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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.

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A Quick Thought

My friends, due to a wild week and crazy delays in Maggie Land, I won’t be posting my blog this week.  The scheduled topic of How to Partner with God to Walk in Blessing is just too important to approach hurriedly. Look for the full discussion next week!

I have one story that I’d like to share from this week: my son, Cooper, told me when he was reading his Bible on Friday something in Psalm 91 stood out to him. It read, “For God will give His angels orders concerning you, to protect you in all your ways. On their hands they will lift you up, so that you do not strike your foot against a stone.” The very next morning he was involved in a terrible ATV accident. Even though the ATV flipped over, Cooper landed unharmed. He was able to lift the vehicle off several people who were pinned beneath and get medical help. Through the entire traumatic situation Cooper felt God guiding, comforting, and drawing them near.  

I wondered if the Spirit of God, speaking through Psalm 91, was encouraging Cooper and strengthening his faith ahead of time. God promises to protect His children, but how much more when they ask? God promises to be NEAR to His beloved, but how much more when they welcome Him?

Happy Easter this week- Christ IS risen, He is risen indeed! May His peace and power be evident in our life. Feel free to share this story with anyone who needs to hear it! My blog is at http://www.MargaretAllen.org along with encouraging resources.

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God’s Promises

“I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring, and My blessing on your descendants.” (Isaiah 44:3)

My daughter recently started leading worship at church. As you can probably guess, my momma heart is thrilled to see her experiencing God in such powerful ways. My little girl has grown up to be an inspiring, godly young woman. She listens to God and translates faith to her peers. Her life is blessed and I’m constantly reminded of God’s promises to honor those who honor Him. 

I remember driving with our four kids in the minivan, racing from school to activities, changing clothes in the car and inhaling a quick snack. We’d speed from soccer for one child to gymnastics for three; next, piano lessons with Grandma and then home to make dinner and do homework. The thought was always close by though, none of this will matter if they don’t know Jesus! Our children can be talented in sports, music, theater, whatever—but if they have not been nurtured in their friendship with Christ then we missed the mark! We could be busy doing urgent things but not the most important.   O Lord, please keep our lives centered in You!  

Faithful Mommas out there, take these scriptures as God’s promises to you:

“I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring, and My blessing on your descendants. This one will say, ‘I am the Lord’s; And another will write on his hand, ‘Belonging to the Lord’” (Isaiah 44:3,5)

“Your children will be like olive plants around your table. Behold, for thus shall the one be blessed who fears the Lord.” (Psalm 128:3-4)

“Let our sons in their youth be as grown-up plants, and our daughters as corner pillars fashioned for a palace. How blessed are the people whose God is the Lord!” (Psalm 144:12,15)

If like me, you were not brought up as a Christian, there’s great interest in growing as a godly parent. I’ve looked at our home priorities and asked, do we have a heart for worship? Do we love and serve people? Do we know our worth and identity, not according to the world, but according to God?  Mentoring a generation to walk with God in our complex world doesn’t happen accidently. It is a beautiful, intentional process that I describe in my book, Gracious Living, creating a culture of honor, love, and compassion. “Gracious parenting is a seed watered by emotional maturity—one that bears fruit for generations.” (Gracious Living, p 84)

Yes, the seeds I planted in my kids twenty years ago are bearing fruit today. Prayers I prayed, deposits I made in their hearts—and withdrawals as well, are bearing fruit today. God promises blessing and fruitfulness to those who walk with Him. If you are in the throes of raising little ones, be encouraged that God is faithful about His promises. Christian parenting is not about doing it perfectly; but rather loving our children as we follow and obey God’s voice.

God promised that He would pour out His Spirit on our offspring. Bless your kids today as you partner with Him, dreaming beautiful dreams and sowing seeds for their destiny. Get my book, Gracious Living as encouragement for your journey and please subscribe to my blog at http://www.MargaretAllen.org Encourage the moms you know by sharing this post!