Some evenings I walk and I recall some instruction from some time ago reminding me to use the strength of my core, the power in my legs.
I may have turned a corner at the place on the path that my muscles are less tight and resistant and so, my walk becomes a flow, an easy assurance to go on.
Other times, the heavy weight of me goes uneased and I consider turning back for home but never do.
I walk on.
And I lean forward although it’s not the best look or posture, I bend my head towards the ground and I slump a little over into the heart of my fatigue, the core of my concern.
I walk on. Music or calming advisor in my ear, I’m absorbing information that is for naught now but always surfaces later.
I’m thinking about compassion today because someone and I talked about it a few days ago, the demonstration of it, the innate trait of knowing how to make it known.
Compassion, I read is “to suffer together” with others.
Like leaning into their distressing situation and through your presence you’re invited to listen or through your unknown prayers unrelenting.
It’s being in a tough season with someone knowing you can’t comprehend their seasonal distress, nor can you walk them through it, instruct them to walk forward in a certain way.
You’ve got no measurement for their trip, your only traction for their footing is your alignment through prayer.
John, Peter and James trekked up the mountain with Jesus. They’d been in His presence, had observed all of his healing, all of the furor over his being God’s Son, the speculative conversations disputing His purpose, Redeemer.
They’d seen Jesus walk on water, they saw Him have compassion on the hungry, the deaf, the ones brave and desperate enough to draw near.
They climbed up to the mountain aligned with Jesus and there they saw Him transfigured in the presence of Elijah and Moses, with God. Peter didn’t really understand. They were terrified by the ghostly presence. At the same time, Peter’s heart was settled. God was near.
“And Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.””
Mark 9:5 ESV
My children are entering new phases. They are stepping into new challenges, emotional and other. My daughter, a 1st grade teacher will nurture and then teach a new group of children.
Yet, she’ll be challenged beyond comprehension as she leaves her precious newborn, Elizabeth, at home with the grandmothers, still she will be leaving her, separated and in our care.
The emotions are palpable as I listen to her talking of being prepared. I agree. I listen. I will pray.
My son will begin the final leg of his academic journey. He’s pressed on quite consistently and has arrived in a pivotal and challenging finish line, approaching stretch of the journey. He will be challenged by numbers and so many yet to be seen things in his steady path towards God’s purpose and career.
Much like the disciples who longed to heal for themselves the son presented to them by a distraught father.
Seizure afflicted for so many years, Jesus told them why their interventions wouldn’t bring healing.
Only the father’s prayer would do. We don’t read of whether he’d been praying for years or whether he never considered it,
The irrefutable power of a parent who aligns themself with Jesus and thus, God the Father, through prayer.
The son was healed. Jesus gave all the credit to the father’s cry.
I don’t want the significance of this gift of my morning Bible to be wasted.
Picture yourself in the presence of Jesus and you’re at the end of your rope, the last of your wit and your sense and he says don’t you go deciding on your own what is possible and what is not!
“And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.”
Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!””
Mark 9:21-24 ESV
To pray for your children is to lean in to God.
It is to stand on the safer shore you’ve come to know because of age and experience and be content as background material, consultant over companion.
It is to glance their departure into a distant and new sea.
It is to know that they know you’re praying at every turn and transition into the unexpectedly hard places.
It is a prayer that remembers their toddler frames that required you supporting their falls and becomes support in a more solid way, the visits of grace to them unexpected because you are diligent and persistent in your new compassionate role.
Hands off, heart all in.
You become constant in your prayers.
You pray for alignment of them with you. You pray that the tough times grow them when those times require physical and emotional endurance only God can give.
Not a parent.
No, your part is prayer, the believing kind. Your part is compassion that aligns with Jesus, agrees with God.
Your part is prayer that allows you in to their personal places, leaves all your worries, your hopes, your exaggerated stories on the table, sat next to the Savior to be shared with the Father.
Knowing grace is sufficient and being unwaveringly convinced that grace is good and it’s a gift to your children they never have to fight for, it is mercy that endures.
Mercy like the prayer of a mama, it’ll never be taken off the table, it won’t be a rescinded invitation.
It’ll be like grace, an enabling spirit, a compass positioned towards healing.
Prayer, the power of a parent’s prayer.
“Afterward, when Jesus was alone in the house with his disciples, they asked him, “Why couldn’t we cast out that evil spirit?” Jesus replied, “This kind can be cast out only by prayer. ””
Mark 9:28-29 NLT
Maybe the sweetest thing I can do is to pray my children
Continue and believe.
More sweeter even is that they see me continue towards believing in God and in them with no need for constant checking in.
Yes, continuing to believe.
To believe in God with them.
A prayer for our children?
To have them unexpectedly experience that God is near.
God stay near, the cry of a parental prayer.
I’m linking up with Mary Geisen and other storytellers here: