God has often fathered me as I father my kids. It’s an easy place for him to get our attention as men, we think about, pray about, are concerned about our kids… they are “constantly on our hearts and minds.” It’s part of the Dad job.
This morning, I was launching some prayers over and for them, journaling to God my heart for their hearts. Each of them has some tough things going on in their young lives. Bringing the Love of Jesus and the provision and protection of His Kingdom is always a good idea. As their father, I will always have some influence and authority in their lives, though as they grow up, that diminishes over time when their wills become more and more “theirs”.
This nudge of God to pray over and for them started the day before. I was moving about in our bedroom putting clothes away and picking up my stuff and I noticed a picture hanging on our wall. Three pictures, actually. They were one on top of the other, each with a small 3x3 inch picture of me with each of my girls at a period when my oldest was 5 and youngest 1 (now they are 23, 21, and 18). I thought, “Man it was easier back then, perched on my lap, holding them in the pool, drawing pictures together with crayons.”
When Robin and I were preparing to have children we read all the books, went to all the classes, and “What to Expect when You're Expecting”. Somewhere along the new-parenting-preparation way, we were advised to find a soothing song to help as a focal point during the labor process. We chose Pachelbel's Canon in D.
Back to this morning... While praying and journaling over and for them, I often listen to classical or soundtrack music. Just at the moment I had put a period on a few paragraphs of prayer, the music changed and… God showed up.
Take a wild guess at what began to play?
We all need a little love and encouragement each and every day. Being loved and encouraged by a perfect Father has its advantages. I’m learning to see and hear His love far more than ever before, but just like my kids, I don’t think they comprehend how much I am doing for them and love being with them. I wonder if God feels the same way, “Man it was easier when Michael was younger, holding Him, delighting in Him, just being with Him.” I pray we all can get some time on the Father’s lap today, or soon.
I have learned that no matter what the age the child is, the father’s presence is always what is needed, and with our Father God, it is always available.
Dear God, Holy Trinity; Father, Son, and Spirit, we worship you above all things. You alone are Life, and in you we have Life. We declare your glory today, your power and authority over all creation. You made it all, and you hold it all together. We declare that you made us fearfully and wonderfully and for yourself. You created us in Love and for Love, and we take our place in your Kingdom of Love, receiving our identity and worth, value and significance from you and you alone.
Father, we declare, we need your fathering. We invite you to father us, today, and to grant us a deeper understanding of how, when, and where you are loving us, growing us to who we have it in us to be. We also confess, we have not and are not always faithful to your will or your ways for us. Forgive us, again, for wandering off, going to other things or other people to Love or protect us. We turn, again, this day from every substitute or imitation we have made our source of Life. Thank you for taking us back and wanting us back again and again. You are a perfect father, and our hearts find their home and rest in you.
Jesus, we declare, we need your loving work and loving way, to learn from you how the Kingdom works and who we are in it. Thank you for every provision made for us, for every ounce that it cost you; every thorn, blow, nail, humiliation, every sin that was placed upon you, removing our sin from us in order to rescue us from darkness and its claims. We apologize for the times we have said, “it isn’t enough” and turned our backs on our True Love, the one who set us free. We align our hearts, again, with yours today. We declare our allegiance and affection for you, our Savior and, now, our King. Thank you for bringing us back to Life by redeeming us from death.
Holy Spirit, if we are ever going to have a chance at becoming all you have for us, all we have it in us to be, our true selves, born in your image and returning to that image… if we are ever going to see holiness rule in our hearts it is because of you and your work done there. Thank you for residing in our deepest place, our hearts, for remaking us and remodeling us into beauty, strength, and love. Guide us into all truth… teach us the most excellent ways, counsel us in compassion, patience, and grace.
We declare the glory of God over all creation, over Zoweh, its allies, friends, and team. We declare the glory of God against all foul spirits, all darkness, and all schemes of the kingdom of darkness set against Zoweh, its allies, friends, and team. We bring the cross, resurrection, and ascension of the Lord, Jesus Christ, over this mission, ministry, and all its work for redemption, reconciliation, and freedom. We consecrate Zoweh, its allies, friends, and team with the power and presence of God declaring hope for all creation and proclaiming the coming Victory when no more death, sin, or darkness will have a part in this story. Come Jesus come in power, strength, and love… advance your friends, advance your Kingdom that all may know a love that sets free. Come, Father, and train us up as your sons and daughters, grow and build a faithfulness in our hearts that we would not so easily be lured away. Thank you for the role and part in your Kingdom as children. You have adopted us into your family and heal and train through a love we must know and experience for as we do, everything changes. Everything changes. Amen and AMEN.