Month: July 2017
Praying For and Praying Against
So many things in my life lately are like coins. Easy to flip and with opposing images on either side.
It is tempting to pray against people who are in the wrong and in their own way as well as everyone else’s.
It’s tempting to pray for the situations that we want to see in our lives that seem to bring us into our promised land.
But I’m being tested. And some of the questions on this life test are not as straightforward as I wish they were.
People that seem to be just evil- are also created in God’s image- just like I am. And situations that seem to be blessed can hide many stumbling blocks that may actually bring destruction.
The key- as Peter learned in his water-walking experience- is to keep our eyes on Jesus. That focus may not actually bring clarity to the whole picture, but it allows the bad to fade away around the edges of our view.
Those evil people may not change their ways, but praying against them actually keeps them from experiencing Jesus. That situation may seem perfect, but praying for it keeps us from seeing the parts of it we will need to navigate carefully through.
I’m learning to pray for people- for God’s love to reach them through whatever shell they have created for themselves and for their blessing which God alone knows how to bring to them in a way that can change them completely.
I’m learning to pray against situations- against the hidden pitfalls and misleading curves that make it difficult to see ahead and the false fronts that keep us from understanding how our gifts will grow when we accept the challenges of each new situation.
It’s a subtle difference – but that is the enemy’s strong suit isn’t it? Using subtlety to hide the truth? Praying for and against the wrong things actually plays into the lies that allow us to fall right into the trap.
Lord, I pray that each person I encounter will see you in me- not for my recognition – but for your glory- that you may be revealed in each word and that their hearts would be changed to reveal your breath creating new life in them. I pray that I will not be blinded by welcoming facades that hide distractions you never intended for me to waste my time with, but that you would reveal all things to me in order that your glory will be shown as obstacles are overcome.
The Beginning of Something New
For many years I have heard my husband share his belief that the next great spiritual awakening will arise in our young people. To be honest, I smiled and went about my day without giving it much thought. Our children were young – there was plenty of time to teach them – it would be so very long until his prediction could even begin to be observed.
But now . . . I’m soon to be a mother-of-the-groom, two of my children are in college, and my baby, who is still in high-school, has recently begun to experience the Lord in amazing ways and has stated that he is ready to begin to honor a call on his life to be a preacher. Both of my boys have young women in their lives who are very vocal about their love for Jesus and about the call in their own lives to share the gospel.
I am seeing my husband’s prediction come true every day as my children experience the many ways that God is shaping and directing their paths. Now more than ever, I am beginning to feel the responsibility for sharing the love of Jesus with these young people and for shaping their concepts of His love. I now have five children – not just three, because as long as these young ladies are in my sons’ lives, they are mine also. I have a daughter between my boys and so I’ve always had the opportunity to share my experiences as a woman, but the entrance of these two extra, “instant” daughters into my life has suddenly brought this responsibility into focus in ways I never expected.
My natural daughter has been able to ask questions and to continue conversations over time, so I haven’t felt the urgency that perhaps I should have felt over the years. Now that she has two “instant” sisters, who have their own concepts regarding the gospel and their own questions about the doctrines our family has long held, I feel the urgency. All these years I thought about raising my daughter for her own gifts and abilities to be shown. While I occasionally have prayed for the young man she will one day meet and marry, I have seldom thought about her preparation to be suitable for him. I have thought most about what I wanted him to bring to her. But for my boys I thought about what they would offer their wives.
This new stage in my life is showing me the error of my ways and it is making me think about what I can offer these young ladies so that they understand the needs my sons may have. So that together all of us may have a strong family with clear ideals and solid beliefs that will shape not only our lives, but the lives of those we encounter every day.
Lord, I ask that you help us all to see the opportunities to share your love with all of those around us and to provide support for those we love. Thank you so much for the many gifts you have bestowed upon our family. We love you and honor you. May you be seen in all we do.