Prior to my husband’s job loss, he wore signs of having survived a wrestling match with a bear. The reality was, my hubby, is naturally fidgety. Add stress and he becomes extra animated with running his fingers through his hair, his clothing not hanging quite right on his slender frame and his face reflecting the internal stress of the day. Over the years, my husband’s carefree view of life would have me giggling in spite of myself. I had come to savor his ability to bring laughter into worry filled situations. He was no longer sharing his funny points of view, and the void of humor hung heavy over our days.
Where do you turn when your spouse or someone you care about is undone? Where do you go and what do you do?
I had a simple plan. Wake early while the world was still quiet and read through the Old Testament to see where God showed up and observe what he did when he arrived on scene. (Side note…forgive the following generalization: I know God is ever present. It seems in the Old Testament, God exits stage left, people get sidetracked between what is wrong and right and he needs to show back up to readjust the scene.) I wanted to find specific examples that I could pray about for my husband. What I unearthed was a way to pray for a community.
Here are a couple of the answers I found.
Was David born brave? Or did God provide his courage? I invite you to give it a read if it has been a while or it is new to you, 1 Samuel 17. Could I pray for my husband to have the bravery of David when he fought Goliath? Surely Greg needed courage to face each day, searching for a job.
Yes! I could pray for him to have the faith and confidence in God that David had.
How did God comfort Sarai’s maid, Hagar, who was pregnant with Abram’s child? Hagar had run away due to the tension between herself and Sarai. Deep in despair and what we are shown a low point in her life, an angel of the Lord showed up and provided her with comfort and direction! Could we hope for comfort and direction in our circumstances?
She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” Genesis 16:13
Yes! God did comfort us as we walked through this new landscape of our lives. His comfort was new every day! We were daily consumed with the reality of bills that were coming due and food that was running low. He never let us go and revealed his love for us many times in many ways. It came through a friend dropping by with grocery bags of food, others gave too, and it helped us get through and know that God could see us in our situation.
We can not see the regrowth that is happening until we see a new life start to spring up.
As I continued to read the Old Testament, day after day, and peek through the New Testament, God began to impress upon my heart to pray for a local city. It was making the news most days if not every day, due to crime and violence. I would try to pray for the city but was overwhelmed by the stories of shootings and thefts. So I asked a community of friends to pray with me for that city. Some said yes.
The following are the verses that stirred my desire to pray in this way.
I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone– 1 Timothy 2:1
Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper. Jeremiah 29:7
For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. Romans 8:26,27
Those hours that I spent in prayer for his city, were my summit moments in our darkest time. Greg went eleven months before he found a full time paying job. That was a long time to go with not seeing the end of the journey. The time spent with God, in prayer for his city was the best, most comforting and faith building time of each week.
God gave David strength, ability, and triumph over the giant. He gave Hagai direction and comfort in a confusing situation. Asking for his help and then follow the direction he sends us in can daunting, but it will likely be the moment you are able to sit on top of your circumstances and feel great peace and gratitude. The God who created you and me and everything around us sees you and he cares.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
Hope to see you here next week where I share about Martha, Mary, and Jonah?