Uncategorized

A Long Shelf Life

Fun fact: our prayers have a long shelf life. No Biblical story demonstrates this more than the story of Zacharias and Elizabeth. When an angel appeared to Zacharias and told him “your prayer is heard and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son” and Z replies to the angel, “How? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.” (See Luke 1:13-18) We realize by his response, Zacharias and Elizabeth hadn’t prayed for a son in many years. They had given up on that dream, but God did not forget!

In Acts 10 a roman military officer, Cornelius, is described as a prayerful, generous, God-fearing man who encountered an angel in a vision. The angel released this amazing revelation: “Your prayers and your generosity have created a memorial before God.” The prayers of this one man were answered miraculously while the disciples witnessed the Holy Spirit move among gentiles in ways they did not conceive as possible. (See Acts 10 for this wonderful story) 

So, dear friend, if our prayers create a memorial before God, meaning they are remembered by God and for a long, long time, what’s on our prayer list? If we could sit out on the back porch with God, what would we talk about? Our loved ones? Our future, direction, and purpose? Would we pray for our family, our school or work, our nation to walk with God in fresh ways? Long after we forget these prayers, God continues to remember them and honor the cry of our heart.

One month before my 40th birthday I gave birth to our son, Samuel Cooper. Every day of my pregnancy I blessed him and prayed for him. And every night (until he stayed up way later than us) we would bless Cooper before he went to bed. We prayed about little concerns of the day like tests coming up or friendships happening, but we also prayed for God’s vision for his life. We blessed him to be a man of integrity and wisdom. We blessed him to love God’s word and to walk in His ways. We prayed all kinds of prayers I can’t even remember but God still has them. You see, prayers I’ve long forgotten are just now coming up on God’s to do list!

Cooper returned home this week from his freshman year at Baylor. Like Samuel in the Bible, it appears that a razor has not touched his head and also like the Biblical Samuel he does not let God’s word fall away from him. Cooper likes to read his Bible with me in the mornings. We sip our coffee and share insights from what we are reading. When he was a chubby little toddler and I prayed he would love God’s word and walk in wisdom, I had no idea how beautifully God would honor that prayer! I could not have imagined the young man he would become or the impact he would have in his world.

Our prayers matter– they are not forgotten! In fact, the throne of God is described in Revelation as being surrounded by twenty-four elders worshipping before the Lamb, “each having golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” (Revelation 5:8) If our prayers are this precious to God, please dear saint, don’t let up, don’t get weary or distracted! Pray the prayers of heaven and watch God do amazing things!

Sign up for my blog at www.MargaretAllen.org and find my book Gracious Living, creating a culture of honor, love, and compassion anywhere books are sold.

Uncategorized

Students in 2020

As he was slogging through college applications and SAT exams last year, I told my son: “Work hard NOW, so that you can have a blast Senior semester. You can skip school every Friday and go skiing with your buddies.  There’s prom and Senior retreat and all kinds of cool stuff to look forward to.”  None of this proved true. Rona took it all down and he finished high school online, sitting alone at our kitchen table.

This week he’s moving into his dorm at Baylor University as a college freshman. Maybe you know kids who graduated from high school or college this year that are grappling with the unknown. Will there be in-person classes? How will anyone meetup? What job opportunities still exist in this economy?  These are legit questions for sure. But here’s one to ask your student: how are you positioned to make this the greatest moment of your life? 

The World War II generation still saves their jars, foil, bags, and rubber bands- the impact from rationing during the war. Students in 2020 have every right to carry anxiety and fear forever, but I believe God is doing a different thing. God is bringing radical change to this generation. Will students from 2020 be cynical or hopeless? Will they waver in fear and health concerns? Will they be non-committal and tentative in their ways? I believe not!

Students of 2020: God is for you. He is calling you out of worldly support systems into radical relationship with HIM. You will hear the voice of the Holy Spirit telling you where to go, who to talk to, how to minister. You are blessed going into this school year and you will be blessed coming out of it! You will see revival on your campuses unlike any that we have seen in our lifetime. Your peers are tired of the treadmill of fear, suspicion, hatred, and self-indulgence. They long for a pure life, a true existence, a cause greater than their own comfort or politics. They are hungry for the love and power of God! Kids, you will be marked by ridiculous generosity and favor. You won’t hold back your love for Jesus. You will walk in power and humility, bringing the kingdom of God in fresh ways.

You inspire us to run hard after God, pursuing the One who has long pursued us.  We sing Kari Jobe’s and Cody Carnes’ “The Blessing” over you: 

“The Lord bless you, and keep you: The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26)

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations” (Ephesians 3:20-21) College kids, you may think that this year will hold less, but God is about to release MORE on your campus. Let’s GO!

***

Thanks for following my blog! Please share this with any college kids you know. College groups all over California are going through my book for their fall study.  Get your copy or gift a copy of Gracious Living, creating a culture of honor, love and compassion at http://www.MargaretAllen.org