I've shared with you all before that the Lord gives me life verses for my kids as a platform for which to pray for them. It's kind of my starting point and my habit to keep me focused on how to hear from God for my gang.
It's a practice I started when I was expecting Shaggy, 19 years ago. His (in real life) name means "Who is like the Lord?" - a rhetorical question meant to inspire awe at His greatness and incomparable awesomeness. His life verse is Micah 6:8.
"He has shown you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justly, To love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God?"
Over these last 18 years, I have had many conversations with God. Seeking His heart for my son, asking God to show Himself so good, so amazing, so BIG to Shaggy that he would never want what the world has to offer. Sometimes, begging God to give Shaggy such an experience of His love that leaves him completely spoiled for any other kind of experience or love. Frankly, some days those prayers felt rote. Trite. Other days it felt like slogging through mental mud. Still other times, I truly wondered if he would EVER find his way to dissatisfaction with the world's definition of life, success, love ...whatever.
When we picked Shaggy up from the airport last week, the whole gang headed out to to our favorite diner to celebrate Shaggy's graduation from YWAM DTS. During our meal, Shaggy started sharing small snippets of his time away from home and the things he experienced. At one point in the conversation, he said to us, "I feel like I just spent the last 5 1/2 months learning that God is so good to me, so much BETTER than I ever knew He could be. Like there's never going to be anything better than knowing Him and serving Him."
I froze. There it was. THAT was it. But in the interest of "keeping it together" and not reacting immediately, I tucked it away and processed it and prayed through it the rest of our night together.
The next evening, Shaggy was sharing some more reactions and experiences with me as I prepared dinner. When he was winding down, I repeated what I heard him say at the diner the night before. Then I reminded him of the meaning of his name and the life verse I've been using as my platform to pray for him all these years.
He made the connection standing there across the counter from me. Tears in his eyes. Tears in mine. I am not exaggerating when I say to you that this was the MOST. FULL. CIRCLE. MOMENT. I have ever experienced in my parenting journey. Standing there in my kitchen, that moment felt holy. It WAS holy.
This is why we pray, moms! This is it. It's hard. It's exhausting. Sometimes it feels as if it's bouncing off the ceiling. Sometimes it feels like it's never going anywhere. I really felt like I needed to share this with you today. Maybe one of you is weary. Maybe you even feel hopeless. Maybe you wonder if you are even making a difference in the destiny God has for your son or daughter.
Hang in there, momma. There is a purpose to your prayers. There is a reason for that particular prayer that rises up each time you stop to think about that particular child. And it WILL be fulfilled. It will come full circle. His Word promises it to be so.
"...so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it."
Isaiah 55:11 (English Standard Version)
"And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick,
and the Lord will raise him up.
And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
Therefore, confess your sins to one
another and pray for one another,
that you may be healed.
The prayer of a righteous person has
great power as it is working.
Elijah was a man with a nature like ours,
and he prayed fervently that it might not rain,
and for three years and six months it did not rain
on the earth."
James 5:15-17 (English Standard Version)
OH! And a hat tip to my sister for posting this last week,
just when I was looking for it!
“I remember my mother’s prayers
and they have always followed me.
They have clung to me all my life.”