I asked God recently to Teach Me How To Pray. That's right, the Mama whose leading her children in the Lord's ways, volunteering as a counselor in ministry work for our Lord and Savior. Me, Bible reading and believing Me....asking Him to Teach Me How To Pray. The me whose good, well rounded by the world's standards, family seems to want less and less to do with me the closer I grow to our Lord and His ways. That's right, I admit, I haven't been quite there yet, as hard as I've tried.
In the meantime, I'd been checking out this idea of learning how to pray for my sons. To be honest, I'm not sure which came first....the realization that I need to strengthen my prayer life, or the hunger to begin this 21 Day Challenge of praying for my oldest son specifically. God knows. And He's transforming hearts in this family through a process above and beyond any I could have expected.
I've learned that when the enemy gets mad and rears his ugly head with lies, discouragement, and obstacles....then I'm doing something right. Something God has called me to do. Ever since He called me to work with women in crisis, sharing the gospel with each and every one, our family has been under attack. So I've studied, pondered on, and put to use so many times the weapons and armor He's instructed us to use. I KNOW these verses, I live by them, I share them with others regularly. They are hidden deep inside my heart!
Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate or righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; EPHESIANS 6:11-18And there it was, that moment that fills you with peace, comfort and the knowing that we have a God that is bigger and stronger than we could ever be. A God that loves us when we don't know how to love ourselves. A God that is patient to love, guide, and continue to show me these things that are right in front of me. But He's told us that about His word.....
And I know, once again, that His word is not only real and powerful, but ALIVE. Those verses in Ephesians that I cling to, live by, and have studied for so long.....they've taken on new meaning this week. In working through this prayer challenge, I'm seeing the heart change in my oldest son. Not a subtle heart change, nor a perfect child, but an obvious change in his desire to listen to my guidance. Then there's the piercing into this Mama's heart. For He works on me too through these prayers.For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. HEBREWS 4:12
The realization about prayer that He's opened my eyes to? It's not that I've been doing things wrong, it's that the things I've been doing right are more powerful and pleasing to Him when done TOGETHER. When Paul wrote about the 'whole' armor of God in Ephesians, I've always read and understood that as having all of these things, living each of those principals, knowing each and every part. In His faithfulness and the life of His word, God has revealed that the 'wholeness' in this armor is how each and every part of it is intertwined. It works best when each piece is used together to create a whole. Hmmm....sounds much like the Body of Christ, the church, His people, doesn't it?
Study...my strength. Prayer....I've asked for more strength. Scripture....hid away in my heart but alive in our lives. Aha.....study to find the Word's God wants us to pray over our children, our families, our friends. And these first few days of praying scripture over my son are all of the proof I need. It's gone from being about my oldest son, to hungering for the strength of God's word over the hearts and minds of my husband, all four of my children, and myself to assure that I am who God has called me to be for them!
A challenge? One I'm enjoying. A blessing? Absolutely. Answered Prayer? As always, above and beyond anything I could have ever asked of our Lord. He assured us of this. In ending this post, I stumble upon yet another huge reminder of who is leading me through this journey. Just days ago I wrote about My Secret Place and in searching for the verse about how the Lord knows our needs before we ask, I found and leave you with this....
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask him.MATTHEW 6:6-8
I think there's been enough words from me tonight. For HIS are enough. I thank you Lord for this journey, this challenge, your living Word, and for giving me the greatest gift of entrusting this family to me! I LOVE YOU LORD! AMEN