways not as wasted days but as days of preparation. May we exercise growing faith in those settings so that we become ready for the larger challenges you intend to set before us. I pray that we as individuals, as a church, and as a nation will face every challenge not in our own power but in your power as the living God. May we have the confidence to know that you will deliver us when we follow you, so that through us all the earth may know that there is a God, and that we all may learn that it is not by the sword or the spear that you save. We affirm that when the battle is yours, nothing can hinder you from saving, whether by many or by few. I pray that we will choose political leaders at every level who understand that the answers to our problems are not found in swords or spears or the ideas of man but in you. Grant us leaders who will come against our enemies, both internal and external, in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel. We ask all this in the name of Jesus, the Captain of the armies of the Lord. Amen.