I will trust and NOT be afraid.
(Isaiah 12:2, NIV)
Mutiny! We are staging war against worry. Worry is trying to creep in our home. As we prepare to return to work and school tomorrow, worry and fear are trying to creep into Andrew’s heart.
Andrew, my first born, is a worrier. He is worried something will happen to daddy, worried about getting hurt on the soccer field, he is worried about things his tender age of twelve should not be worried about.
Tonight, I told Andrew we are going to stage a war against worry. I told Andrew, for the next twenty-four hours he is only allowed to pray his verse for 2015, “I will trust and NOT be afraid” (Isaiah 12:2, NIV).
Immediately, my perfectionist first born began asking questions. “Can I pray for protection? Can I pray for you and daddy?” My response might surprise you. “Not for the next twenty four hours. Andrew, I want you to only pray Isaiah 12:2.”
I explained to the kids that God knows our heart. He knows our thoughts before we even think them. God knows our fears and worries. Prayer is powerful. The Bible tells us to “cast our cares on Him” (Psalm 55:22 and 1 Peter 5:7). So many times we cast our cares to God and then turn around and go fishing for them. That is not trust. Fully trusting without fear, like Isaiah teaches, means we need to cast off and walk away, trusting that God can handle the situation.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
(Romans 8:26-27, NIV)
Tonight, during our family devotions I talked about the difference between interceding and intercepting. Speaking in a language the kids would understand, I used a soccer analogy. Imagine our prayers are like a soccer ball. The object of praying is to get our prayers (ball) to the throne of God (goal). Our goal is to get our prayers to God. God has sent someone to help us achieve that goal. After Jesus rose from the grave, He sent the Holy Spirit as our Comforter and Helper. The Holy Spirit is on our team. The Holy Spirit intercedes our prayers and rushes them forward to the goal, which is the throne of God.
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
(John 14:26, ESV)
This soccer season, Andrew has played the position of mid-fielder. The goal of this position is to pass the ball up the field to his teammates in the forward position. In this analogy, we are the mid-fielders, and the Holy Spirit is the forward. The Holy Spirit can rush our prayers forward to the goal. Romans 8:26 reminds us that even when we don’t know what to pray, the Holy Spirit prays on our behalf. The Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf to the throne of God.
From the backseat of the car, I hear: “But mom, what happens when the opposing team intercepts the ball?” Sometimes it can feel as the ball, life and our prayers are being intercepted by the opposing team (the Enemy). But with the Holy Spirit on our team the Holy Spirit can turn the game around and rush our prayers forward to God.
For the next twenty four hours we are implementing Operation WOW: Operation War on Worry. For the next twenty four hours Andrew will only pray these words from Isaiah 12:2 “I will trust and not be afraid.”
My hope is that Andrew learns that God knows his heart and his prayers don’t have to be perfect to be understood. With the Holy Spirit interceding all of Andrew’s unspoken prayers, my prayer for Andrew is that he learns to rest in God.
Andrew: “Mom, it is hard to rest it with God.”
Me: “I know son, but that’s why we need to ‘trust and not be afraid.”
Andrew: “Mom, will God be mad at me for not praying my normal prayers?”
Me: “No. God loves it when His children come up with big, crazy ideas like this. He wants to prove Himself strong in your life.”
Andrew: “Mom, I feel a lot better already.”
The throne of God is in sight. Andrew passes his prayers forward to the Holy Spirit. He shoots! He scores!
~April Dawn White