Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Prayerful Path

Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Glass

I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer. –Psalm 17:6 NIV

The tourists are heading back home, the beach is less crowded and the school busses are running again. Backpacks are filled to overflowing and children are attempting to put summer fun behind them as they prepare for another school year. School bells are ringing in our family, too. My 12 year old granddaughter is going to middle school this year. We talked about it and she said she was a little apprehensive at the prospect of changing classes and learning her way around a new school. It turns out that she did just fine and her first day built a lot of confidence and self-esteem. I challenged her to reach out to be friendly to anyone she saw eating alone in the cafeteria. She called me to say that she and some of her girlfriends took their lunch trays over to a girl named Emily who was sitting by herself. Before their lunch was over, they had all made friends! What a great story! I told her how proud of her I was, that she was thoughtful and kind and to look for opportunities again to show compassion. (I was secretly wondering if Emily had sent up a prayer too not to have to sit alone at lunch.) A great beginning! Our prayers were answered for a smooth transition for the start of the school year.

Seems God was busy answering many prayers this week in our family. Our son called to say his riding lawn mower had spit and sputtered black smoke and then stopped completely. He checked the engine and it was out of oil. Not good! It looked like it was all over for the mower. Not wanting the expense to fix or replace the engine, and watching the grass grow taller by the minute, I could hear his frustration over the phone and then I asked him if we could pray. At that moment, I began praying and I just felt God would use this situation to touch my son. A few minutes later we received a phone call from our son and yes, God came through. What a faith builder! The mower worked perfectly, as though nothing had ever been wrong! He thanked me and I said, no, thank God. And so we thanked Him together.

Isn’t it great when God touches our children and grandchildren! I think any kind of touch from God just gives them such hope and it increases their faith. It reminds them that they are never alone. As parents, it is our job to not only prepare our children to be responsible and capable, but to be kind and thoughtful as well. But most importantly is their spiritual development. We cannot always be there for them to help fight their battles, to resist temptation or to choose the right path. Hopefully, our children will grow to have a spiritual compass rooted in a deep faith that will guide them. Mostly, our children follow by our example. Prayer is everything! Just a simple prayer at the door in the morning before they leave for the bus stop or over the phone, long distance, to ask God’s favor and protection over them is enough. And that they would walk the right path with every step. If we stand in the gap for them now as their faith grows, then they will stand in the gap for us. Then our families can be knit together in prayer, which is one of the greatest single things we can do with and for our loved ones.

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