If we could have coffee today, I’d say, “God will never give up on us.”
One day, memories of a stunning series of failures in my life began playing like a bad home movie in my mind. Have you ever had that happen? This script usually goes like this: “You can’t be used by God. God is going to lose patience with you.” Or even, “You don’t deserve to be loved.”
When we think of prayer, our default, for better or for worse, is that we tend to ask God for things. Fortunately, he is a loving Father who loves it when His children come to Him with all kinds of requests.
But prayer is so much more than that. The apostle Paul models it for us in chapter 3 of Ephesians. Paul’s prayer for others is that they’d be rooted and established in love. Yes! Let’s pray this for each other. Let’s pray this for our children, our leaders, and for everyone we know.
Alice Gray tells the story of a young mother who came home after a long, hard day. Her little girl ran out of the house to greet her.
“Mommy, Mommy, wait until I tell you what happened today!” After listening to a few sentences, the mother responded by saying the rest could wait until later. She needed to get dinner started. The little girl looked for opportunities to continue her story, but the phone rang and her mom talked on the phone while she got the meal ready. During the meal, other family members’ stories were longer and louder than the little girls. She tried again after the kitchen was cleaned, but then mom had to help her big brother with his homework. Then it was time for her to get ready for bed.
In Luke 10:29, a man asked Jesus, "Who is my neighbor?"
Jesus responded with a story of a man robbed, beaten, and stripped of his dignity. Several religious people passed him by, even though they were neighbors. Then a man who had nothing in common with him stopped and tended to him, and made sure he was safe.
If I were a silent voice in your head to help you build healthier relationships, you might hear me say: "People are funny, and I don’t mean 'haha.'"
One of my dear friends, upon hearing this quote, said, "Susan, you’ve got to go on the road with that statement."
Susan Carroll glanced in the rearview mirror at her second-grade son as they pulled into the parking lot on the first day of school. He seemed okay, but she had had false hope before.
For the past two years, both in kindergarten and first grade, Paul had awakened every school morning begging to stay home. He pleaded with Susan in the car, tears spilling down his cheeks. Day after day, she walked him to class where the teacher had to pry him away. Mother and son were both miserable.
I was talking with a young mom whose child battled anxiousness. She prayed for her child every day. She whispered scriptures over that little one.
She endured when others – those who hadn’t walked in her shoes – judged her when her child struggled publicly.
You’ve got a problem, and you can’t avoid it any longer.
You have to face the facts. You have more bills than you do money to pay them. But that’s not even the biggest problem. As the funds have diminished, so has your faith.
If I were a silent voice inside your head helping you to build healthy relationships, you might hear me say: “Meet people where they are.”
Don’t try to "change them," "fix them," or "correct them," but instead recognize where they are at that very moment.
For people of faith, prayer is supposed to come naturally. Right?
Actually, no. We grow in prayer, just like every other part of a Christ-following life. And luckily for us, we have some excellent teachers available to us in the Scripture.