I toppled into it this morning without a clue. Actually, it was before that: The electricity had snapped off sometime in the middle of the night, my husband and I groaning as the fan’s blades slowed and quieted, leaving a stuffy heat beneath our mosquito net that I knew would make it challenging for him to sleep well.
In the morning, I cooked pancakes and eggs by candlelight; by 9 AM the lack of electricity to the water pump at the bottom of our hill meant we were without water in the kitchen sink, too—after nearly a week of alternating lack of power and water. Grr. The kids had forgotten to plug in the “school” laptop last night, so mine was the option for homeschool, i.e. getting my own work done in the afternoon did not seem in the cards. I scrambled through phone calls before my phone battery died. The power company wasn’t picking up.
In celebration of the new school year–and since many of you are new to this blog in the last year–I’m reposting these specific prayers for these individuals who powerfully influence our kids, families, and communities day after day.
A friend of mine who eventually lost his wife, and the mother of his four children, to Lou Gehrig’s disease once recalled to me a profound moment with God. While he still cared for her as her body spiraled downward, he had lain on his bed, overcome by loss.
But God seemed to be pointing him toward thanks. Not able to immediately turn to full-on gratitude, my friend simply started small. He thanked God for the ability to breathe; for the bed he wept on; for the air conditioning. From there, his gratitude snowballed, steering him into praise.
My friend’s attitude has revolutionized my approach to my bad days; to my pain.
- Be the Prince of Peace in my home. Be my Wonderful Counselor; be the Mighty God who controls my home. Let me love and parent as you do, Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6). Let my peace come from you rather than my circumstances.
- “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!” (Psalm 141:3)
- Lord, be the One who controls me—not my emotions. Help me keep in step with your Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). Let me hear you.
- Let my anger be a constructive, precise tool of Your Kingdom—not a destructive tool of my own kingdom.
- Change my kids’ hearts and my own, not just our behavior. You’re the only One who can truly change us from the inside out (see Matthew 23:25; Psalm 51:10, Jeremiah 24:7). Make our hearts soft! Bring us true, life-giving sorrow that brings us to live differently (2 Corinthians 7:10).
- You are mighty to save me not simply out of this situation, but through it. You give us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:2). Help us honor you here!
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Maybe it was the most obvious with the guy who showed up at my gate a couple of years back. When I (um, naively) requested our guard open the gate for him, the guard respectfully bowed his head, an unspoken “no.” Maybe I should have been tipped off by the sweat beading on our visitor’s forehead, or the darting of his eyes as he presented me with the medical bill for his daughter, being treated for typhoid.
I remember praying fitfully while I listened to him, for wisdom from the God who actually knew this guy’s story. From what I know about African ways with money, Super White Woman! swooping in to save the day seemed to disintegrate what his community did actually have to offer. I declined his offer for cash. He turned away, angry and possibly hopeless (I thought) that he was no closer to a solution for his daughter.