By Melissa Teten
I sat in a room full of veteran Navigator staff with adult children. As they shared their personal prayer requests, so many were centered on their children. Incarceration, mental illness, addiction, etc. Ugh. My heart sank as I considered how weary these friends were with sorrow over their children. And my heart sank further still as I realized that my need for Jesus to speak and to save, to heal and to grow my child will not be a short season, but a lifetime.
The enemy is at work. He is at work in our ministries, extended families, and marriages. But I feel an urgent leading to pray together for our Navigator staff children. I imagine Satan loves to mess with the children of God’s saints. There is nothing that distracts me more than when something is wrong with my child. From illness to bad behavior to bad friends to how she’s treated at school, it has kept me up at night and kept me from trusting God. But I want to trust God.
As I read about God’s love in the lives of the parents before me—Abraham, Hannah, Eli, Jesse—I see that He is aware and He is at work. Our God is awesome to save and restore and heal!
Let’s engage as a community before the throne and do battle for our children. Young or old, believing or not yet, healthy or clinging for life. Oh Spirit, let us groan along with you for the needs of our children. Would you teach us? Meet us? Comfort us as we pour out our hearts before you with our little or not so little ones in mind?
“Are any in your community suffering? They should pray. Are any celebrating? They should sing praises to God. Are any sick? They should call the elders of your church and ask them to pray. They will gather around and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. Prayers offered in faith will restore them from sickness and bring them to health. The Lord will lift them up from the floor of despair; and if the sickness is due to sin, then God will forgive their sins. So own up to your sins to one another and pray for one another. In the end, you may be healed. Your prayers are powerful when they are rooted in a righteous life.” James 5:13-16 Voice
These verses in James 5 give us a path for our prayers. It starts with our legitimate needs. But quickly points us to God and to the community of saints. God sees our suffering, sickness and sin, and as we gather around each other to pray, He offers healing, hope, and forgiveness. Our prayers with and for each other are powerful.
We will spend the next few weeks coming before God in regards to the different needs and stages of the staff kids around us. Each week we will have a prayer prompt from James 5 to guide us: we will spend a week on singing praises, one on suffering, followed by sickness and then sin.
Let’s begin this series of prayer by singing songs of praise to God. Let’s acknowledge who God is and what He has done in the lives of our children and our staff friend’s children. This also would be a fun week to type up our “songs of praise” on our private Facebook group so that we can praise God together!
Melissa and her husband John serve the Florida Collegiate region. God has given her a passion to raise up the foundations of many generations and while she delights in meeting with women, these days she is pouring herself out for her hungry little girls. Being a mommy is a long-awaited dream that God answered after years of infertility. Lucille (5) and Rosie (1) are her most precious disciples to date. Drinking coffee and continual snacking are her spiritual gifts.