Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Greatest Prayer Ever Prayed

It was Sunday evening, January 23, 1994, and I did not want to go church. Sunday mornings have a way of wearing me out. Maybe it's the 250 plus preschoolers and 130 plus volunteers that do it to me. Ministry can be a joy but at the same time exhausting. I remember because I sat at the back of the Worship Center. I did not want anyone to see me and I most certainly did not want to talk to anyone. Hmm...godly attitude. Little did I know that on this particular night the Pastor would deliver a message that would forever change my life. The title of the message was, "The Greatest Prayer Ever Prayed." He shared from John chapter 17. This is an amazing passage of scripture. In verses 1 - 5 Jesus prays for Himself. In verses 6 - 19 He prays for His disciples. And in verses 20 - 26 He prays for us...for all Christians throughout the age. The focus of his message was on verses 6 - 19. From this text, Pastor gave us 7 things that we can pray for our children and our family. I remember thinking to myself, what if? What if I took this prayer and began praying it over my husband and for myself. What might the Lord choose to do with us? We had our first child in 1997 and I continued to pray this prayer over her as well. Somewhere along the way, I lost this pray. I looked everywhere for it and then eventually I forgot about it. One day I was talking with a sweet, godly lady in our church. She was telling me about her children and their mission endeavours. I was amazed. I know her kids and I know they are remarkable children. I asked her what her secret was. Would you believe she told me John 17. She said, I pray this prayer for them everyday. WOW. I went to church the next day and asked our resource man to help me find this sermon. He found it. It is in my desk even as I write. (in cassette form) So here it is in summation...The prayer Jesus prayed for His disciples, the prayer I pray for my family almost daily.
  1. Pray they would glorify God.
  2. Pray they would know Him.
  3. Pray they would acknowledge that everything they have is from God.
  4. Pray they would be one with the Father and with each other.
  5. Pray that His joy would be made full in them.
  6. Pray that God will keep them from evil.
  7. Pray that they would be world changers.

A few other things I add to my prayer for my children are..

  1. That they would grow to love God, love His Church and love His word and that God would bring men into their lives that will do the same.
  2. That they would run from evil, from things that dishonor God and they would be drawn to things that please God...things that are holy, pure and righteous.

I am constantly messing up as a parent. But this is one thing I get right. We have to parent from our knees. And who knows... who knows how God might choose to answer our prayers.

This is all part of my journey today.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Just Enough for Today

This was one of those mornings, when upon waking, I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders. It's not that there is anything terrible going on, it's just that most things seem to be difficult. Or so it seems through my eyes today. No matter what direction I look, there is a challenge...a struggle...a mountain that must be conquered. There is just so much to do, I hardly feel I can breathe. I simply describe it as a heaviness of heart. Oh the pressures and distractions of this blessed life. Sometime they do seem like more than I can bear. In the midst of a good cry this morning, I opened up a devotion book that I have come to love. It is called "The Seeking Heart" by Francois Fenelon. Fenelon was a 17th century French Roman Catholic Theologian, poet and writer. Christians have turned to his writings again and again for guidance and help in their quest for a deeper walk with Christ. (You can order most of his written works on amazon.com) The title of my the reading today was, "Live in the Present Moment" I wanted to share a quote from his writings today. Maybe it will give you a wake up call just as it gave me this morning.

He says...Each day there is just enough that God gives you to take care of - nothing more or less is expected of you. Who are you to ask the Lord, "Why are you doing this to me?" (I've been guilty of that) He is the Lord- let Him do what seems good to Him. (that really hit me) You certainly don't need to add your wisdom and your plans to His wise and good plan. The future is not yet yours - perhaps it never will be. And when tomorrow comes it will probably be different from what you had imagined. Above all, live in the present moment and God will give you all the grace you need.

This really touched my heart this morning. And in this very raw moment I was overwhelmed by His love for me. To be reminded once again that He will not give us more than we can bear. To really grab hold of the truth that the earth can change and the mountain can slip into the sea, but His presence will never leave me. It is not mine to question the weight of the burden or what He has chosen to put on my today. He just wants me to know that He is here and a heavy burden requires a mighty hand. Mine is not big enough to handle it. When I need His mighty hand, I seem to walk a little closer and pray a little harder than I have in the past. You see it doesn't matter how heavy or how light. What matters is He has promised to give us just enough for today. That is a great word and all part of my journey today.