Children – their prayers and praises

Still on Hagar and Ishmael’s story in Gen 16 -21.

For a background of the story, please read my last post. In the preceding verses, Sarah sent Hagar and Ishmael (in his early teens) away from the house. They had no clue to their destination but wandered through the wilderness. When her food and water finished, Hagar pulled over somewhere; overwhelmed, exhausted, deeply frustrated, seeing no hope for the future especially for the teenager.

She placed Ishmael under a tree and walked as far away as possible to avoid watching her dearly beloved son as he dies of hunger and thirst. She sat down and wept.

Verse 17, “God heard the voice of the boy,and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Do not be afraid, for God has heard the voice of the boy from where he is [resting].” (AMP)

We were not told the contents of Ishmael’s prayers. Also, it is interesting that (AMP) used the word “resting” as his disposition unlike Hagar who was described as heavily disturbed. Could it not be the case that both voices were heard? Possibly so however it was recorded that, the boy’s voice was heard. Surely, there is something about children- their prayers and praises.

Matt 18: 10 (AMP) “See that you do not despise or think less of one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven [are in the presence of and] continually look upon the face of My Father who is in heaven.

If you are a parent/guardian, bring your children/wards up in the way of the Lord; teach and encourage them to pray. Their prayers will in return have positive impact in your lives.

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Open my eyes..

I was drawn to reading through Gen 16 -21, the story of Hagar and Ishmael.

To give my lovely readers a background, Hagar was Sarai’s house help. Sarai was married to Abram. God promised Sarai & Abram a child; the child was not forthcoming as Sarai had expected. Sarai drew up this plan – to have Abram meet with Hagar to ensure there is continuity in the family line. As hoped, Hagar had a child, Ishmael. Events turned out that Sarai could not stand both son and mother anymore therefore she sent them away from the house. Abram gave them the essentials – water and bread, for the journey.

Ishmael was a teenager at this time. Without a clue to their destination, overwhelming exhaustion, deep frustration, lack of water and seeing no hope for the future especially for the teenager, Hagar pulled over somewhere. She placed Ishmael under a tree and walked as far away as possible to avoid seeing her dearly beloved son as he dies of hunger and thirst.

Being a mother myself, I strongly believe she would have done all she could to fend for her son, looking and possibly begging passers-by for food and or water; checking and scanning around for wells. Talk about exhausting all options?

Sitting and awaiting the death of her son, she cried out to God. It must have been a heartfelt prayer of few words, “God help us”.  There and then, her eyes were opened to see a near by well.

How come she did not see this  particular ‘near by’ well until after the prayer and surrendering to God?

Truly, there are such times in life we give up on issues after several “failed” attempts and hacing exhausted all options. Perhaps, if we could have prayed for our eyes to be opened and/or asked specifically for direction; we would have come through as winners.

Lovely reader, take a moment, to ask God to open your eyes to see, to inspire you in the specific steps to take in those challenging areas of life.

Fireworks Display

….Such a beautiful, colourful, bright, spectacular, sparkling yet loud and deafening display.

There were quite a few displays last month in the town where I live. From the comfort of my house, I could hear the noise and see the lights. Such a beauty to behold!

Whilst I admired the sight, my 2 year old daughter could not stand the deafening sound. She was scared! She clung up to me without letting go! I could see the fear and uncertainty in her eyes. She hid her face under my knitted jumper and was not going to move an inch.

Like most caring mothers will do, I cuddled and reassured her that it was a temporary noise etc. About an hour later, it stopped and my daughter went about her normal routine.

Still sitting down on the reclining sofa, my mind travelled to the children in war-torn zones. Theirs was not fireworks but real dangerous ammunition. Whilst I knew “my situation” was temporary, the mothers in Aleppo really could not tell how long the unrest will go on for. Whilst I was in the comfort and warmth of my home; those mothers hide under dilapidated buildings. How much reassurance could mums give their children? Would the concern of these mums be putting up Xmas trees or having a place to call home full of tranquility?

Hmmm. Father, please send your peace to these areas and have mercy on the souls in Jesus name. Amen.

The Word as seeds

I was studying the scriptures some hours ago and a spiritual nugget dropped in my heart. This is in relation to the fig tree in (Mark 11:12-25). To summarise the story, Jesus Christ and his disciples whilst on their way to Jerusalem saw a fig tree. He was expecting to see fruits on it that he might pluck some. Unfortunately, there was none! Consequently, he cursed the tree to dry up. Nothing seemed to happen physically after those words. Bear in mind, that the same Jesus Christ spoke to situations (the sick, blind, the lame, the storm etc) and there were immediate manifestations in the physical.

You might wonder – why then is the “fig tree” different? Let us carry on with the story, the following day (could be between 6 – 12 hrs after the initial incident) on their way back, they  passed by the fig tree. And Peter raised an alarm, “oh oh the fig tree has dried up!”.

The nugget for me is: there are varying challenges in a man’s life. Some will respond to the Word quickly to produce a physical manifestation. Some will take a day, days, a month, months, a year or years. It might not be clear-cut as to how to categorise the situations but one thing is sure that prayer ahead of time yield tremendous benefits.

I have heard several pastors, across the world, advice to pray for the future of ones’ children even if they are not yet born; to pray for ones’ marriage whilst still single etc.

Prayers/the Word are seeds. If sown at the appropriate time, they bear fruits at the appropriate time.

Intercessory Prayer

My mum has always stressed on the importance of intercessory prayer. She will gently say, “keep interceding for XYZ“. Intercessory prayers are powerful. There are quite a few stories in the bible where this weapon was successful utilised by the saints. For example, the brethren prayed for Peter’s rescue from the prison (Acts 12). I have heard of stories where people received angelic visitations at the hour intercessory prayers were being made on their behalf.

I particularly like the story in Gen 18 and 19. This was a conversation between God and Abraham concerning the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. God was going to utterly destroy the city but Abraham pleaded on behalf of the saints. A deal was struck to save the city if 10 saints/righteous men were found.

Angels were dispersed to go looking for 10 saints/righteousness men but found 1 household (not up to 10 individuals). The household was saved but the city destroyed.

Gen 19 Verse 29, “Now when God ravaged and destroyed the cities of the plain [of Siddim], He remembered Abraham [and for that reason], and He sent [Abraham’s nephew] Lot out of the midst of the destruction, when He destroyed the cities in which Lot had lived”.

For the sake of Abraham, the intercessor, Lot, a righteous man  (2 Peter 2:7) was saved.

Could God say that because of your prayers, I will deliver/bless XYZ?Are you an intercessor? Be an intercessor!

Grace – it can be activated

Following on from the lastest post, “Singled Out”, I asked the Lord another question, “does that mean I must wait till Grace locates me, I get the fact I needed to prepare for my day of visitation like Esther. But like Naaman and the widow of Zarephath, what preparation was needed?

I was led to Hebrews‬ ‭4:16‬ ‭AMP‬‬ “Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favor] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment]”.

The commonality in the scenarios in the ‘Singled Out’ post was that ‘they all had a need’.

Is it not wonderful that I can activate that Grace? You could also  activate it, this is a directive from God. Activate it by asking for it.

On my bended knees, King of Glory, I boldly approach your throne to receive Grace and Mercy for my life, my marriage, my home, my children, my career, my ministry, my finances, my health in the name of Jesus. Amen

Singled Out 

It is wonderful how some verses get impressed in ones’s heart so strongly that you read them over and over again. I am sure I have read Luke 4 several times before however verses 25-27 where a bomb shell for me today. I like the Amplified Version.

Here, Jesus was conversing with folks in his hometown, “But in truth I say to you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was closed up for three years and six months, when a great famine came over all the land; and yet Elijah was not sent [by the Lord] to a single one of them, but only to Zarephath in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and not one of them was cleansed [by being healed] except Naaman the Syrian.”

The questions I had: why that specific widow? And why Naaman?

Whilst thinking through the questions, few other scenarios came to my mind.
The man by the pool of Bethesda. John 5:2-9. Surely there were other men/women by that pool; many with longer standing issues (> 38 yrs) and some with < 38 years. Old, young, middle-age. But it was recorded that he met one specific man.

Mary the mother of Jesus could not have been the only virgin. Angel Gabriel called her, “blessed among all women”. (Luke 1:27-28).

Esther was not the only virgin prepared for the King, yet she was chosen out of many. (Esther 2)

There must be something that attracted God to these ones. If the criteria was anyone widow in Zarephath, other widows qualified. If it was virginity and well-groomed body, others as well as Esther qualified, if it was being handicapped, others at the pool qualified.

What singled out these ones? GRACE, FAVOUR, MERCY.

I could not resist the prayer point, King of Glory, by your Grace, single me out for favours in Jesus name. Amen