Saturday, August 12, 2017

August 12

Nehemiah 3:15-5:13; 1 Corinthians 7:25-40; Psalm 32:1-11; Proverbs 21:5-7

Friends of ours love the Lord and serve Him well. Their adult son and daughter-in-law also love and serve the Lord. Each family is regular in their church attendance and participation. Each family gives generously to their church and supports missionaries too. Each family has been on cross-cultural trips to share the Gospel with the needy. And each family earns their living in Christian ministry. But between these two sets of families a chasm has grown. It is now so wide it will be difficult to cross. On one side stands the elder couple; on the other, the younger couple. The elders have held out their hands, time and again, and asked, “What have we done to hurt you? How can we make it right?” The younger couple has named some stipulations; the elder couple considered them and did as asked, in the name of unity and family cohesiveness. But their efforts did not pay off in the hoped-for reconciliation.

So today, I prayed a hard prayer based on the reading in Psalm 32.

“Lord,” I prayed, “I ask that Your hand be heavy upon the younger couple until they repent and restore relationship with their parents. I pray that their strength will be sapped as in the heat of summer. I pray that they will repent of holding their parents away from them and will acknowledge and confess their transgression of disunity. This is a hard prayer, Lord, and I pray it in confidence that You hear and answer and that this is Your Will.”

And then I thought, “This is indeed a hard prayer. And, oh, how good it would be for all involved and for Your work, O Lord, if repentance should come.”

David explains the sweet reward of repentance and confession in verse 6, “You forgave the guilt of my sin.”

I prayed that my young friends would not be like the horse or mule which have no understanding but must be controlled by the bit and bridle or they will not come in obedience (see Ps. 32:9). I prayed that they would trust God and enjoy being surrounded by His unfailing love.

“Thank you, Lord, that Your Word directs us and counsels us how to live and how to pray. When I sat down to read today, I was not thinking of these friends, but You directed me through Your Word to them and to their needs and You showed me how to pray. Not an easy prayer, but a right prayer. And I trust You to answer it in Your time.


- Nell Sunukjian

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