The last few weeks, I’ve explored some alternative help for some issues going on in my family. Dealing with some re-occurring obstacles makes a parent desperate for assistance. When our actions seem to make matters worse, we want some outside perspective from those who are more equipped than us. Now, God created us for community; He grants insight and wisdom to different people and we collaborate to make the most discerning choices. We alter diets, start exercise, practice new techniques, talk to doctors, and incorporate wise counsel. We pool from the physical, spiritual, and emotional–for we are complex human beings.
But sometimes, we fail to start the engine before we veer down the road. Psalm 3:5-6 keeps coming to mind. I realize I can’t “lean on my own understanding” for I don’t fully comprehend what’s going on, but trusting God to reveal what I need when I need it has proven more challenging. He isn’t working as quickly as I would prefer.
“We tend to use prayer as a last resort, but God wants it to be our first line of defense. We pray when there’s nothing else we can do, but God wants us to pray before we do anything at all.
Most of us would prefer, however, to spend our time doing something that will get immediate results. We don’t want to wait for God to resolve matters in His good time because His idea of ‘good time’ is seldom in sync with ours.” –Oswald Chambers
After a particularly discouraging day and getting next to nothing from my outside source, I felt God’s voice pull me near, “Keep trusting me. Keep praying. Keep waiting. Rest in me.” I wanted to cry and scream, “That’s not good enough!” That night, I started reading through the Psalms and Proverbs on our particular issue and God reassured my heart, revealing truth specific to the need. Do I have all the answers? Hardly. Do I feel any further ahead with the problem? Not really, but I’m allowing my heart to rest in the midst of confusion and pain.
Around 3:00 in the morning, I awoke from a nightmare that left my heart pounding. Feeling unsettled, I sensed God calling me to rise up and fight on behalf of my middle child. Going to his bed and kneeling over him, I kept praying the blood of Jesus over his spirit. Praying that the Lord would not forfeit rights to his soul.
To throw off any doubt, let me assure you, we are waging a war on behalf of our children. How we pray over them determines how well we fight for them. One cannot come without the other; it’s a major component to our armor. We won’t always be granted access to see the impact of our prayers, but know that God listens and responds. And as I remind myself, He loves our children and understands them far beyond what we’ll ever attain.
From studying Scripture, we learn that:
Prayer should be a constant discipline. It’s our first line of defense. (Col. 4:2, I Thess. 5:16-18, Phil. 4:6-7) Do I run to a friend, the Internet, the doctor first or do I seek the Lord before I proceed?
Prayer is about honesty and need, not perfect syntax. (Ps. 145:18, Matt. 6:7, Psalm 18:6) In our desperation, sometimes all we can do is groan or scream, but who we go to in our need says more about our heart than how well-prepared our words are.
Prayer prepares us for war. (I Peter 4:7, James 4:7, Ephesians 6:18) We are fighting whether we realize it or not. So, we should fight well and battle the right enemy.
“Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.” Zech. 4:6