I can still here the voice of Mama Gizzi (a missionary in Japan) as she spoke these words to me, “Sandy, the best gift you can give your children is to not only pray for them, but pray with them. That is where the power is!” A feeling of discomfort came over me as I realized I had never done it that way. We had always prayed for them, over meals and at bedtime, but to actually start praying with them over their problems was a whole new concept. The more I thought about it, the more I was convicted to do it. Not only with the girls but with Hank also. I wanted our lives inside our home to reflect the sign that hung by our front door. “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
Serving the Lord meant doing things that were out of our comfort zone! My family was a precious gift from God and it was my responsibility to pray for them diligently. I knew if my prayers were going to be effective, they had to be more than, “God bless Casey and Bridgette!” My girls were stepping out into a completely different society than I had been exposed to. Hank and I did our best to make them feel important, not only in our lives, but in the lives of others. Building self-esteem was important, because we knew the world had a way of chewing them up and spitting them out! I could not stop life from happening, but I could pray a hedge of protection around them. I desperately wanted that power that Mama Gizzi was talking about. The only way that could happen was if I stood in the battle, but fought on my knees. So with the Sword of the Spirit in my hand, I went to war for my family.
I prayed that God would protect and go with them every step of the way, drawing them closer to Him with each step.
I prayed that they would always have enough light in the darkness to find their way out.
I prayed they would know the difference from right and wrong and stand for what was right.
I prayed if they did something wrong they would feel convicted, and if they didn’t, they would get caught!
I prayed they would make the right choices, but if they didn’t, they would learn from their mistakes and the Lord would give them His grace.
I prayed they would be godly women who would marry godly men and pass on the baton of faith to their children.
But most of all I prayed for their salvation, because I knew from experience that God’s way is the only way to make it through this crazy world.
Were all my prayers answered in the way I wanted them to be? No, but atleast I had the peace of knowing that I did lift up their needs in prayer. I did not just stand there and let the enemy have his way. I fought long and hard! He might have won a few battles, but I was determined to win the war!
The hardest part was learning when to let go!
When God placed them in the palm of our hands, we did our best to cover them with our love and protection as long as we could. Then the day came when they started pecking at our palms, wanting a little more space, so we had to loosen our grip. As time went on, they pecked harder and more often. We knew if we held onto their wings too tightly, we would tear them and they would not be able to fly on their own. So when the time came that we had to release them, we told both our girls that we had taught them all we knew. We prayed it was enough to prepare them for the tests of life that were just around the corner. They could either soar like an eagle or fall flat on their beaks! The choice was up to them, but they could know for sure we would be praying diligently for them. So as we opened our hands, we prayed that when the challenges of life became larger than their faith, they would turn to the Lord for help!
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
No matter where they went, they would always be in our hearts! We wanted them to know that we would always keep the home fires burning and not to forget that all roads lead to home.