Their heart cried out to the Lord, “O wall of the daughter of Zion, Let tears run down like a river day and night; Give yourself no relief; Give your eyes no rest. “Arise, cry out in the night, At the beginning of the watches; Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord. Lift your hands toward Him For the life of your young children, Who faint from hunger at the head of every street.” (Lamentations 2:18, 19 NKJV)
Imagine with me for a moment. You're at a playdate with your kids and a few other families at a very large and busy park. Next thing you know, one of your children are missing. Frantically you ask if anyone has seen him. You run around yelling her name to no avail, until finally you collapse from the horror of never seeing your precious baby again.
I had this dream a few nights ago. In fact, I've been dreaming pretty vividly lately. You know, the kind of dreams that jolt you from a deep sleep and you're left trying to place your brain back into reality? Those kinds of dreams. Actually, the above scenario has already happened to me, save the "never seeing your precious baby again" part, thank GOD. My mother, my two boys and I were at the Ladybug Ball, an event for kids in Houma, when my oldest son decided he wanted to run off and take a look around. My mom was waiting in line for juice with my two boys in the stroller while I was waiting in another line for food. When we met up again, Phillip was gone, having snuck out of his stroller, unafraid to roam the grounds alone.The boys enjoying the ladybugs
It only takes a second.
There were tons of kids and adults on the grounds. I called for him, seeming to spin around in circles, but he never answered. My heart was racing a million miles an hour as I was trying not to panic. What do you do? What did I do? I did the only thing I could do. I cried out to the Lord. Even if it was under my breath, I prayed.Southdown Plantation-Site of the Ladybug Ball 2009
"God please bring my son back to me. Devil you cannot have him."
My mom and I found some of the workers there and described what he looked like and what he was wearing. Even writing this has my heart racing. A few minutes later, I see someone carrying Phillip in their arms, as happy as can be. God has brought him back to me. Oh the gratitude and relief I felt as I held him in my arms! And then I scolded him like crazy.
I've laid awake a few nights recently overwhelmed with a sense of urgency that I need to be praying for my children. Praying for their salvation, their day to day struggles, their obedience, their focus, their emotions, wisdom, their friendships...I could go on. I get so wrapped up in the day to day routine that at the end of the day, I feel like I've missed something, or worse, not placed any importance on prayer.
And the reality is that I haven't.
I've been noticing a lot about myself lately, and I'm so thankful that God hasn't left me alone to stay the way I am. I don't pray nearly as much as I ought. There was a time when I did. Why have things changed? What happened to the compassion I once had for people that would move me to pray for complete strangers; that caused me see them as Jesus might, if even in the slightest bit?
God please change my heart.
Since the time I originally started this post, I've been challenged and given opportunities to be obedient in prayer. I've obeyed and I've rebelled. Obedience is far better than walking away. And, in His mercy, its as if God has confirmed this to me; first a friend shares a dream and a challenge on Facebook, and even though I was out of town attending another church service, I found out my home church's message was on this very topic.
God is so good. I am encouraged and challenged and I am not forgotten. He knows just where I am and just what I need. I can trust Him. I can cry out to Him in prayer. Imagine what would happen if we prayed like never before? Imagine if we believed that He heard and answered our prayers.
More from parenting