Five Things to Pray for Your Kids as They Leave the Nest

Even though your kids have reached the status of young adults and are leaving the nest, you should continue to pray over them. I have found it very effective to pray God’s word over mine. He is faithful.

1  Pray that Their Mind, Their Thoughts will value God’s Word over the world’s values

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 

Philippians 4:8

My daughter is entering college and will be inundated with all types of information. I pray that she will focus on the things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable to God. It is very easy to focus on all the negative in life. It will be difficult not to focus on the trivial in our society.  I pray that God will focus her mind on praiseworthy things.

 

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2  Pray that they will not be anxious but trust God in each situation

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

The thing that gets me anxious is sitting in traffic.  I lose control of time and am at the will of the people in front of me. I hate it. When parents are not around, I know anxiousness will rush in to the hearts of our young adults and try to set up house.  Pray that each situation they encounter they will take to God and make their requests. Pray that God’s peace will rule over their lives.

 

 

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3 Pray that they will have Godly friends and faithful family

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. Proverbs  17:17

My first college roommate brought a young man in the room while I was in bed asleep.  I woke up to the two of them across from me.  My innocent Southern Baptist upbringing had not prepared me for that. Our young adults will encounter thousands of people, most of which will not be good for them. Pray the God will surround them with Godly friends and influences.

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4 Pray that the Lord will enlightened them to their Calling

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people. Ephesian 1:18

At a time in life when many set out to make millions or become wealthy, pray they will focus on what God is calling them to in this life. Pray they will understand that it is far more profitable to be in God’s calling than to make their first million.

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5 Pray that they will Trust the Lord leading them on the Path

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

In order to trust God, one has to know God. You get to know God by studying His word. God gives us all a passion. Pray that they will spend time in God’s word and come to trust Him. As they come to trust, He will make clear the path they should take.

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Pray God’s word over your young adult and watch what God will do.

It Is Not Going To Stop

So at my work, when you are talking to someone and they are telling you about a situation that requires a whole lot of work and effort to be resolved, usually the conversation will end with:

“But this is my overtime day, so that is not going to happen.”

You feel for them. You get it. They have put in their regular work week and have added some to it. For them to go so far over the top would be ridiculous.

So it was my overtime day. It was set up perfect!

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I was on my favorite floor, in one of the best locations (by the breakroom and the restroom). And there was a fan close by cause these are the 100 degree days.  To top all of this off, one of the coolest supervisors was on the floor. It was going to be a chillaxing day.

Super Christian that I am, I was encouraging others. Saying this is going to be a good day. We are going to make it happen. There were high fives, fists bumps, etc.

About 30 minutes into my shift, cool supervisor came by and said, “You trained in (another department)?”

“I don’t want to do that today. This is my overtime day.”

She said “Cool. If they don’t call back, we good.”

I sent up my quick prayer. Fifteen minutes later she showed up and said I had to go.

Crap! This is my overtime day.

Needless to say I go to another department. It started out okay, but not my chillaxing day I had planned.

After lunch that job changed.  It was something ten times harder than anything I had done. I worked harder than I have ever worked. My back called me names that were not polite and would probably make you blush. I sweated so hard I was soaking wet down to my underwear. This was so opposite of what I had planned.

But I learned something new about work and about me.  It was hard. It was fun. It was worth it.

In this world, when we pray for peace and for God’s intervention, that is what we expect.  We expect God to reign peace down on us because we are praying for it, kinda like I expected a chillaxing day. Yet it seems like the harder we pray, the more violence breaks out.

We have visualized a world in our minds that really doesn’t exist. Kinda like my chillaxing day.  In order for us to have peace, everyone has to leave their chillaxing behind and go to work in another department. We are not giving up our comfort zones to meet others where they need us. I don’t believe we are there. We don’t sound like it yet. White people want black people to change. Black people want white people to change. Until we all change I think the violence is only going to get worse. We are heading for very dark days.

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Until we are all broken, I don’t believe God will do anything with us. Our hearts are not contrite. We are still lost in darkness. We are still finger pointing and wanting it to be someone else’s fault. We are still mourning in different camps. Some mourn for the officers, some mourn for the victims.  God is waiting for us all to mourn together.

This morning at church, Stephen Rickels reminded us that the way that God thinks and the way that man thinks are different. We often think we know what is best because of how it feels to us. God knows what is best and has a plan in motion to deliver us. It is going to be hard. We are going to sweat. It is going to be worth it because we will all do it together.

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When we break sweat together we will know what our God is up to. As long as we stay in our separate camps we are doomed. He warned us about these days. It was not an accident we studied the Book of Revelation last year. We need to believe Him.

Some of us are not going to make it through this violence. Stop living your life like this doesn’t affect you. We have been a nation sheltered from this kind of violence, but we have chosen to be free of God who had politely stepped back and given us over to it. Until then I think we will find we live in a dangerous environment that we help create.

The good news is that this isn’t the end of the story. When Adam and Even sinned and separated themselves from God, He had a plan for reconciliation. You see God loves us more than we can imagine.

His plan was for Jesus to come to earth as a man, live a perfect life and be the sacrifice we needed to reconcile us with Him.

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Jesus suffered death on a cross for us. He rose from the dead after three days. He promised that if you believe in Him, you will have everlasting life. You see the devil doesn’t win if you believe in Jesus.

You want to know how to stop the violence, make sure everyone around you believes in Jesus.  Even if they are absent from the body, they are present with Lord. Amen. We win.

 

 

Stop Letting Anybody Be Your Friend

God designed us to live in community. These are the people who influence our lives and shape our existence. They either build us up or tear us down.

The biggest struggle I have had in my life is letting “anybody” in my life and giving them influence in how I live. Let me say this is a terrible idea because as God rips these people from your life you wonder what did you do wrong. Truth is you became attached to something that was not good for you.  These people steer you the wrong way.

John Simmons of Rush Creek did a great job on the subject this past Sunday. He said friends are not to make you FEEL good, but to make you DO good.

 

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Like this flower with missing petals . It is still a flower. It can do what flowers do, just not to its full capacity. That is how we are. We are learning to get by on what we got instead of operating the way God intended us. Our power comes in numbers.

Based on the list of Wise Friends and Foolish Friends, I had the opportunity this week to evaluate my friendships. People who I thought I knew, I didn’t know.  But the process helped me put them in their proper place.  When people show you who they are, believe them.

Just because someone loves Jesus doesn’t mean they love you. Let me say this again.  When Jesus accepts people into his family, He didn’t say you can only get in if you stop being a racist.

He said whoever believes in me will have everlasting life (John 3:16).

The good news is that we will have perfect bodies and attitudes when we get to heaven and these times won’t even be a memory.  I love the song that says “He will take the darkness from our eyes.”

Until then, I will unfriend and block all racist attitudes. What they will miss are the amazing treasures God gives me that I share will others. It is the price they pay.  If the Lord can hand them over to their darkness, so can I.

And on the other hand, I encountered people who make me better.  At Rush Creek we believe in living life together in Lifegroups.  The people who went beyond anything I could have ever imagined. They walked the talk. I hear God saying that if I let Him chose my friends, He will give me life abundantly. He picks wise friends who know and fear Him. I am overwhelmed by His grace.

God’s grace surrounds us, but with tragedy all around us we can miss it. One of the things I noticed out of all the tragedy this week came something amazing. Imagine if there had been a time to get Abraham, Isaiah, Moses and David all together under one roof and have them speak to the awesomeness of our God.

There was a moment this week when amazing men of God came together to fill everyone with hope. How incredible!

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What Satan meant to destroy us, God used to unite us in an incredible way. These men influence a community towards love. God is getting some glory out of this.

Stop fighting those people God is pulling out of your life. They are not good for you. Surround yourself with people who make you better. You need people in your life you remind you to have compassion for others.  Those who will cry with you.

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Prayer for my People

Lord Jesus,

You created us different for a reason. You darkened our skin and curled our hair. It was according to your magnificent purpose and your Everlasting plan. You operate in the spiritual and physical realms so you know better than us what is going on. But you have taught me, that if I cry out, you will hear and answer.

My heart is heavy and my soul cries out.

Lord, the devil is trying to annihilate my people. He has used many things in his arsenal including destroying our family units, but we are strong and have been able to push past that.  Now he has taken to killing us defenseless in the streets.

Lord, like you defended Israel in Egypt and Babylon, defend us.

You birthed us from the bottom of a ship,so I know there is a mighty plan at work.  We are your people Lord, you have seen to that. You taught us who you were before we could even read your word.  You put a song in our spirit that connects us to you. Some have strayed, but we are your people.

My prayer Lord is this. For every one of us that they kill, give us 10 more. Let us multiple to the point where this continent is so full of dark skinned people it makes the African continent jealous. Let our oppressors see that every time they kill one of us, 10 more will spring up.

Not only am I asking you to multiple my people Lord, I am asking to you bless whatever they put their hands to in your name. Make us many and bless our work in your name. Show our oppressors that you are a mighty God who decides what this continent looks like and who will run it.

Lord, I pray you will look upon our oppressors and change their hearts. Take the scales from their eyes and allow them to see that they are persecuting you.

Work out your plan and protect my people. I know you will do exceeding, abundantly above all I can ask or imagine.

Amen.

 

 

It is darkest before dawn

It is not my favorite time of day, but when I am up, it is the most beautiful part of the day.

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It is always good to see light come breaking through. There are many dark shadows, but light is on the way. The Lord calls songs of joy out of the darkness into the breaking light, and it is usually sung by birds in that big tree in my neighborhood. (psalms 65:8)

The same thing with life. Just when you think it is over, God will step in and change things.

Traveling up and down I-35 is difficult these days because of the construction. It is hard on  the roads which in turn is hard on the cars. I had two bad tires because of potholes. I could only afford to change one.

I had to pray that the other one held out until I had the money to change it.It was starting to crack all around the edges. There were signs along the way to remind me of the dangers of traveling on poor tires.

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But God said. I got this.

Today as I was replacing the second tire, I met a lady with the same problem. Potholes had broken her rims and destroyed her tire. But we were in a place where someone could do something about it.

He reminds me that He has whatever I face in His hands. He has a purpose for each of us in life, for His name to be proclaimed. ( Exodus 9:16)

Sometimes as you are waiting for dawn in your situation, there are others who light the way. Sometimes you are alone. It is okay to be the only one in the parking lot.

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Some of the things God calls you to do, it is just for you. He is revealing himself to you. Not everyone is going to understand what you understand about God. Remember Jesus went up on the mountain alone to pray.

This week He performed miracle after miracle. He reminded me of the power of my tongue. He taught me to be more like Him. He showed me his beautiful work in the sunrises. Who could ask for more?

I am learning to live with the darkness because I know the sun is on the way.