Has God ever surprised you? Has he met you in a way that you hoped for, but you didn’t even know how desperately you needed it until he showed up for you? That very thing happened to me this year, and it all started at a Tuesday morning Sisterhood small group. This life-giving group formed because we believed in the power of prayer for our children, our grandchildren, and the next generation. I was expecting a time of prayer and connection with some new sisters in Christ. I was expecting prayer to be hard work, and believing miracles would happen in our kids’ lives. But, I was surprised by how I became completely satisfied in his presence. My soul began to linger with Jesus more and more during my time with him.
“I could not effectively pray scriptures over my children if I wasn’t doing this first for my own heart and soul.”
C.S. Lewis had it right when he said “prayer doesn’t change God, it changes us.” As I was spending more time in solitude and prayer, I established a sacred rhythm of praying the scriptures over myself. Just like I experienced women doing for our children every Tuesday morning. I realized I could not effectively pray scriptures over my children if I wasn’t doing this first for my own heart and soul. I grew desperate for prayer to change me and had more of a thirst for God’s presence in my life. During this time, a quote by Parker Palmer from his book, A Hidden Wholeness, deeply resonated with me:
The soul is like a wild animal – tough, resilient, resourceful, savvy, self-sufficient. It knows how to survive in hard places. But it is also shy. Just like a wild animal, it seeks safety in the dense underbrush. If we want to see a wild animal, we know that the last thing we should do is go crashing through the woods yelling for it to come out. But if we will walk quietly into the woods, sit patiently by the base of the tree, and fade into our surroundings, the wild animal we seek might put in an appearance.
As I slowed down and made space for him, I began to see a shift happen in my soul. I gently heard God whispering over and over, “There you are. There you are.” I was happy to be in his presence, but I was surprised by how happy he was to be in mine. The wave of freedom and peace that came into my life was unforgettable.
“I was happy to be in his presence, but I was surprised by how happy he was to be in mine.”
God’s word came alive for me in a fresh way and I eagerly turned to scripture to hear more from him. Having studied Exodus this year, I naturally thought of Moses often and talked about him with my friends. In a famous passage, God reveals his presence to Moses in the form of a burning bush and commanded him to deliver the Israelites from their bondage. Moses petitions, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” God does not provide clues to what he has planned, he simply says, “But I will be with you.”
If I could pray just one prayer for my own children, it would be: “Be with them, Lord.”
Wherever they go and whatever they do, just be with them. I pray that if they could ask God for one thing, it would not be fame, wisdom, wealth, strength, peace, or even love. I pray they would not ask for something, but they would ask for Someone. Like Moses, I hope they would pray, “Show me your Glory. Let me see you face to face.“
What I want most for my children, I want for me. This year, I have prayed this simple prayer and it has become a banner over me: “Lord, be with me. Show me your Glory.”
I’m grateful for the promise God made to Moses, and later to Joshua, and it’s true in my life too, because of the prayers that have gone before me, and the prayers still being prayed.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
- Small groups meet regularly to study the Bible, pray for one another, and offer opportunities to build lasting relationships. If you’re interested in joining a small group, you can find a group for any stage of life.
- Sisterhood Groups meet regularly at all of our campuses. Get connected, pray together, and read through the scriptures, you might be surprised at what you find.