Wednesday, January 07, 2015

THE GIFT OF PRAYER

I didn't receive many Christmas presents this year, which suits me just fine.  Gift-giving/receiving aren't a big deal to me.  We draw names among siblings in the family to cut down on gifts to buy, and this year, my brother had my name.  About 2 weeks before Christmas, my SIL texted me asking what I wanted.  Before I had a chance to respond, she said - "Never mind.  Mike already has something for you."

A few days before Christmas, Mike (my bro) texted asking what I wanted.  This seemed strange based on the previous texts, but I didn't think too much about it.  I suggested some sort of PJs, and he asked for my sizes and preferences.

Christmas morning did not bring PJs.  It brought one of the most thoughtful gifts I've ever received.  My eyes immediately welled with tears as I opened it and recognized my father's handwriting.  After my dad died, my brother ended up with many of his journals, including his prayer journals.  Mike found a prayer page with things my father had prayed for me.  Then, Mike hand built - yes, handcrafted - a walnut frame for it.

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I knew my dad had prayed for me, but seeing things he had specifically prayed and a verse that he had prayed was really encouraging on several levels.  It made me miss him, of course.  But, it also made me so thankful for the father I had - one that took time to go before the Lord on my behalf.  One that loved me enough to lift me up in prayer to the one that loves me the most.  It is quite humbling.

It was also a really valuable reminder to pray for my own children.  I pray for them, especially as issues arise.  But, this prayer page had specific things that he obviously returned to over the course of several years.  The back side had records on some of God's answers to the prayers, and my life is more proof of the ways that God answered his prayers.

I've returned to the verses he wrote several times in this new year - Ephesians 1:17-19.
 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.  I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might.

I hope this year to choose verses to pray over each of my children. It provides so much direction, and you just can't go wrong. This Christmas, I was so thankful to my brother for this extremely thoughtful gift and to my father who was such a wonderful example of what a parent can give to their children - the gift of prayer.  I am forever grateful.

2 comments:

Darcy Stingerie said...

That is so amazing! What a thoughtful gift. It's so neat to have something documented like that. It's brilliant! :-)

Carmen Smith said...

Wow. This is so special and how thoughtful of your brother. I know you could just feel how much your dad loved/loves you. Your dad had such beautiful handwriting too. I remember him helping us with calligraphy! And I still do it today. Love you. XOXOXO