And God, Bless Mimi 'n' Dog Jowl*....
Our oldest daughter recently told me that my husband and I are her little boys’ “number one prayer request”. You don’t know how that warmed my heart. To picture our grandsons, ages four and two, asking the Lord Jesus to bless us each night touched me deeply and made me consider in a new way childlike faith and the call to prayer.
Our message at church earlier this month was taken from this text:
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified youto share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:9-14
The young, visiting preacher did an excellent job expounding on Paul’s words to believers in Collosae those many centuries ago - words that detailed his faithful prayer that they might “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord” - the why and the how. I was challenged to consider my life as I listened - Am I bearing fruit? Am I growing in knowledge? Does my life reflect the power of the triune God? Are my days filled with gratitude? I even began (with my pharisaical score keeping tendencies) tallying points in my head. Numbers 1 and 2 - getting better - two points. Number 3 - not always so good - half point. Number 4 - room for improvement - a bit half-hearted - zero. Although I took copious notes and privately vowed to integrate this passage into my life as a kind of inoculation against my propensity to sin, I found that by evening, such thoughts were far from me.
And then my daughter sent that text.
My heart was pierced, and my mind returned to that morning’s teaching. I recalled a time when, following my heart, I wandered for many years in a desert wasteland that nearly destroyed me. I thought of believing friends from my youth who, after my return, told me they had been praying for my rescue all along. I considered a godly grandmother, now long gone, and wondered if she had prayed for me before I knew my need for intercession. I thought of Jesus, looking down the corridor of time, beseeching the Father to guard those of us yet to come (John 17).
I thought of two, little boys faithfully praying in sweet, little boy voices for grandparents who live four, long hours away, and I felt so protected and loved.
I am one of the last in line to fully understand prayer, but here’s what I know. God's Word tells us to pray. Jesus prayed. Scripture is replete with many amazing prayers that lift our eyes heavenward and free our earthbound feet of clay. Prayer is an ordinary means of grace, and grace is far from ordinary.
Just ask those two, little boys and their grandma.
*Mimi and Dog Jowl are pet names our grandsons gave us. Yeah, Dog Jowl - long story....