From Touchstone Issue #30 See Full Issue

I Arise Today: Courage and Conviction

Andy Corley
Prison Fellowship International President and CEO

Like many families with children who are digital natives, we have a family WhatsApp group. It’s used for all sorts of wonderful things, especially now our clan is expanding with grandchildren.

One of these uses is when I embark on a travel trip (which, to be fair, does seem like every Monday): I can let my nearest and dearest know that I love them. This is not a morbid thing. It is a desire as I set out into the unknown that they know that the last thing that their father would say to kith and kin are words of love.

Interestingly, when I’m travelling back home, I don’t do this and there’s probably a reason: coming back to domestic, unconditional love, security and shalom (which is home at its best surely) doesn’t seem like a journey of peril at all. It seems the most natural thing in the world. Even though, in reality, the journey home could be filled with just as much danger.

My inconsistency sometimes astounds me 😊

Anyhow to return to my main point, setting out on a journey has always carried with it significance for the faithful. God pursuers for thousands of years, starting with the Jewish community in the desert lands of Egypt, have vigilantly ‘armed’ themselves with love and obedient commitment as they step out of the doors of their homes.

“Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”- Deuteronomy 6:4-9 NLT

The application is as all-embracing as it is simple:

Everything we do (tie them to your hands) and everything that goes on in our minds (forehead) and all our comings and goings are meant to be governed by our relationship with Him.

The result of this is not a check box, clipboard compliance exercise, but fully for our good:

“And the Lord our God commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear him so he can continue to bless us and preserve our lives, as he has done to this day.” – Deuteronomy 6:24 NLT

Now, I know we live under a new agreement because of Christ Jesus so shout it from the rooftops: God is for us. God loves us unconditionally. All former barriers have been removed in Christ.

But it continues to be good to live in the fear of God, including an understanding that I simply don’t know what is going to come my way on any given day.

The New Testament is full of this paradox as worked out in the saints, and sometimes martyrs, of the early church until the modern day.

It turns out that a famous Irish saint felt the same way too. Saint Patrick has become famous for his breastplate Lorica prayers. No stranger to setting out from home to face perils and dangers of all kinds himself, he discovered a daily discipline of positioning himself faith-fully, come what may.

So, as I write this flying over Repulse Bay, Canada at 40,000 feet, 2000 kilometers from my destination, I choose to do the same. Less ably and effectively that my Celtic brother, no doubt, but believing that I am animated by the same “mighty strength” that He wrote about and knew, and that even more amazingly gloriously knew and loved him.

I pray, this day, you will step outside your door in the same courage and conviction:

“I arise today

Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,

Through a belief in the Threeness,

Through confession of the Oneness

Of the Creator of creation.


I arise today

Through the strength of Christ’s birth and His baptism,

Through the strength of His crucifixion and His burial,

Through the strength of His resurrection and His ascension,

Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.


I arise today

Through the strength of the love of cherubim,

In obedience of angels,

In service of archangels,

In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,

In the prayers of patriarchs,

In preachings of the apostles,

In faiths of confessors,

In innocence of virgins,

In deeds of righteous men.


I arise today

Through the strength of heaven;

Light of the sun,

Splendor of fire,

Speed of lightning,

Swiftness of the wind,

Depth of the sea,

Stability of the earth,

Firmness of the rock.


I arise today

Through God’s strength to pilot me;

God’s might to uphold me,

God’s wisdom to guide me,

God’s eye to look before me,

God’s ear to hear me,

God’s word to speak for me,

God’s hand to guard me,

God’s way to lie before me,

God’s shield to protect me,

God’s hosts to save me

From snares of the devil,

From temptations of vices,

From every one who desires me ill,

Afar and anear,

Alone or in a multitude.


I summon today all these powers between me and evil,

Against every cruel merciless power that opposes my body and soul,

Against incantations of false prophets,

Against black laws of pagandom,

Against false laws of heretics,

Against craft of idolatry,

Against spells of women and smiths and wizards,

Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul.

Christ shield me today

Against poison, against burning,

Against drowning, against wounding,

So that reward may come to me in abundance.


Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,

Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,

Christ on my right, Christ on my left,

Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,

Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,

Christ in the eye that sees me,

Christ in the ear that hears me.


I arise today

Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,

Through a belief in the Threeness,

Through a confession of the Oneness

Of the Creator of creation.”

– Saint Patrick (ca. 377)



Saint Patrick (window) © Sicarr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0


Letter from the CEO

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Want your ministry featured in the next Touchstone issue? Submit content here! Africa Conversations on Restorative Justice in Nigeria Prison Fellowship Nigeria Executive Director Benson N Iwuagwu recently appeared on the Healing Justice Radio Show on Eko FM. He was joined by two coordinators from the Lagos State Restorative Justice Centre. Watch the full interview here.  […]

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