Sunday, 1 December 2013

I pray for your gaps

I'm praying for your gaps. Yes, this is an odd one, but it's the word God laid on my heart for you for this month. Every one of us has a variety of 'gaps' in our lives, that is, we all have spaces that we have stepped into to serve, to encourage, or to walk alongside.
You have been uniquely gifted, trained and resourced, and I pray that God would bless you as you implement them in those gaps you fill. I pray for those of you who have stepped into a gap to support a hurting friend. As you walk painful roads with them, may you be empowered to share peace and hope in ways that touch souls for eternity. I pray for those of you who have filled a gap to serve either in Kidzone, at the school your child{ren} attend{s}, or any number of the places that are constantly vying for your many resources. May God give you wisdom and creativity to share His light to those you serve with and those you're serving. May you be strengthened and energized to finish this year well.

And I pray for the gaps that you have that are unmet in your life right now. I pray that God would send the right people to fill them. I pray that you would know that you are not alone, and that you would be encouraged and blessed with needs met on every level.
I pray that as gaps fill for you, or by you, that relationships would be strengthened. Like a plethora of patches in a quilt, I pray God would weave together a whole, beautiful picture of your life, as your pattern interlocks with those of others, for His glory.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

I pray for your holy messes

Author Ann Voskamp refers to life’s turbulent moments as “holy messes”. From argumentative siblings to sudden heartbreaking shock, each aspect of life that spills over from our expectations still has God present. This month, I’m praying for your holy mess moments.

I pray that God would remind you of His indwelling presence in each moment. I pray that the Spirit would empower you to turn to Him in the chaos, in the pain and in the frustration. May you find release from those feelings and be flooded with His eyes for your situation as you do so.

I pray too that you would be comforted by His presence. May you also be protected from turning on yourself in anger and harsh words in those times. I pray that you would be empowered to, as Lysa TerKeurst says, not to act out of control just because the situation is out of your control. May God fill you with His peace that surpasses all understanding, and all unanticipated situations.

I pray that in time, God will redeem the messes He calls you to walk. I pray that no matter how deep your holy mess is right now, that you would be able to be grateful for the good God has given you, and thankful for the dark moments too. May you find healing, health and wholeness in every aspect of your holy mess.

My friend Anne once said that sometimes people treat Jesus like a juice spill. We try to contain him, thinking ‘can’t go there’ or ‘not belonging’, worried about the sticky mess, and trying to wipe Him up. Life spills over, and it’s okay to let Jesus do so too.  

Monday, 1 July 2013

I pray for the spiritual tone of your home

Heavenly Father,

I thank you for every family in Kidzone. I thank you that these families want to grow closer to you. I ask that every individual represented in Kidzone would know your voice with clarity, desire to obey it and obey it in the power of your Spirit. I pray that we would all be awakened to your work and power so that our faith can grow.
God, I know that I (wrongfully) desire to control and manage ...things like schedules, and even sometimes the people around me... so I ask that sin management would not become the goal for me, or FCC parents. Rather, I pray that we would desire to facilitate safe spaces where sin can come out, not to be applauded or accepted, but to be removed for transformation.

I pray for the parents and grandparents in the lives of FCC children - that the roles as spiritual leaders would be taken seriously. I pray for the fathers and mothers who are working to pass on their faith to their children, through words and example. As they posture their heart in dependence to you, God, I pray that they would be blessed with wisdom and creativity and that the hearts of the children would recognize you, God, shining through. I pray that parents would nurture and train their children's souls the same way they care for their children's physical, mental and emotional needs.

I pray for the childrens' roles in responding and contributing to the spiritual tone of the home. As they learn and grow and wrestle with faith concepts, God I thank you that you meet them where they are at. Father, for those children who are currently walking faith-growing-pains, I ask for wisdom for parents in navigating their responses and questions. For those children who haven't yet committed their life to you, I ask for your continued wooing of their hearts. For kids who are actively following you, Lord I ask that you would empower them to be great witnesses in their spheres of influence. For all the kids, God I ask that they would draw them closer to you, seek you passionately, and grow in their knowledge of and relationship with you.

I pray for the visitors and guests that parents and children welcome into their homes. I pray that the spiritual environment of their homes would resonate in the hearts of their guests, and that heartstrings would be tapped just by being in such a positive environment. And as we know, your real home is in our hearts, and so as families leave their houses, would their hearts hold the same hospitality that they exhibit in their homes -traveling as beacons of hope and rooting as havens of emotional and spiritual safety.

And I pray that you, God, would enable me to support these families in their role as the primary spiritual caregivers. I pray for a unity in purpose between their roles in the home and mine in the church as we seek to facilitate environments where your relationship with these children can grow. We want to cooperate with your work in their lives; help us to discern where your Spirit is blowing so we can hoist the sails of our hearts and cooperate with you.

Family temperatures can change dramatically. Lord I ask that you would empower the parents of FCC to be running their homes as thermostats - setting the spiritual tone, rather than being thermometers and just matching the various climates each individual brings in. I pray these things in Jesus' name, and for the glory of that name. Amen

Friday, 1 February 2013

I pray for your terrible too's

We've all heard about the terrible tantrums of the two year olds (and they don't stop just because they turn three!). But what I'm referring to is a terrible t-o-o - an internal tantrum in your own heart that you may have. It's our excuse that we pass along to God for why we may not prioritize time with Him, or follow through on something we know he's calling us to do. Maybe you say you're too busy, too stressed, too tired, too shy, too broke - whatever it is, it's your heart's "no" phrased in a "terrible too". With your kids, you can see their potential and you want to encourage them to become the men and women God is calling them to be. Your Heavenly Father longs to do the same with you. We're all still in a process of growth and maturity. So my prayer is that you would allow God to work in your hearts this month to uproot your 'terrible too' excuse, and to step boldly into more of what He has for you and who He is calling you to be. I pray that you would extend grace and patience to yourselves. And that in moments when you find yourself tempted to respond with hesitancy, that you would be willing to trust God for His best for you, like you would desire your children to trust you.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

I pray for your family's influence

I'm praying that God would provide opportunities for the members of your family to share about your faith. I'm praying that as you live out your faith, your light would be very visible in the darkness of the areas you are involved in. I'm praying that others would be drawn closer to God by how you live, and how you serve God as a family. I'm praying that as doors of opportunity open, the eyes of yours hearts would be able to see them, and that through the power of the Spirit, you would act in obedience to what God would call you to do at the time. I'm praying against schemes of the enemy that would thwart the influence you have in your spheres. And I'm praying above all, that your light would shine for God's glory.