I remember when I was 15, I was staying with my grandparents (mom’s parents) overnight and I walked past their bedroom as we were all getting ready for bed, and the door was cracked open. The light was on and no one was moving around. I looked through the crack in the door (I figured if it was meant to be shut it would be, right?) and there were my grandma and grandpa – in their 80’s – on their knees praying at the side of the bed. Grandma & Grandpa did that every night. Not just when things were going good or going bad, but when they were going just okay too. When life seemed uneventful or boring you would find them there on their knees thanking God for the blessings of their lives. It’s easy to pray when you’re scared or life hurts – “God help me! I need you now! I’ll do whatever – just fix this PLEASE!”
In my devotion tonight, from Psalm 33 – the latter part of the chapter, in The Message reads:
“No king succeeds with a big army alone, no warrior wins
by brute strength. Horsepower is not the answer; no one
gets by on muscle alone.
Watch this: God’s eye is on those who respect him, the
ones who are looking for his love. He’s ready to come
to their rescue in bad times; in lean times he keeps
body and soul together.
We’re depending on God; he’s everything we need.
What’s more, our hearts brim with job since we’ve taken
for our own his holy name. Love us, God, with all
you’ve got – that’s what we’re depending on.”
I love where it says, “Horsepower is not the answer; no one gets by on muscle alone.” To me, it means that this is not about a bigger better prayer by a well versed pastor, eloquent public speaker or obnoxious Christian (come on, we’ve all run into one somewhere in our lives). I think of my humble, quiet grandparents – in their old age, I would not equate them with any comparison of ‘brute strength’ or horsepower or muscle. But I have to stop and wonder for a moment, how beautiful that must have been to the Lord so see them – married over 50 years – together side by side at the bed.
That image of my grandparents has never left my mind. Often I curl up in my very cozy bed and just when I get warm and notch myself into the quilted mattress top, I’ll feel the Lord nudge me to get on my knees. “But You’re talking to me now, can’t I just pray from here tonight?” Flash – the image of my grandparents and the reminder of their bad knees vs. my cozy bottomside enters my mind. How do you argue with that? I throw back the covers, and find my way to my knees. I think there’s power there – on your knees – unlike anything else. Perhaps because we so rarely find ourselves there? Maybe we have it in our heads that this is how children pray and then for some reason we outgrow it? Of course, the Lord calls us to come to him like children, so wouldn’t that make sense to kneel? We will indeed kneel before Him someday, so we may as well keep at it now if we plan to be doing it in eternity.
I am so glad that the next set of verses reads: “He’s ready to come to their rescue in bad times” because let’s be honest, don’t we all want to be rescued from something? Although I hesitate to put words in Brian’s mouth, I would venture to say that he feels like he has been rescued career-wise right now. Not that he is on easy street – not a bit! But anyone who knows us intimately knows what went on at the office in Bradenton and this organization is the complete antithesis of that place! He told me this morning that some of the guys were praying about the sale of our house with him today before work. I don’t remember anyone ever praying with Brian in the workplace. Well anyhow, he’s just giddy over his job and why not?! I’m giddy for him! He feels rescued.
Last night as I was praying, I recalled the day 2 years ago when Brian & I closed on our house in Creekwood. We closed at the house and the agent was late. Anyhow, I started taking electrical plates off the walls and Brian told me cut it out because it wasn’t ours yet. So I said fine, she’s late, let’s pray over this house. We went into the middle of each and every room and prayed together over it & our function in it – in the girls rooms, we thanked God for them and asked for wisdom in parenting their individual personalities. In the laundry room we laughed as we prayed that I would keep up with the amount of laundry we had and hopefully find joy in doing it! But in the Living Room we prayed that it would be a room where people would come together to know God more and that life-change would occur there. I didn’t know it would be MY life that changed so dramatically on the inside. The moment I realized it however, was during small group and of course, I could barely express myself clearly because I was crying so hard. I had to stand up and I pointed at the place and I said, “Right there. Right there we stood and prayed for this. For you!” The Lord had answered that prayer in a very real, visual, physical way, but the change happened within us. Pretty amazing.
Psalm 34 goes on to say a few verses down, “God met me more than halfway, he freed me from my anxious fears…Look at him; give him your warmest smile. Never hide your feelings from him. When I was desperate, I called out, and God got me out of a tight spot. God’s angel sets up a circle of protection around us while we pray.” I will certainly claim that tonight as I go to my knees. It won’t be because I feel guilty not doing it. Rather, because in this country I am free to do it and in my heart, I desire to. Rug burn rocks!