Like normal, when my business travel hits, it often hits all at once! Over the last two weeks, I’ve been to Amsterdam, Cardiff (Wales), Milan, Dusseldorf and Wuppertal (Germany) and Helsinki via 7 planes, 8 trains, 7 taxis, 6 buses and 5 different beds that don’t quite have the comfort of my very own pillow under my head! Fortunately, alongside my work meeting schedules I was blessed to have met with a couple of church planters in various places along the way and had a divine conversation on the final plane ride back home last Friday with another who lives the world of business and business travel, while sharing Jesus along the way..even in board rooms! And the trip to Milan was over the weekend with Silas to have our first ever live Rugby experience, so it wasn’t all business! Needless to say, it’s been a wonderful week back home getting back into my “normal busy life” of 3 kids, a great dog, a wonderful church and plenty of face to face coffee (or kitchen) conversations with my best friend in life (and wife) Tanya!
Although I didn’t get a chance to sit down and do my LIFT update for several days now, I had written this one “in my head and heart” last Thursday and Friday while looking forward to being home with my family. Of course, while traveling I don’t check out in life from my family, but stay engaged as much as possible. Great technology with a smart phone (voice, SMS and internet) helps a lot and skype with video from a hotel room can “almost” allow me to sit at the dinner table with the family and see and hear how their day went. Aside of technology, a far better way of staying connected (and the real point of this LIFT update) is the blessing and gift of God called PRAYER! It’s not out of date, it’s not irrelevant and it works beyond our expectations….even when we don’t think so! Somehow trying to grasp the magnitude of what prayer, in connecting to the God of the Universe from within my own soul and then realizing He enables my prayer of intersession (prayer on behalf of others) to touch other’s souls and lifes, gives me great joy and hope…….wherever I may find myself far from home! Prayer is not just intercession or asking God for things, but much much more (ie. praise, adoration, worship, confession, thanksgiving, song, meditation, to name a few)!
Back on Father’s Day of this year I read a devotion from a well known pastor from the USA (Rick Warren) about a father’s necessity to pray fervently for his children . I was inspired and challenged enough to print it and put it in my carry on computer case that I always take with me wherever I go. From time to time as I reach for my passport or plane tickets, I grap that piece of paper instead and take a moment to re-read it and of course pray for my three children. Often I continue on praying for Tanya (and for LIFT and others that the Lord puts on my heart as well). So while preparing my bags last Thursday night ready to be home, I found myself holding this paper and praying for my children. Although I was near the Artic Circle in Finland and far, far from Edlibach, Switzerland, the Lord comforted my soul as he connected me to my 3 children who were fast asleep with their heads on their own pillows, almost just as if I walked into their rooms and put my hand gently on their cheek! (Below is the clip from this Father’s Prayer devotional.)
In His grip and grace,
FATHERS: PRAY FERVENTLY FOR YOUR CHILDREN
Jesus reflected the father heart of God when He prayed for the disciples. As a father, or mother, you can pray that your children will focus on the five purposes of God.
God’s five purposes for your children are the same as God’s five purposes for your life, and the same as the five purposes for the church. Jesus prayed for all five purposes in the lives of those He was leading.
Jesus said, “I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those You have given me, for they are Yours” (John 17:9 NIV).
We can pray that our children will live for Christ joyfully: “I say these things while I’m still in the world so that they will have the same joy that I have” (John 17:13 GWT).
We can pray that our children will grow strong spiritually: “I’m not asking You to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one” (John 17:15 NLT).
We can pray that our children will serve Christ effectively: “Make them ready for Your service through Your truth; Your teaching is truth” (John 17:17 NCV).
We can pray that our children will experience fellowship personally: “My prayer . . . is that they will be of one heart and mind, just as you and I are one, Father . . . and the world will believe You sent me” (John 17:21 LB).
We can pray that our children will bring others to Christ regularly: “I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in Me because of their message” (John 17:20 TEV).
Even if you are not a father, or a mother, you will help others move toward the heart of God by praying for them and the purposes God has planned for their lives.