Asides

Another prayer for those who stand…

Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus we come before you this evening, not as distant supplicants, begging to be heard, but as sons and daughters, joint heirs with Christ. We come now boldly and freely into your presence, freely asking these things according to your will, sure that you’re listening, confident that what we’ve asked for is as good as ours. So, we pray for our prodigal spouses this evening, wherever they are in the far country, and ask that you give them life.

Your word says that if we seek You earnestly and plead with You, if we are pure and upright, even now You will rouse Yourself on our behalf and restore you to your prosperous state. It also says that no one who hopes in You will ever be put to shame, but shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause. May those who seek our lives be disgraced and put to shame; may those who plot our ruin be turned back in dismay. Do not turn us over to the desires of our foes, for false witnesses rise up against us, our own one-flesh partners used as tools of the enemy, spouting malicious accusations. I remain confident of this:

We will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!!!

Father, in the name of Jesus, we take hold of these promises with thanksgiving, calling You to restore us to our prosperous state in the land of the living. Jesus Christ became a curse on the cross so that we might receive the blessing! I therefore call us blessed, and not cursed. I call our marriages blessed. I call our families blessed. I call our homes blessed. We are sons and daughters, joint heirs with Christ! In Your eyes, we are more than conquerors. We are an elite force of prayer warriors. We are mighty in Your power. You have called all of us to this place in this time to be your heralds; to proclaim your words to our sphere of influence; to stand, saying, “YOUR WILL BE DONE!” We rise up to proclaim it. We rise up to tear down the Jericho walls and move the mountains.

The bolts of our gates will be iron and bronze, and our strength will equal our days. There is no one like the God of Jeshurun, who rides across the heavens to help us and on the clouds in his majesty. The eternal God is our refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will drive out our enemies before us, saying, ‘Destroy them!’ The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against our families will be defeated before us. They will come at us from one direction but flee from us in seven.

So as our spouses prepare for bed this evening, we know that You do speak—now one way, now another—though no one perceives it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they slumber in their beds, You may speak in their ears and terrify them with warnings, to turn them from wrongdoing and keep them from pride, to preserve them from the pit, their lives from perishing by the sword.

God, You will block their paths with thorn bushes; wall them in so that they cannot find their way. Take them out of their sin inertia! Wall them in so that it is easier to do your will than to continue on in their sin. Turn their hearts toward home and smooth their path in that direction.

I know that your word that goes out from your mouth: It will not return to you empty, but will accomplish what YOU desire and achieve the purpose for which You sent it.

I ask all of these things in Jesus name, Amen.

 

I’ve lost track of half of these scripture references, because it just spews out anymore… suffice to say that most of this prayer comes from Job, Psalms, Hosea, Deuteronomy, Isaiah, and 1 John.

Advertisements

I have to know…

I just came in from my back yard and my father-in-law’s field where I was on my knees crying my guts out to my heavenly Father. When was the last time you cried your guts out before the Lord? This is when you cry so hard that you can barely breathe and you begin heaving… I wasn’t crying my guts out over my prodigal spouse or my legal fight to keep my children. I was crying my guts out because I’m afraid I’m missing something. I was crying my guts out because I want to know Him better. I was crying my guts out because I have to know…

I have to know. Is there something I’m missing in my relationship with God? I have to know… Is there a separate baptism of the Holy Spirit, as mentioned in Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4, Acts 1:8, and  1 Corinthians 12:1-31? Am I called to something more? Is this pentecostal stuff a bunch of spiritualist mumbo jumbo bandied about by prosperity charlatans, or is this just another truth of the Word of God that we cast off in the seeker sensitive mega church because it’s uncomfortable and scares the cappuccino sipping yuppies away? I honestly don’t know, but I have to know…

So, tomorrow, I’m going to our local AOG Church instead of my usual place of worship. Honestly, I feel dry and thirsty. I want to be surrounded by people who believe God is real and not a nice idea to go along with all the LED screens, professional production, and trendy coffee bar furniture. I want to be around people who don’t think I’m crazy for standing, who don’t think the idea that my wife is under demonic influence is crazy and irrational, and who are willing to entertain the fact that God just might restore my marriage… I have to know… So tomorrow, I will try something new. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Love, Faith, Fear, and the Eraser

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (1 John‬ ‭4‬:‭18‬ NIV)

Some rights reserved by KristinNador

Some rights reserved by KristinNador

I’ve noted before, on this blog, that God does not save us from the fire, but stands with us in it. The question is, will we get burned, and how does one quantify the burn? Todd White raises an interesting and frightening point when he says, “if it’s about you, you will get eaten and you will get burned” (Todd White). That’s frightening. I am in a divorce, one of the most painful ordeals of anyone’s life and am expected to make Godly and wise decisions concerning my children in the midst of that ordeal. Every day, I question, how much of my reactions, thoughts, and feelings are about me and how many are about God and my kids? Then, the enemy is constantly involved, framing the messages of my spouse in such a way to make me look selfish and unreasonable if I disagree at all. How much truth and how much manipulation exists in those arguments? How do I know when to die to self and when to stand against something? What am I supposed to do? It’s difficult to think clearly in the heat of battle. That still small voice is hard enough to discern when one is at peace.

Today, it really sunk in that my family is going to the beach in three days with a counterfeit in my place. That is EVIL and no one is standing up against it. I want to just scream at them all! It feels so wrong and unjust and unfair and every one just seems to wish I would “go away” or “disappear” so they could get on with their lives and pretend nothing happened. It so much more difficult to die to self when those around you actually wish you where dead. That’s not pessimism or depression. That’s just an observation. My wife, my in laws, and my neighbor’s lives would be made much more convenient if they could simply erase me from the picture. Then, the little fantasy that everything is okay, and nothing is amiss would have no interruptions. Unfortunately, I am here, asking for things like being able to see our children on a pretty regular basis, to have a say in where they’ll live and where they’ll go to school.

So, I ask Him to give me my daily bread, equipping me for each battle as it comes up. I cry out to Him daily and do my best to trust Him to care for me and speak on my behalf.

In you, Lord my God,
I put my trust.
I trust in you;
do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one who hopes in you
will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
who are treacherous without cause. (Psalm 25:1-3)

Good morning, Stander

goodmorningThere’s something about waking up… The enemy often takes that time, looking to the empty pillow next to me, to remind me that I am “alone, forsaken, and rejected“. Every morning I have to remember to reach out to God and “remind” him that if I seek Him, I will find Him. I must tell Him that I need Him to “show up” in my thoughts and throughout my day. I am not indeed “alone, forsaken, and rejected“, and I need God to to make that not such an intangible thing…

Yesterday, I did not do that, and my day was long, unproductive, and depressing. Today I am begging God to be here with me… to walk with me and sit with me and work with me and talk with me and remind me that I am not alone! I need that to be more than a nice spiritual truth… I need that in reality. I need it to be tangible.

Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart (Jer 29:12-13).

Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope (Ps 119:49)…

Attacked.

A lot of my fellow standers are being attacked this week. So am I. The darkness is pretty oppressive. In fact, many of us have taken to meeting together to pray nightly. The enemy does not like this and we have all become a bit depressed, if you will. Here’s a quick scripture prayer that I worked up with some inspiration from my friend Ben.

Awesome God, I pray that the eyes of our hearts may be enlightened in order that we may know the hope to which You have called us, the riches of Your glorious inheritance (Ephesians 1:18 NIV) God, show me what the enemy does not want me to see!

I know that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12)

You have told us that we, Your church, will not be overcome by the gates of hell and that whatever we bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever we loose on earth will be loosed in heaven (Matt 16:18-19) so we bind the spirit of heaviness and despair from all of the brothers and sisters standing for our marriages today.

I ask all these things in the name of Jesus and by the power His blood,

Amen

Identity Crisis

firststandingpostI don’t know what to do.

I don’t know where to go.

I don’t know what to say.

I don’t know how to act.

Honestly, I don’t know who to be.

 

I’m with her.

I’m with them.

I’m a husband.

I’m a father.

That’s all I want to be.

 

I don’t want to be a mover.

I have no desire to shake.

I don’t want to be a politician.

I don’t need to travel.

I was happy.

 

Now I don’t know what to be.

I’ve been ripped up…

…and a little ripped off.

I feel like running

or perhaps throwing up.

 

Who am I.

Child of the King always seems so abstract…

More so when discarded by your own.

What am I even doing here?

God, help me.

 

10

Ten years ago today

you, the God of the universe,

of all that is was and will be,

witnessed and blessed our covenant together.

 

You were there through all of our brokenness,

our dysfunction, our happiness, our striving.

You alone know us, our hearts, our souls.

You alone know how to restore order from this chaos.

 

I don’t know what to ask.

A miracle would be swell.

A sign would be nice as well.

I could use an anniversary gift.

 

God, I need You.

God, I need You.

No, I don’t need You to fix it tonight.

Though that would be ideal.

I don’t need wisdom right now.

Well, I always need that…

 

God, I need You.

Not the idea of You…

Not Your perfect Word…

Not a sign, though that would be nice…

I need You!

 

Like that whole relationship thing

that we Christians are always saying makes us different…

I need to be comforted.

I need to be held.

I hurt more than I’ve ever hurt my whole life.

 

I know You’ve hurt more.

I get that.

So let me feel Your presence.

Comfort those who mourn.

I mourn. I could use some comfort.

Change my heart… no, really.

Idolatry, patience, and idolatry… did i mention idolatry?

God’s timing is perfect. How many times do we standers hear that? We hear that almost as much as we hear that God wants to be first in our heart. It is true. God is a jealous god (Exodus 34:14).

So, how do I make God first? I nearly worshiped my wife when she was at home, and now that I’m standing and praying for her constantly it’s even worse. So here I am,

  • Reading the Word
  • Praying
  • Listening to the Word
  • Listening to Rejoice ministries podcasts
  • Fasting from all other media…

…every day. I feel like I’m in constant prayer. Still, so many of my prayers end up being about her.

Flipping out and feeling better…

So, today, I got in my car after work and started crying out to God… no, I was really crying out. I nearly went hoarse:

God, I want you to be first! I want you to be sufficient for me. I want to love you so much that I don’t need her! I want to desire you! I want to hunger for your word and meditate on your will! I want to be 110% sold out for you! I’m tired of feeling like my world is in gray-scale because she’s gone. I don’t know how to make my heart turn fully to you God. Help me! Help me! Change my heart! I want to be wholly yours! I don’t know how. Take this sickness from me!!! Help me want you more than I want her back!

So, yeah, I kind of flipped out like that for twenty or so minutes with a lot of tears and snot and stuff. Then I started to feel better. I still got a huge burden tonight to pray for my wife. I prayed some scriptures for her, then I played with my kids, fed them dinner, and I’m still feeling better. There was a moment when my almost-three-year-old daughter asked me to come up and rock her. She said she wanted to pray for mommy and that she missed her. I was a crying snotty mess again, but now that’s gone.

Maybe I’ll have to flip out like that once a day until my heart really falls in line. Either way, I want to put God first. I want to continue standing in the gap for my prodigal spouse. Squaring that circle moving forward shall be interesting…

Be prepared…

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. (1 Peter 3:15-16)

I am not prepared. I have not often given the best answers as of late. My least favorite question, which everyone asks me, is, “are you excited for your summer vacation?” No I am not. My family is broken. My one-flesh covenant relationship has been rent in two. I will often be alone with not much to do but work around and on my lonely house that we built together. I will have the occasional distraction of sitting in court. I wish I just had a big sign to wear that said, “DON’T ASK ME ABOUT SUMMER, PLEASE!” The thing is that I am supposed to be walking in victory. I am to be standing firm, remembering:

  • “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19
  • “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
  • Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20
  • “Have faith in God.” Jesus answered…“Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:22, 24
  • “I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.” Ezekiel 11:19-20
  • “What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who is against us?” Romans 8:31
  • and so on…

Still, I hurt. I feel the pain and dread and grief every time I hear the word, summer. Most often I simply answer in complete honesty. “No, I’m dreading summer actually.” That is not a very good witness to the faithfulness of Christ. That is a failure to witness. That is a victory for the enemy.

Pray for me that I may be prepared, both to give an answer and for my summer vacation.