Today this devotional of mine was posted by Guideposts online.
Does sitting in a chair praying for people (even those you love) produce droopy eyelids or wandering thoughts? It can be hard to concentrate on praying, even with a list or journal in your lap. You want to be an active prayer warrior, but somehow, you just can’t focus.
Have you ever considered praying in motion? Doing something while you pray?
This habit began for me during my baby-rocking years. Although I loved sitting in the rocking chair, feeding my baby or lulling him to sleep, I couldn’t help but add up the “unproductive” hours in my head. In an effort to multi-task, I took to praying over him.
I prayed over my baby’s eyes to see good and shun evil, his hands to help people, his feet to carry him to mission, his mind to know the Word, his heart to believe in Jesus.
As my children grew and became more mobile, I prayed around the house. While doing the laundry, I prayed over the pants and socks and shirts—that their wearers would follow God and flee from sin. As I ironed shirts, I prayed for arms to embrace others and hearts to seek God. In the kitchen, I prayed for hungry hearts and minds, for social graces, for fun family dinners and game nights around the table. In the living room, I prayed for peaceful evenings and protection from harmful media images.
At night, I often sat beside their beds and prayed in the dark, over troubling friendships, pending decisions, and bright futures. I prayed against the forces of evil that came against them daily.
Just as the Lord’s house is called a house of prayer, I want my house to be the same. And I have found that praying in motion—in the steps and actions of everyday life—is one of the best ways to make that happen and some of the most active spiritual warfare I can wage.
Today has been especially hard for me, for no particular reason except that I'm grieving, and today I'm grumpy and unsettled about it.
I am not a perky Christian right now. I feel dried up. Parched like a wind-swept desert, I am unable to quench the emptiness of my heart. My faith is strong enough not to rage at God or question His sovereignty; I'm just unhappy, lost even. How selfish that sounds!
After a sad, scrolling-through of social media posts, I ran across my friend Bob Hostetler's blog on Guideposts, dated yesterday, Sept. 20, 2016. I appreciate his perspective on praying through hard times. Here is an excerpt from his blog "Pray for Blessings from Disappointments"--
"Most of us, when misfortune occurs, pray for relief or deliverance. That is natural, and it’s a good way to pray.
After all, the psalmist David prayed, “Please, God, rescue me! Come quickly, Lord, and help me” (Psalm 70:1, NLT). And “Please, Lord, rescue me! Come quickly, Lord, an…
You are gracious and full of awesome power and purity.
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty.
I come today on behalf of someone else.
I want to pray for ________'s repentance,
so first I must ask you to forgive me of my wrong-doing and selfishness.
Convict and remove all the little pet sins I shelter in my life,
the things I say aren't a big deal.
Root them out.
I'll brace myself.
I know it will hurt a little to be honest with myself and change my will and behavior.
But when I do, I will have peace.
Forgive me, please.
So now I ask you to forgive __________. I confess on his/her behalf.
Forgive him/her for rebellion, selfishness, pride, and ignorance of Your laws and Your expectations.
Moses confessed for Israel, and even though they rarely repented,
You had compassion on them,
for Moses' sake.
You showed grace and mercy and lovingkindness.
Because someone cared enough to ask You for it.
Show Your lovingkindness to __________.
Put a wall of…
You know I've got a big couple of weeks coming up. My children are leaving the nest in a variety of ways. Whether first time, second time, or last time--it doesn't really matter. There is a stabbing pain when my kids move away. Release, pride, gratefulness, worry, and then loss, which tries very hard to morph into panic and desperation. (Smothering and helicopter-ing seem like options, even though I condemn it but secretly want to do it.)
My emotions are going crazy, so I know that my feelings and thoughts cannot be fully trusted. I must lean into you only. Worry makes me assume the worst. Loss makes me feel rejected. Panic pushes my loved ones away. (Read a blog about losing your kids to college here.)
Control my thoughts, Lord. Speak truth to me, and help me hear you. Help me to focus on your love and grace to me, not my feelings of loss or worry. You've got this. You've got me. You always protect, always draw near, always speak to those who seek you. And to those who don't…