A Prayer

I started off 2014 reading the book of Ephesians and was drawn in to two powerful prayers in this incredible book. The more I read them, the more I felt like God was calling me to pray this prayer regularly for the girls at La Casa de mi Padre. So, I took the prayers and made them into one, and wrote it out with a blank where the name would go. Every day I pray this prayer for whomever God places on my heart. Sometimes I pray it eleven times, one time for each of the girls. Sometimes it is one specific girl. It just depends. I thought I would post it here in case any of you would like to join in praying for them. It’s also a great prayer to pray for yourself and anyone in your life.

A Prayer for the Girls of La Casa de mi Padre (from Ephesians 1:17-19, and 3:16-19)

I ask that you, the God of our Lord Jesus Chris, the glorious Father, may give __________ the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that she may know you better. I pray also that the eyes of her heart may be enlightened in order that she may know the hope to which you have called her, the riches of your glorious inheritance in the saints, and your incomparably great power for us who believe. I pray that out of your glorious riches that you would strengthen __________ with power through your Spirit in her inner being, so that Christ may dwell in her heart through faith. And I pray that __________, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge- that she may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

A Life

Today I found out that an old friend from high school has cancer. A few months ago a friend lost his grand daughter after just 14 days of life. So I’ve been thinking about life.

God tells us that all of our days are written in his book when he formed us. So I’ve got to believe that each of us lives our full life…even if it seems short to those of us left behind. But I can tell you, each life that I have known and said good-bye to has impacted me.

Brooks never breathed a single breath here on earth, but I felt his kicks against my hand from inside his mom’s stomach. I saw his so very small casket be lowered into the ground. I watched his parents grieve and find hope in the midst of great despair. Brooks’ life was full…and it mattered.

Rick lived 23 years here on this earth. He made me laugh, he was a cherished friend, he led me closer to the Lord by the way he lived his life. He impacted me in his life, and he impacted me in his death. What Rick could have never known at the time is that God would use his tragic (to us)/glorious (to him) death as a pivotal circumstance in my faith. It was a moment in my life in which I had to decide if this walk of faith was worth it or not. I really battled with the Lord during that time. I asked really hard questions. I cried, I yelled, I was angry…and like David in the Psalms…my anguish turned into praise. Day after day. Rick’s life was full…and it mattered.

Then I put something together that I never had before.

My Uncle Chuck died when I was five years old. I don’t really remember him because he was sick for most of my life. But I remember his kindness even though I don’t remember his face. After he died I was riding to Target with my mom and I began to ask her questions about where my uncle was now that he had died. My mom began explaining heaven and the sacrifice Christ made for us. In that car, on that day, I gave my heart and my life to Jesus. I vividly remember it. All because of a life…and a death. My uncle’s life mattered.

We have this one life here on earth. We have this one chance. What do you want to be remembered for? What do you want people to think of, even if they can’t remember your face?

Armor

Over the last week, because of a great discussion with my missionary coach, I have been thinking a lot about the Armor of God described in Ephesians 6:10-18. I’ve read these verses many times throughout my life, but for some reason, this week made them really come alive for me. I thought I would outline here the process that I have been using with these verses in case it is helpful to anyone else.

v. 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. (Where does my strength come from?)

v. 11 & 12 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is no against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Who is my enemy? The devil. Or better yet, who is not my enemy? It has helped me to say out loud who my enemy is NOT. (My friend, my boss, my parent, my sibling, etc…wherever your struggle is) is NOT my enemy.

v. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (There is a solution! God has provided the ability for us to stand firm.)

v.14a Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist… (What is the truth? What is the truth about God’s thoughts towards me? What is the truth about my calling? What is the truth about God’s character?)

v.14b …with the breastplate of righteousness in place… (The breastplate protects your chest, protects your heart…the exact place where the enemy is going to fling his arrows. What are my wounds that he is going to target? What are my vulnerable spots? And what is the truth about that?

v. 15 …and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. (What is it to be a peacemaker? Commit to speaking the truth in love with the intention of bringing peace, not causing discord.)

v.16 & 17 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Commit to memorizing verses pertaining to your struggle so that you can be armed and protected.)

v.18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions, with all kinds of prayers and requests. (We are not alone! Sometimes it means putting on this armor several times a day. Sometimes it means repeating “such and such is NOT my enemy” several times a day. But whatever the case, help is with us always.)

 

Sandpaper People

We’ve all had them, or will have them, or currently have them in our lives. They are the people that rub us the wrong way. You know what I mean. They make life just a little bit harder with their bad attitude, constant criticism, and controlling nature. They are impossible to please and just bring us down.

I recently heard this type of people referred to as “sandpaper people.” Sandpaper is rough and it rubs us wrong. But the more I got to thinking about that term, I realized that sandpaper is used to smooth and refine something. It takes off the rough edges and makes things ready for use.

When dealing with sandpaper people and you find it tough to figure out the point of having them in your life, take a step back. Look at your rough edges. Is this person in your life to refine you? If so, don’t let bitterness steal your joy. Let yourself be refined.