Prayer the Week of September 15 — Looking Into The Future

Prayer Closet | Raising Arrows 1 1 Comment
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My parents are facing a crisis. Is that dramatic? No, perhaps not.

They are facing a crisis, partly of their own making. Is that fair? Yeah, probably.

And I am following in their footsteps. Is that foolish? No, not actually.

Vocations

You see, my parents raised their children (my older brother, me, and my younger sister) differently than most of the world and most of the Church raised their children.  They always said, “If you want a different result, you have to put in different ingredients.”  Some people might have thought they were too strict, other people might have thought they were too lenient. But most people thought they were a little bit crazy eccentric. Or as our friend, Micha, says, “You’re just special.”

When we were little they encouraged us to encounter Jesus radically ourselves. My first memory of my Dad is him on his knees in church weeping and crying out to the Lord in tongues. Because of his example, we all encountered Jesus early and radically.

When we were young they encouraged us by telling us that we had good ideas and could discern the voice of the Lord. I don’t recall them batting an eye when we said things like, “I believe God wants me to go on a missions trip.” or “I told my teachers at school that I wouldn’t be participating in that certain project because it contradicts my faith.”  They seemed (at least to our young minds) to take it all in stride.

When we were young they taught us our identities were secure in Christ.  When a little boy on the school bus called my 5 year old brother a n**ger, my brother replied with, “I am not! I am a Christian!”

When we were young adults we were raised to be fearless.  Things may be scary, unknown, and out of the ordinary, but those were not the basis on which to back down from what you were called for.  Thus, when I was 13 I spent the summer in Mexico (sans parents) building cabins for missionaries.  My sister, when she was 13 was in Venezuela.  All three of us, during our teen years, were out doing bold things–mission trips to Honduras, Pakistan and Indonesia were also in there.  When my sister entered Bible College she went on a missions trip to Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras.

When they were guiding us in choice of a spouse their criteria was someone who loves Jesus passionately and was a person of purpose and vision.  They did not say to choose someone who was local and unadventurous. Before Gana asked me to marry him, my parents asked me, “How do you feel about living in Mongolia?”

Radically encountering Jesus, discerning the voice of the Lord, standing up for what we believed in, our identities secure in Christ and knowing who we are, fearlessness and daring–all these things instilled and sowed deep and early in our lives. My parents personal and ministry motto has long been “Enlarging our tent and strengthening our stakes.”

And that is the crisis my parents created.  They now have three children who are still saying, “I believe God wants me to….” and “I feel called to do….” and pushing the envelope in their faith and lives. Three grown children who don’t accept human-drawn limits. Except now the adventures are not summer-long missions trips or standing up to elementary school teachers or school bus bullies.  Now the adventures are bigger and scarier and longer. The vocations take their children across oceans and continents and in the uncharted territories that come of working out faith with fear and trembling. I fully realize that continuing on the course I am on, I am set to do the same with my children.  They already say things about “When I move to India….” or “When I become….”

“Everybody has a vocation to some form of life work. But, behind that and deeper than that, everybody has a vocation to be a person, to be fully and deeply a human being, to be Christ-like. And the second thing is more important than the first. It is more important to be a great person than a great teacher, butcher, or candlestick maker. And if the only chance of succeeding in the second is to fail in the first, the failure, from God’s point of view, is fruitful.” (Fr. Brennan Manning)

This week, we are praying for our children’s vocations. We are guiding our young adults into a time in their life where they are discerning God’s will for their futures.  We want them to be successful, to be happy, to be fulfilled.  But, first and foremost we want them to be Christ’s–to belong fully to the Lord.  And with that we want them to be fearless, courageous, compassionate, generous, self-sacrificing and not-of-this-world.  In 20 years when they want to do something crazy/dangerous/risky, they will be able to point back to this article and say, “See, it’s partly your fault.” And likewise raise my grandchildren the same way.  It will be a crisis for me.

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. 3 John 1:4

Join us as we pray for our children’s vocations:

  • May our children walk in truth. 3 John 1:4
  • May our children be strong and very courageous. Joshua 1:7
  • May our children pursue justice, mercy and humility before God. Micah 6:8
  • May our children prosper and be in health, even as their souls prosper. 3 John 1:2
  • May our children have wisdom to discover and discern the will of the Lord. Ephesians 5:10

The prayer of Jabez, adapted: “Oh, that You would bless [insert your child’s name] indeed, and enlarge [my child’s] territory, that Your hand would be with [my child], and that You would keep him/her from evil, that [my child] may not cause pain!”  I Chronicles 4:10

Lord, help our children to know the road you have chosen for them; may they give you glory and attain salvation. Sustain them with your strength, and let them not be satisfied with easy goals. Enlighten us, their parents that we may help them to recognise  their calling in life and respond to it generously. May we put no obstacle in the way of your inner guidance. Amen. (From the Prayer Book for Spouses, Ignatius Press and Catholic Truth Society)

Their future’s so bright, I have to wear shades buy stock in kleenex.


  1. Georgina - September 15, 2014

    Amazing Daja!  (Did ya notice there is no comma?)  Well said, better prayed.  I appreciate that you not only set out the Bible verses for us to pore over.  You pray them out!  Reminds me of another special lady’s, Nancy Campbell, way of ministering. This post is my heart’s desire, even when I tease my children that they can only live a 15 minute drive away.  So far, I have avoided the crisis 😉  Dear Lord Jesus, have Your way.  God bless The Provision Room.

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