I sat on the front porch this evening, and watched as dusk stole slowly but certainly across the evening sky. Listening to the birds settling in for the night as their chirping diminished in volume and frequency I also noticed the vole rummaging in the leaves in the garden at my feet. I could feel the gradual cooling of the air and the settling of the breeze as the clouds thickened, portending the possibility of some rain showers later tonight.
The hour I spent in that activity was filled with thoughts … and prayer … for a variety of people and situations. I took a moment to pray for my three children and their spouses. Each of them currently enrolled in classes in the school of learning to facing the future with the eye of faith, an attuned ear, and a heart of submission. The path through life, it seems, is strewn with people, subtle influences, and temptations that can weaken, disrupt, and even threaten the fabric of family. We are all susceptible to such things, regardless of how far along we are in life … either spiritually or chronologically. The perspective that I have, as I pray, however is that of one who can look back retrospectively and know that there are answers, there are resources, there is help from a loving God who will respond to those who turn their eyes to Him, their ear to the Spirit and the Word of God, and who purpose in their heart to obey.
I prayed for each of my grand-children … all seven of them now. I smiled to myself as I realized that seven is regarded as the number of perfection. I’m sure that means nothing in the context of my grand-children, but still I smiled. Some of them young men and women, making serious decisions about life and values … about who they are and who they want to be … about the place that God will have in their life. Each of those decisions will have life implications for each one to be sure. But even beyond them, such decisions will impact an ever-growing circle of family and friends around them as the fruit of those decisions ripens into something wonderful, beautiful and honorable, or something sordid, unwholesome and dishonorable. Then, there are the three little ones who fill each day with surprises and gifts of joy sprinkled with hints of trouble. I pray for their salvation, knowing that without that important relationship this world, in its growing wickedness and perversions, will make a very difficult, and sorrow filled, path ahead. God grant strength and resolve on the part of parents to instill in these little lives a love for Jesus and a desire to know Him more with each year that passes.
I prayed for a colleague who, being faithful in doing what God has called him to do, faces the stresses and challenges of ministry with a steadfastness that is rare among men … and yet recognizes his need for sustained dependence upon the Lord. And I prayed for a friend whose mother and grandmother are facing health uncertainties and, in the case of one, there is the need for salvation.
I prayed for my siblings; some in love with Jesus and some far from Him. All of us dealing with the challenges of advancing age and wishing we were young again.
I prayed for my girlfriend and spent some time just thinking of the ways she is a blessing to me. I smiled when I thought how she struggled getting her locked up smart phone to work this afternoon and tried to get it “unstuck” by attempting to send me a text message that simply said “I love you”. I smiled even more when I thought about the fact that her phone worked after that! She mowed the grass when she came home from work … it was my pleasure to hand her a glass of cold water when she was finished and to prepare supper for us both as she sat on the porch and cooled off!
I was about to continue in prayer when a black and yellow bumble bee startled me by swooping in and hitting me square on the forehead before veering off. I thought maybe that was the signal to quit and so I did.