Thursday, November 8, 2007

God Tugging at the Heartstrings

Teach me, O Lord, thy way of truth,
And from it I will not depart;
That I may steadfastly obey,
Give me an understanding heart.
~~From Psalm 119:33-40

Oh my goodness--I am long overdue for the next Aunt Jane's Hero post! I don't want to let this series go by the wayside and for anyone who may have been enjoying it, my apologies. Chapter 4 is next up and since time is short, this summary may need to be short. The title that I gave to this chapter in the companion explains what I believe to be its essence. God was having dealings with someone and if you've been following along, you know that someone would be Horace. The chapter begins with a description of his moving about in society after the Georgiana situation--dancing parties, threatricals, music festivals and so on. But in the midst of observing him in these settings we are told this: "But he went home from these gay scenes out of spirits, and in spite of himself had his hours of reflection, when there came to him uncomfortable intimations that he was not living the true life for which he was born." Ahh, stirrings in his heart. Where might they have come from?

Soon after these words came an important paragraph:

"Now there was a man of a sorrowful countenance and of a sorrowful spirit away off in a little country-town, praying for his only son at these very moments, and his prayers were going to prevail. . . And ever and anon when he was pleading for his son with strong crying and tears, there would surge up in the soul of that son unwelcome, painful thoughts; recollections of his mother and his mother's teachings, faint yearnings for a faith and a practice like hers. He wist not whence they came. . ."

Obviously, the man who was praying was Horace's father. If you will recall, his mother had passed away. After reading this, I was struck by the truth of the words of James 5:16 that the "effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." This is a promise that we parents should cling to. I think it's a promise that should give impetus to the prayers of parents whose children are not at the place they wish them to be. Perhaps, these children will some day experience "faint yearnings" for more faith, a life that's different. These yearnings, even if they are weak, would probably come from God, and could it be that He would have been sent to your children by your prayers?

Many of us are thankful for where our children seem to be in the Lord. But certainly that is no reason for us to ease up with our prayers. I like what Stormie Omartian said in her book The Power of a Praying Parent. She said:

"All that needs to happen in our lives and the lives of our children cannot happen without the presence and power of God. Prayer invites and ignites both."

Moms and dads, shall we not persist in prayer?


Susan Kelly Skitt said...

Wonderful post Maxine. It is so important to pray for our children, no matter where they are or what they are doing. There is a spiritual battle going on and we need to be prayer warriors.

This struck a chord with me in reference to my husband Jim. Although he was saved at 8, he wandered for many years from the Lord. His mom, (his dad died when he was eight), his pastor and his pastor's wife, and my grandparents never gave up praying for him. At thirty years old, Jim finally came back to the Lord. The Lord was pursuing him the whole time. He felt those "stirrings"...

Mimi said...

this is such a comforting post... it is comforting to so many parents whose children waste years in wondering away from God... but the reminder that if we raise up a child in the way he should go when he is old he will not depart from it...
My mother held this to heart for many years as a couple of my siblings did this wondering... and now they have come back to their Lord and are once again enjoying the "Joy of their Salvation"
thanks for this post...

Cami said...

I am convinced that this is why I was given the children that I was; two in Heaven don't need my prayers, but the two here, they do. It's the number one priority for me. And, as an intercessor, I get equally burdened for those that have no one else praying for them. They are God's children, and although their mother and father may forsake them, God never will. The Spirit desires to intercede for them through us. I love this post, Maxine.

sparrow's song said...

Your intriguing post caught my eye.

you shared,
Perhaps, these children will some day experience "faint yearnings" for more faith, a life that's different. These yearnings, even if they are weak, would probably come from God, and could it be that He would have been sent to your children by your prayers?

Thank you for these words of hope.

My son (20) is passive rebellious when it comes to the Lord. He's a nice guy, who is willing to listen to anything I say about God but sees no need for a Savior even though he's heard the Gospel message at home all his life. We've been shamed by brethren as they mention this in passing as if we were to blame for it. As a parent, you can't help but feel the responsibility of wanting our children to walk rightly with God. And though they are brought up in the church and focus on God, there is no guarantee they will choose to stay there. I wonder if this isn't another of God's ways to stretch the matter in using every possible tool to transform us as we find the only thing left is to trust God's movings and timing in his life.

Maxine said...

I'm glad this bought comfort and hope to some of you. All I can say is: Keep praying. I have many friends who are struggling with this issue, especially in the time in which we live. Only God can do it. Keep praying.