I want to invite you into an intimate conversation my Chris and I shared last week, during his last full work day off before he would begin his new job this week…there is much I keep to myself of these times, but I felt the Holy Spirit compel me this moment to share it exactly as it happened. It is time for us to answer the question, I’m asking. Who will?
We were on the road home from Waco, driving and enjoying the day. The car was acting a little stilted, at times–air flow sensor needs replacing again, he says. Oh, I say, thinking that is good and that it is good he can fix it. Then the words began pouring from my mouth about another topic that has been on my heart for nearly two months, maybe even more if I were completely forthright…for I have thought it, every single time it happened. Let me take you back to the breakfast table at Chris’ mom and dad’s house in late summer.
MaryAnn, Chris’ mom, always makes a hot breakfast. It is delicious and warms our tummies, as she so faithfully lays out the spread. We gather around the dining room table with the lazy susan full-up with food to pass around, hot sauces, jellies, butter, napkins, maybe milk. And before we begin, the kids are all finally seated with us, looking sleepy, I pray they are awake to the moment…before we begin to eat, Paul, Chris’ dad, would pray.
Many days over the past year, he did not have the breath to pray, so MaryAnn would pray. But this day, Paul prays. You have to lean in close and listen–for his voice is quiet, nearly indiscriminate to hear and make out the words. And this is how it always goes…”Most gracious Heavenly Father…” In the middle he thanks God for our food and our family (“loved ones with us and the loved ones away”). At the end, he always, without fail, would pray for our country and our country’s leaders. Every single time. Every time he lifted up our nation’s leaders, because it matters in the heavenlies and it matters right here.
So back to our car trip, I spoke the words that had been burning in my heart and mind. “I was thinking about your dad, how he always prayed for our nation and her leaders. And I was wondering, who will continue that prayer now that he’s gone?”
Then on this past Sunday our pastor reminded us again to pray for our leaders, our nation, our teachers, principals and superintendents and all those in leadership around us.
A reminder from 1 Timothy 2:1-3:
“1 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior…”
1 Timothy 2:1-3
That day, after church, our family of six gathered around a table at the local Whataburger. And Chris ended his prayer with the same prayer his father had been praying.
He stood in the gap.
He stepped up.
As I see so much turmoil and angst and pain going around on social media and the news, I have been thinking...if my people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray.
Who will step up and pray?
For the day, it is dawning once again. And the gaps have been left, as loved ones pass away, and our children are growing up in a very frightening place. They will need to be equipped to face these days. But they can only do so, in assured victory, if His people will once again pray and teach them to do the same.
Pray for the what’s, for the who’s…pray.
Simply done, yet it has an unending reach and scope and depth and lifetime…those prayers are still being answered.
Pass it on.