Day 10: Lift ’em up

Fathers Day2

1 Timothy 2:1 – First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people

Oh, how I have loved walking this walk through relationships with you for the past nine days.  I hope that it’s been helpful and given you thoughts to think and places to grow.  I know it’s done so for me.  And as with many good collections, we’ve saved the best for last.

We’ve established that we need to love like Jesus.  We’ve established that our God loves us beyond the telling, and wants us to do for others as He has done for us.  We’ve established that we are flawed and imperfect, but lovable nonetheless.  We’ve realized we need to admit and embrace our weaknesses and move on to building ties that make us stronger.

So, now it’s time for the big guns.

Are you praying for the people in your life?  Because you most certainly should.

Why wouldn’t we go here?  It’s the most powerful thing we can do for another person.  If you had the chance to introduce, or remind, or endear a person of great influence and means to the ones you love, knowing that he would protect them and bestow gifts upon them….wouldn’t you do it?  Wouldn’t you rush to say, “Here is my friend/child/spouse/co-worker/mother/aunt/brother/sister/in-law!  Notice them!  Hold them secure!  Give them health and wealth and opportunity and everything they need!”

We have the perfect vehicle to do this any time we wish.

The gift of prayer is perhaps the greatest we can give to others…and to ourselves.

What better way to show love and prioritizing and respect than to lift someone up to the Creator of the universe, putting their needs and hopes and dreams and very life right back into His hands?

We get some things wrong as parents, my dear hubby and I, but this one we cling to without ceasing.  We pray for each other.  We pray over our kids – in front of them and at times they are not around.  We pray for the protection and prosperity of our family.

Some days, we are exhausted, or frustrated, and wonder if anything we do makes a difference at all (can I get an Amen from the parents of pre-teens out there?).  It’s hard to cleave to the intangible.

Our oldest son, Luke, is a very handsome (biased mom moment, I know, but truth is truth) and extremely social sixth grader.  Middle school has been quite an experience: discovering and being discovered by girls, branching out with more independence, getting his first phone and the texting frenzies it involves…. those of you who have been reading for a while know some of my struggles and opinions on 12 year-old girls and their drama, so I won’t reiterate it too much here.  That’s a whole ‘nother ball of wax.

One of his friends has been especially trying.  She is a very unhappy and insecure little girl who is trying to grow up too fast, and creates wave upon wave of melodrama.  It’s exhausting for everyone involved.  Her texts to my son are eye-rolling at their best, alarming at their worst.

We’ve been walking and talking through this since October.  I’ve asked Luke if she believes in God, or prays (he’s not sure).  We’ve discussed her need for hope and true healing.  When I ask if he prays for her, his answer is usually yes.  It’s a hard line to walk.  How do I balance lessons of  compassion and empathy with protecting my child from negativity and hurtful images/words/people?

Ah, motherhood.

The other day, this friend sent Luke a series of very upsetting texts.  She was depressed and her words were filled with self-loathing.  I was so sad as I scrolled through their conversation (we read all of his texts….there’s a limit to freedom in our house).  And then, I saw a thread that made me catch my breath.  She had sent a negative stream of consciousness, and here is how he answered.

Luke: (Name), do you pray?

Friend: No

Luke: Then I’ll pray for you.

Oh, how my mother’s heart swelled as my eyes filled with tears.  I sat holding that phone for several minutes, reading and re-reading the words of my son; barely breathing as I cried tears of joy.

He gets it.  He’s been listening.  He’s been watching.  He’s been learning.

And he knows that when things get to a point that he no longer has the words or patience or capability to handle a relational situation or interaction, all he can do is release his friend into the arms of the One who loves her most.

Can you imagine the man he’ll become if he can continue to embrace this concept and engage all of his relationships this way?

Can you imagine the warriors we would all be if we did so?

When was the past time you prayed intentionally over the people in your life?  Over the relationships you hold dear?

Do you lift up the hopes, dreams, hurts and healing of those around you to God?

Do you let the people in your life know that you pray for them?  Do you ask them to pray for you?

List three names of people who you consider to be prayer warriors for you.  If you don’t have three, consider asking someone to fill this role.

List five names of people you can commit to pray for consistently over the weekend.

God is very specific about His desire for us to pray for those around us.  He gives the mandate with a promise, an incentive if you will.  I’ts that important.  When we come to Him on behalf of another, He rewards us as well.

Job 42:10 – The LORD restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the LORD increased all that Job had twofold.

Praying puts us in direct communication with God.  Praying for others put them as the focus of our hearts, even as it puts them in His path.

It’s a win-win like no other.

Solidarity, sisters.  I’ll be praying for you.

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