Fighting the Good Fight of Faith
Shortly after my mother died thirteen years ago, my husband told me he was going out of town for three days.
Seeking to know God more intimately and the consolation of His Peace, I chose to take off work for three days in order to sing and pray, fast and study God's Word. I needed additional strength. For by that time, I had been praying for my sons--and then my sons and their wives--and then my sons and their wives and families for thirty-two years.
But while I was doing that I also knew my mom was involved in my life-long quest of faithful prayer for those I love most. When she died, some of my strength seemed to die with her. I say "seemed" for it really didn't--that was just my perception, my weakness, my grief and mourning taking hold robbing me of faith and spiritual stamina.
Over the course of three days, I kept praying for a "Word from God." At the end of that time, the Words that kept coming to my mind, to my heart, to my Spirit were "take up the mantle."
The only thing I could interpret that to mean was to "take up the mantle of prayer" that my mom had lain down upon her earthly passing.
It is seldom that I miss a day praying for my family, but it seems for quite sometime--months I will guess--I haven't been as fervent in my prayers for them--I knew I was letting up on my "watch." The nights can grow cold and long for watchman. If they are not prepared, sleep can descend when they are least expecting it. I did not and do not want to "go to sleep on the job."
Saturday night my husband and I went to a Chili Cook-Off to benefit Renewal Ranch, the new FREE ministry my husband and I are involved in, to benefit men with addictions.
I did not know I was going to be working, but I ended up working the T-shirt sales booth. There I met a man who was looking for a t-shirt for his son. We didn't have his size in stock but the man would not give up on finding one to fit him.
In the course of our conversation, he told me all about his son, a very sad situation. He got tears in his eyes as he talked and made this statement, "Don't ever give up praying for your family."
I took that, and told my new friend so, as a direct Word from God. Not that I didn't already know it, for in fact God had hammered home this point to me years before. But, it was a fresh Word, a new Word, validating what He had placed upon my heart many, many years before.
"Do not grow weary in your well-doing, for in due time you will reap a reward if you faint not." Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9
In this month of thanksgiving, I want to share a note I found today. I haven't seen or read this in many years, probably about ten because that is how old the sweet daughter is to whom my son is referring.
When God promises us reward, I think something like this could be part of what He is alluding to. He knows we need tangible results to our labor and chooses to reward us with those at times. I would not trade this card and sentiment for anything in the world.
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 5:16b (Our righteousness comes by exchanging garments with Christ--His spotless snow-white robe for our garments of sin, sorrow and despair)
But more than these tangible, earthly rewards, we have eternal rewards stored up in Heaven for us that angels are singing about at this very moment. Someday we will have the privilege of laying them all at the feet of Jesus, for He deserves all the glory.
He is the ONLY reason I have been faithful in even the smallest areas of my life. I can take no credit. The fact that I was close to fainting in my well-doing was no news to God. He used a man at a Chili Cook-Off to speak encouraging words to me. He meets us right where we are when we are serious about His Kingdom.
It is my prayer that God will meet you right where you are today, that your heart will be encouraged and your will renewed to fight the good fight of faith and prayer for your family.
edited repost from past pages