I’m meditating on prayer today. There are circumstances in each of our lives when we are called upon to pray. Either for ourselves and our own nature or infirmity, or as an intercession for someone else. I am struck this afternoon by the words of John Bradford, who was an English Reformer and ordained chaplain during the reign of Mary Tudor in the 1500s. John wrote on prayer, even when locked away in the tower for not following the ways of the Queen. He continued to pray and preach, even when being taken to the stake where he was burned. And he is the man behind the words “There, but for the grace of God go I”.
It is the intercessory prayers that weigh on my mind today.
How fervently as mothers we pray for our children. Painstaking hours spent scrubbing pans, our hands in soapy water but our minds and our hearts lifted heavenward. We pray for friendships and for test scores. We pray for their actions. I am learning that the actions of my child are not a direct response to my parenting. I am learning that no matter the tools I give, the lessons I teach, the Bible verses I whisper, I am not in control of what my children say or do.
I am learning.
And it is a difficult lesson.
We want what is best for our children and when they live a life that is beyond our realm of understanding and stretches our concern wide open like the doors of our hearts, it is terrifying. And so we pray the prayer of intercession. For God to step in with his mighty hand and open that tiny heart. We pray for mercy and we pray for strength. We pray for an intervention of the holy kind not the kind the leaves holes. We pray for the past hurts and the current disparities.
We pray for God to intercede.
And we wait.
We wait for the calls from the principals or the police to stop coming. We wait for the razor edges sharpened by anger to dull into the arms of love. And we may wait our whole lives to see the change. Or we may never see it at all.
And this thought is the most terrifying. That we pray for things we may never see. And yet, isn’t that the definition of faith?
Will you join me today, in the intercessory of prayer? Will you lift your child or your niece or nephew, the little one who lives down the street or the one in that shopping cart the next isle over? Will you join me in this act of faith and lift your words and your hearts up for the next generation? By the grace of God, I go.