Paul said, “Pray for us.”

“”Pray for us,” Paul asked believers.  “Pray for us,” I saw not once, not twice, but three times in a row this morning in my Bible study.

I open my eyes each morning and give Him thanks (not only if I feel like it) and then as I begin my Bible reading I ask for a word. So, I may not have the exercise habits and the writing habits I wish for, but this one thing I do. I begin my day with Jesus.

I commune with Him and I expect and receive responses. So often it goes like this morning.  He tells me more than once and more than twice so I can’t miss it.

I got the message, or the message’s beginning:  There are some people on the front lines in ministry who need prayer, who need strength for the arms that hang down.

The joy of the Lord is our strength, the Word tells us.  So, I pray for joy for them, and so forth.  A few people come to mind and I press in for them, then go to John and we pray in agreement.

Then comes more revelation and more word, such as the word “refreshment”, which also stood up and waved at me three times.  As John and I discussed this, as well as the negative reactions of two special people to something we said, we see they are the ones who REALLY need our prayers, and whatever else God leads us to say and do for them.  “I think,” I said to John, “they misunderstood us because they see and look at everything through the lenses of hurt and discouragement,  Through woundedness, grief, and oh, such fatigue.

So we pray and beseech God for wisdom, for the right words and the deeds, and He answers us both.  To me He imparts that oft-forgotten truth:  lead with the love example.  To John he says send an e-mail, or a card – one so full of grace and love and appreciation and thanks that our hearts cannot be misunderstood.

“Pray for us.”  Pray with us.  God never intended any of us to walk these paths alone, and one of the enemy’s biggest pressures is the pressure to make us feel we are alone, forgotten, unloved.

Prayer is love.  Prayer in person is love on steroids.  I try to emulate a famous minister lady who says when she sees someone in the grocery store and they ask for prayer she stops right then and there and prays with them.  “Let’s pray!” is much more comforting than, “I’ll pray for you . . . (someday, sometime, maybe, probably not).”

Yesterday, knowing my dad was in a place he detests being, doing a hard and difficult thing, I said to my daughter, “Call your grandpa and tell him we just prayed for him (we had just prayed for him) and that we love him.”

Every time, any  time anyone is on your heart, take it as an unction to pray.

Pray for you, for me, for people in high places and people in low places.  Pray for the Body of Christ.

“Pray for us.”

P.S.  Don’t miss Friday’s Home Front Show – at 2:00 p.m. Mountain Time go to 1360am.co, wait for it to load, then click on “LIVE RADIO” and be blessed!

“I came that you might have (and choose) life.” – Jesus, in John 10:10

praying baby
          Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women.”  I believe that Mary was much more than we know, that she is a model, a pattern for emulating, and that in his hatred for her, Satan has twisted and snapped the threads of that life pattern for a tapestry of rhythm and grace.  He turns what God intends for life, into death.
          That is how I see abortion – the ultimate success for the ultimate woman hater.  We are endowed with the ability to create the ultimate masterpiece – a child.  We partner, as did Mary, with God, to make sons and daughters who can bring light to the darkness, beauty for ashes, healing for the broken. 
          My brokenness began with buying Satan’s lie that casual sex (no mating for life marriage commitment) is OK.  I had that unplanned pregnancy, the one where abortion was suggested.  I can only thank God and my heritage – not that of a Christian upbringing (which I didn’t have) but that of parents who loved me unconditionally, and who taught by example the preciousness of a child – for the existence of that child in the world today.  How glad I am that Mom and Dad were too unworldly, too “unsophisticated”, to buy the lie from Hell that children are expendable, that abortion is a solution to anything at all, ever.
          And so I sit in the middle of the night, pondering the angel’s words in Luke 1:28.  I do rejoice in the face of temporal stresses, heartaches, things not as I want them to be, children partaking of my past brokenness.  And yet, there is no denying it:  I am highly favored.  God has given me children, and He has shown my volatile and wayward heart over and over and over that He is with me.  I am blessed among women.
          And  therein lies the sadness.  There are too few women walking in my shoes.  I look around me, especially at church, and I want to wear a sign:  GOD DID THIS AND HE’LL DO IT FOR YOU, TOO!!!!  Years ago I looked around as a single mother, bereft of that ever-so-essential ingredient in a family – Daddy.  I looked at the women in church, the married ones, and wanted to know two things:  Is it real, and if it is, is it forever beyond my reach?
          The day finally came when I had the courage to believe, to trust, to call (loudly) on God.  “Lord,” I said, “I need a husband.  I don’t care if he’s tall or short, fat or skinny. I don’t care where he’s from or what he does for a living.  I just want a good, honest man who will love me like I am.”
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          Two weeks later, after a nine-year drought, God sent John.  John the Blessing, John the Family Man.  John who knew the value of a child.  John who God knew would heal my brokenness through the very love of Christ Himself abiding in John’s heart and being passed on to mine. 
          And John who would partner with God and with me to make a family, the most beautiful thing of all. Our children weren’t planned or affordable or convenient.  They were and are simply the greatest of all blessings, the highest of all honors and privileges, the gifts beyond all gifts. 
          And that, Dear Reader, is what you and I are to God.
          Rejoice, highly favored one.