You Make me Brave

IMG_9525

Romans 6:14       …with the breastplate of righteousness in place

The breastplate of righteousness is perhaps my favorite part of The Armor of God. Proverbs 4:23 says “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

I grew up in a broken home. My parents struggled in their marriage. My mom was hurt by something great yet unspoken and unhealed. As a result she was suspicious of my intentions toward her. Her broken heart caused her to push me away and created a void in my heart and in our home. As a child I desperately wanted her love and approval. Even though she did love me, her pain caused her to constantly question my intentions toward her. Because she didn’t trust me she couldn’t enter into an intimate relationship with me. Intimacy is only possible if we are able to be vulnerable with each other. Vulnerability requires risk and when we are afraid of being hurt we tend to pull back and not risk. For much of my childhood the pain of my mother’s accusations and suspicions caused a heavy burden as I strived to prove to her I loved her and cared about her pain. One day when I was around 9 or 10 I remember praying and asking the Lord why she thought such horrible things about my motives toward her. I heard God’s voice speak gently to my spirit, “It’s okay, I see your heart”. I felt the peace of God wash over me. Knowing He knew my heart helped ease the burden and it gave me the courage to keep going and keep working towards the goal of having an intimate relationship with my mom (1 Corinthians 13: 7).

Jesus is our righteousness. He is perfect and right in all that He does. As we put our trust in Him, His righteousness comes and cover our hearts. When we are afraid we can either pull back and live small “safe” lives or we can put on the breastplate of righteousness and live bold, love-centered lives. Jesus assures us that nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:31-39).

He sees us, He knows us, He’s got us, He gets the final word, He makes us brave.

When my kids were old enough to get their feelings hurt, I felt a deep ache in my own heart as it reminded me of my childhood pain. My desire was that they never feel that type of pain. As I went to the Lord in prayer (worry) about it, His Spirit reminded me again that He is able to cover them in the same way He covered me and to pray in that way. Psalms 91:4. I needed to teach them to risk and trust. To be venerable and to know the One who will never fail them. When we bring our children up in The Lord, we cover their hearts with His righteousness. We teach them to be brave.

IMG_9496

Prayer Points:

1)     Thank Jesus for His righteousness and what He has made available to us.

2)    Ask the Lord to help you teach your children to trust in Him.

3)    Pray for any hurt in your family that needs healed and trust that He is able to make His grace abound in your home and hearts.

Prayer – Breastplate of Righteousness

Lord help me to fully trust in you. Help me to choose daily to believe that you love me and nothing can separate me from your love. (Romans 8:31) From that place of assurance help me to teach my children to trust you. May your righteousness guard their hearts. Make them brave. Help them to live bold lives of love in a broken world. Show them they are strong in you. Help them to not pull back when life gets hard, but teach them to remind themselves who’s got them. You’ve got them! Amen.

John 14:27 27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Subscribe to Fireflies by Email

Praying the Belt of Truth

Ephesians 6:14; “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist…”

IMG_5359 (2)

Truth is essential. It is what everything else hinges on. Perhaps this is why it’s the first piece of armor Paul speaks to. When my third son Jacob was little, he was really little. He was average in height but in the 15 percentile in weight.  In spite of the weight gain shakes the pediatrician had recommended and his large appetite he weighed no more than a buck and a quarter soaking wet. My sister-in-law in her funny and sassy way would tell him at 3 and 4 years old, “You need to go tell your mama to buy you a butt” because he couldn’t keep his slim sized pants up. What Jacob needed me to buy him was a belt to help keep his dignity covered. Likewise the Belt of Truth that Ephesians speaks of would have been crucial to keep up and hold together other parts of the armor. It held the sheath for the sword, and leather strips would hang from the belt to help protect the lower part of the soldier’s body. Truth protects us and supports us.  God’s word tells us in several places to bind it around us.

Prayer points:

1)      Acknowledge God is truth and there is no deception or change in Him.

2)      Pray that your child would recognize truth and choose walk in light of it.

3)      Ask the Lord to work truth into the inward places of your child’s heart that they may know the freedom that comes   from truth.

4)      Praise God for His goodness and His plans for your kids.

James 1:16-18  16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.

 

Prayer

Lord bind your truth around my child.  Help me to speak the truth over them daily reminding them of your promises and your faithfulness. Develop a truthful heart in them. I thank you and praise you Lord for the gift of their life and say they are a good and perfect gift that came from you. May your will be done in their lives. In Jesus name, Amen.

Be Strong

When my oldest, Isaiah, was between the ages of 3 and 5, he would have severe nightmares from time to time. He would scream and cry out in his sleep. When my husband and I would go to him, he would begin to describe his dreams, which were filled with very scary images and situations for such a young child. I would wonder, “Why is he having these dreams.” We were very careful to not let him watch inappropriate shows on TV and there was nothing in our day to day life that was scary. I began to wonder if the enemy was attacking his dreams. This thought caused the “Mama Bear” to rise up in me. If the enemy was going to try to torment him in the night, I would use the nights to contend for his peace. When the bad dreams would come, I would lay on the floor in his room and I would stay awake interceding for him and it became a place of privilege as I considered what God would want to do in my son’s life. The devil would regret that he tried to mess with him. I would be strong and take a stand.

The bible tells us that we have an enemy who is scheming against us. 1 Peter 5:8 tells us to be “alert.” We don’t need to be afraid because Satan is defeated and we are to take our stand in God’s mighty power. As parents, we have God-given authority and responsibility to stand against the enemy and release blessing over our kids. As we start praying the armor over our kids, we will with start here: Be strong.

Ephesians 6:10-13: 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Prayer points:

1)      Acknowledge God’s mighty power and authority over all things seen and unseen.

2)      Ask Him to help keep you be alert like a “watchman in the tower” over your family.

3)      Purposing to set aside fear, pray strong, faith-filled declarations over your kids.

4)      Praise God for His goodness and His plans for your kids.

IMG_5297 (3)

Prayer

God you are mighty in power. There is no one like you. Help me to be alert and watchful, remembering that we battle not against flesh and blood. Before my child/children were yet formed you knew all their days. Thank you for the purposes and plans you have for them. I resist the devil and his schemes. He has no place of authority here; all authority in heaven and earth has been given to your son Jesus. Lord I pray today that my family would be strong. Be at work in my kid/kids hearts, minds and character that they would grow in strength. Help me to raise them on “the rock that is higher than I” (Psalm 61:2) Lord may they be like trees planted by the stream of your love with deep roots able to weather lives storms and bear good fruit. Lord I put my trust in you. In Jesus name, Amen.

IMG_5336 (2)

 

 

A Beautiful Exchange

january blog photo

I was 21 when I had my first son Isaiah. My husband and I were  missionaries with Youth With A Mission (YWAM). We lived on a YWAM base in Chico, CA, that provided a close community  from which I gleaned much as a new mother. One of the mothers I learned  from was a precious Brazilian friend named Nalva. She was a passionate  woman of God who loved to intercede. She came to me one day with a gift; a book titled, “Lord Bless My Child.” She  invited me to meet with her once a week and we would pray together for  our children. We would not only pray for the immediate needs of our  kids, depending on the stages they were in, but we would sow seeds of faith into their growing character. I had been  raised in a family that valued and modeled prayer, and God used that  foundation, and the influence of my friend, to establish an  understanding and belief in my young mother’s heart that God wants us to raise our children with Him. He takes very seriously our  prayers and petitions. As we lift our children before him and ask that  He move on our kid’s behalf, he not only answers those prayers but in exchange He deposits His peace in our hearts. And all of us moms know that peace is definitely needed to keep us moving  forward with clear vision and hope for our families.

I want to invite you this year to a time of praying together. Maybe you  have some mom-friends that you want to invite to meet together to pray. Each month we will have a prayer focus and we will stand together and lift up our kids before the throne of  grace. We will use as our overall theme in 2014 praying the Armor of  God.

My prayer for you this month, as you consider the needs of your family, is Philippians 4:6-7, Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Amen

Lanise Santala