Archive for October, 2009

Thank-you for Praying!

October 28, 2009

Thank-you to all of you who have been praying for the boys’ exams yesterday.  We were so happy to hear from them last night that the tests were over —  there was great relief in their voices!  We’ll know mid-December if they passed. 

 

Tuesday’s Test

October 26, 2009

Please pray for the boys as they spend the entire day Tuesday in two 4-hour tests that will determine if they can enter second year law studies.  Please pray that they will think clearly, answer correctly, and trust calmly in God throughout the day.

Our mission newsletter will go out next week by snail mail.  If you would like to receive a copy, and are not currently on our mailing list, please drop us a line at      sevenadams (at) msn (dot) com

On the Need for Prayer

October 16, 2009

A significant part of my “missionary” work involves helping Christian families to regain their spiritual and relational equilibrium in the midst of, or following a crisis. This aspect of my work has been particularly active in the last several months, and it has caused me to reflect upon the range of tools we have for building and maintaining family unity and strength.

I believe that the most powerful means of stability and healing in the family is prayer, and I think it is a very under-utilized resource and means of intervention. I know many men who recognize their need to pray, and yet, even though their families are struggling, they do not exercise their will in the discipline of prayer. In the counseling context, the attitude toward prayer is often something like, “I know that prayer would help, but it is so hard to find the time…I will try to do better at that…what else, of a practical nature, can I do?” There are two themes of critical importance embedded in this statement. One is the grave misconception that prayer is not itself a “practical” endeavor. The other is the idea of prayer as an activity that “would help”.

I know of a pastoral counselor who, when meeting a Christian couple desiring marriage counseling, will begin treatment only after the two have first devoted an entire weekend to strategic prayer for their marriage. His rationale is that this typically yields one of three results, either they come back truly and humbly prepared for the work of addressing the issues in their relationship, or they inform him after this assignment that the Lord has softened their hearts and given them direction on how to proceed in working through their difficulties on their own. And the third result? Frequently this assignment proves too costly (or too unsophisticated) and the couple looks elsewhere for assistance.

Prayer is not a devotional activity that “would help”, it is the primary means of the believer’s sanctification. In prayer–the kind of soul-crying prayer we read in Psalm 51, our knowledge of God and the truths of His Word, are brought from our minds to our hearts. Real prayer, the prayer that forsakes self and seeks to draw near to the bosom of God, to hear Him and to see Him and to know Him and to be conformed to Him, is a revolutionary activity. If we pray in spirit and truth, we cannot remain the same.

There is a little church that Colleen and I attended when we were in college. We used to say that one could not go in the door there on a Sunday and come out with an unchanged heart, because the Spirit of God was so powerfully at work in the midst of these people.

Prayer is like that: enter into worshipful prayer, confessing prayer, and prayer that longs for the will of God to be done in one’s self as well as the world, and you cannot remain unchanged.

Struggling families need to pray hard. Parents with straying children need to pray hard. Youth who are struggling with questions of identity and purpose need to pray hard. And all of us need to learn to pray like David prayed, not just informing God of our supposed needs, but laying our hearts before Him as a heart disease patient surrenders to the scalpel of the surgeon.

The Lord is calling His remnant church today to prayer. It is not enough to make lifestyle choices or to wear the habits of Christian disciplines. God is calling us to nothing short of holiness, to full-blown flat-on-our-faces living sacrifice, and this call can only be fully answered through lives of consistent communing with God, informed by His Word, washed clean by His blood, trained to His side through prayer.

Todd

The Prompting of God

October 3, 2009

With Todd gone to Houston this week, the children studied outside at the picnic table instead of getting a ride in to the town library.

Monday, they were reading, studying, and typing on laptops, when a woman from a neighbouring campsite walked over to talk to them.  She said she’d noticed how diligently they were working, and then she asked, “do you need anything?”.  The children responded that they didn’t, and she turned to leave, saying “Sometimes God prompts you to ask, and you’ve got to obey”.

After a bit, our oldest went over to her as she and her husband were hitching up to leave.  He told her that the one thing we can always use is prayer.  She said that she didn’t want to boast, but she and her husband considered themselves prayer warriors, and that she understood and valued the power of prayer.

“Are you sure you don’t need anything right now?”  –As the reader, you know our situation; she knew nothing.–   Then she handed him a wad of cash, saying that it was a love gift from her and her husband.

These experiences deeply etch the soul. That son, those children watching, the parents who would later hear all about the incident – we are living with the deep certainty that God is watching over us.

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