Friday, May 15, 2009

i like big posts and i cannot lie

if you make it all the way to the end of this post, you must be pretty bored.

PRAYING FOR KIDS

I was asked a question awhile back about praying for children, which is funny since I feel like I am a lousy pray-er, but here goes. Note: These are just my own personal thoughts and what works for me.

I like to pray Scripture for M. Mostly because I don't want my human desires (or frustrations) to color my intercessions for him. So, when I am reading my Bible and a verse sticks out to me, I will pray it for my little guy. For ex, Ephesians 1:18 says "the eyes of your understanding being enlightened..." and that has become a verse I pray almost daily. I may change the words, such as "Lord, please open M's mind to understand your truth," but I feel like if I pray God's Words, then I know my desires are aligned with His.

I keep a journal by my bed in which I write prayers for M. I do not write in it daily, or even weekly, even though I pray for him daily. I simply write as I feel led to pray about specific topics. I will give it to him when he is grown and look forward to seeing how God answered the prayers of this mama.

I pray a lot with M whether it be for other people or for him...or even for me when I am cracking under the pressure of the terrible twos! And now he will often initiate prayer...asking me to pray for him or for someone else. Does he understand? I can't even guess as to what he thinks is going on, but what I want him to see is a mama who loves God and who believes He is a God who loves talking with His children. I try to point out when God answers our prayers...and to share Bible stories that do the same.

Would love to hear if anyone else has ideas to share!

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I DIDN'T SCREW IT UP!

Tried out PW's ginger steak salad tonight and it rocked my taste buds. I had never-as-in-ever bought ginger before...besides ginger snaps, of course...so I was freaky nervous going into this thing. Told myself that if it flopped, I would never-ever-ever try another new recipe again.

But PW did not disappoint! Scott even had seconds, which says a lot because he really doesn't trust salad. But this stuff is gooooood...so good I might eat it for breakfast tomorrow.

Note: I cooked my steak longer than the recipe calls for because I come from a long line of cook-it-til-it's-jerky women.

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NINE

That's the # of sentences in the 2nd chapter of the Epistle to the Ephesians.

And in just nine sentences, you find the ultimate "before and after." It's like a snapshot of a person before and after Christ...a "you WERE" versus "you ARE."

So I made lists. Because lists make my brain happy. Almost as happy as ginger steak salad makes my tongue. And this is what God says...

You WERE
- dead in trespasses and sins
- walking according to the prince of the power of the air
- a son of disobedience
- conducting yourself in the lusts of your flesh
- fulfilling the desires of the flesh & mind
- a child of wrath
- without Christ
- strangers from the covenants of the promise
- having no hope
- far off

Enter Jesus.

You ARE
- alive together with Christ
- saved
- raised, made to sit in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus
- His workmanship
- created in Christ Jesus for good works
- brought near by the blood of Christ
- reconciled to God
- having access to the Father
- fellow citizens of the household of God
- a dwelling place of God in the Spirit

Pretty amazing, huh? But another cool thing is this...there is a word that can be placed on BOTH lists. Yep, both. It's found in verses 4 & 5a:

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses..

Love.

This passage not only tells us that, even when we were living according to our own lusts and in disobedience to God, He still loved us...but that He loved us with a GREAT love. One of the definitions I found for the original word used for "great" was TOO MUCH. As I consider God's love for me, a wretched sinner, "too much" sounds pretty right on.

One of the reasons I love this chapter so much right now is that, in my human trafficking research, it can be easy to feel anger and hatred toward the oppressors, the abusers, the traffickers...but God's love for them is slowly filling my heart. I loathe what these people are doing but am reminded that they are no more free than the women and children they enslave...for they are slaves to their sin. Just as I was.

This is what the love of God can do in a life...


before Christ:



after Christ:



We look at these photos and focus on the outward transformation of Anthea...but the real change for her, and for all of us, is the inward transformation that comes only through Jesus. This is the work of love. This is the look of love.

God is love, and I want to be love, too.

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4 comments:

dan and rachel said...

hey tish,
great post! not at all boring, either.

i love ephesians. i also loved the verse about opening the eyes of our hearts to understand God's truth. good stuff!

happy friday!
r

Nichol Naranjo said...

I love the idea of the prayer journal for your children!! I wish I had done that since day 1!!
Better late than never!
Also, we pray for our girls spouses daily, when we tuck them in!
Specifics: A man after God's own heart, purity, protection, his family, his views on women, etc.
I pray our 2 families will unite as one easily. Sort of selfish, but true!

Lisa said...

I agree...not boring at all! AND it inspires me with an idea for this rainy afternoon!! I mean praying with your kiddos is always good for any afternoon, but ....oh, you know what I mean! :)

LOVE that you are keeping a journal for M....what a treasure that will be! And a glimpse into all of your hopes & dreams for him!

Happy weekend friend!
Lisa

The Family K. said...

There's so much great content in this post. I'm really impressed with how deeply you dug into Ephesians and all the great insights you pulled out. There's definitely a lot of food for thought. Thanks for sharing!