Hello beautiful people!
I am reporting from home because of yet ANOTHER snow day…which would be fabulous if it weren’t for the fact that it is in the mid-forties right now and there seems to be a gentle breeze blowing outside of my living room window. From what I hear, sidewalks were pretty icy last night and this morning though, so rather than complaining, I’ll just sit here dreaming up new ways to have a barbecue on school property since we’ll be there until late July at this rate. 😉
While looking for something else last night, I came across this prayer technique for parents to use when praying for their children–praying for them from head to toe. This picture or prayer outline or war strategy or whatever you’d like to call it put a new significance on each of 8 body parts and asked for God to move through each one:
(The source is Facebook, yet I don’t know the page. Just know that it isn’t mine and I’m not claiming it as such.)
I am a huge fan of praying over my classroom and over my students. I remember my mother praying over me often, and I often think of it as her own little slice of commending me back into God’s care: She would pray that I show wisdom at school, cover me when my little teenage heart got broken, and hilariously enough, I remember getting in trouble and being sent to my room and listening in sullen silence as she prayed ABOUT me…probably the last thing she knew how to do before going Madea on me. To this day, even at 28 1/2, she is still one for sending me encouraging text messages, notes, and prayers. I don’t know how many of my kindergarteners have someone at home that is contending for their well being and good judgement, so I happily start most days in the quiet of my classroom praying over each of their chairs, praying that they have had enough sleep and were shown love, talking to God about them by name, and praying on specific topics for specific kids as they come to mind, such as dealing with frustration, peace at home for one I know has a rough situation, or treating others with kindness. All in all, the process doesn’t take long but it leads me into the day with a sense of readiness.
Then I got to thinking…the one thing that is hardest for me as an exhorter is praying over myself and encouraging myself the way that I do other people. Surely, God still speaks, right? Surely the God that made the moon and stars with a purpose thought enough of me to give me a purpose too…and as much as not doing life by yourself is vital, you (I) HAVE t be able to speak words of life over ourselves when no one else is able to, or even when they are.
So before I head to class tonight, darling, I figured I’d use the above picture to craft a head to toe prayer of my own. This is for me, for you, for you to pass on to anyone who needs to remember that all things work together for the good of those that love God and are called according to His purpose. That being said, all of these pieces and parts of His creation must work together.
Father God, I come before you realizing that you have already seen today. There is nothing that will cross my path that you aren’t already aware of. I thank you for that security and peace of mind, I thank you for being covered, and I acknowledge and am grateful for your protection. Lord, I know that you know every hair on my head and that you’ve crafted me to do something that is important and that even if I don’t always know what that is, you do.
I pray for calmness and soundness of mind. Your Word says that one of the fruits of the Spirit is self control, and I know that others can see Christ resting on me in how I react to people. I ask that you help me to think before I react.
I pray for eyes that can see purpose in the everyday–that notice those interactions or opportunities that you have set before me and never brush those off as being random occurrences.
I pray for ears that hear as much of what people DON’T say as what they do–that can excise a hurt spirit from behind anger and irritation and sadness or regret from behind callous words. Please let me never take people for granted and assume that all of what I can hear is all of what there is.
I pray for a mouth that consistently looks to uplift and encourage people: students, coworkers, friends, family, and myself. The gift of speech is too precious, and let me never dirty that gift by gossiping, complaining without the goal of a solution to the problem, tearing a person down or breaking their spirit.
I pray for a heart that emotionally does its job the same as it does biologically: I pray for all of the dirt and the toxins that run through me as I get overwhelmed or just from exposure to this cruel world that we live in. I pray that what goes back out is fresh, is clean, and provides edification.
I pray for the strength to stand upright in what I believe in…that I not give into the temptation to shy away from what I know to be the truth in order to make other’s comfortable. I pray for the courage to stand erect in the face of social poison, political warfare, and worldwide injustice based solely on the color of my skin.
I pray for hands that hug, that comfort, that heal, that high five, that hold tight, that clasp in prayer and that are simultaneously able to quickly and cleanly let go of people and situations that are not for my betterment. It is never fun to make those decisions, yet the end is worth the means.
And I pray that you always, ALWAYS order my steps, that you carry me towards people that so urgently need to hear a word from you OR that I need to hear a word from. I pray that I am aligned with iron so that we may chase You and our purposes together and never suffer from worldly negative feelings of envy or regret. Allow me to walk beside people who don’t have a heart of competition, who genuinely want us ALL to win, and who cheer just as hard for my successes as they do for their own. Lord help me to be that person for the people that you place in my life and never disrespect my blessing.
Thank you and AMEN.