Drifting off to sleep with a smile, four of our six birds were back in the nest. (Gordy, Woody, Lauren and LT were all staying with us.) This Mamma Bird rejoices when the birds return home.
Suddenly, at 3:40 in the morning, our house alarm started blaring….
John said, “See where it was tripped!!!”
Blind as a bat (Oh, just wait ‘til you see where this goes…), I grabbed my glasses and raced to the alarm panel. “It says, ‘office.’ Maybe that’s the office off of Woody’s room and he and Gordy have set it off?” I suggested.
“Nope,” John said, “It’s the downstairs office.”
By this time, I was nearly on John’s heels as were Gordy and Woody. The girls were still in bed. Naturally, Gracie, the best watchdog ever (!!!), was right on my heels, dashing and simultaneously barking down the stairs.
The three of us bravely stood out in the hallway while Hubster marched into the office. No windows broken, nothing seemed amiss…
“Swoosh!” Something brushed by John’s ear.
“IT’S A BAT!!!!” John yelled.
“How ‘bout the paddle tennis rackets on the porch?” I asked.
“No! We need longer necks….Where are our regular tennis rackets?” (The man thinks on his feet like no other.)
“Hmmm, could be a problem as we’ve not played tennis since we moved in this house four years ago.” I sputtered…
By this time, the bat had moved into the family room. This plucky Mom hightailed it back upstairs. Lauren had come out of her room and I screamed, “Get back in your room! There’s a bat on the loose!” to which she and LT screamed in unison and slammed the door. We are some fine kind of fearless women.
Meanwhile, downstairs, we could hear screams coming from the boys. Dying to say, “Y’all sound like a bunch of girls…” I refrained and valiantly slammed our door shut.
Seems the bat had now entered the kitchen and perched up on one of the cabinets. Woody threw something up at it. It swooped down with all three men flailing their racquets. Akin to The Three Stooges, not one macho man could connect with the beleaguered bat.
Finally, the bat chased Gordy down the hallway. More high-pitched screams followed with a resounding “YES!” (Funeral services were not held for The Great Winged Intruder.)
Shall we all sing, “Ding dong the bat is dead!” after our snake story? (Please click on Ding Dong the Snake is Dead—Confessions of a Raging Perfectionist for more info…) And I beg forgiveness for any of you animal lovers out there…
So what does a bat have to do with prayer, you may be asking? Well, not a whole lot, obviously…but the pearl to glean is from having family closeby. Or framed photos of your family if they live far away. This reminds us to pray fervently and feverishly for them.
Please allow me to share a couple of highlights from a book that’s been mentioned in the last three books I’ve read (Whenever that happens, I take that to be a divine suggestion): The Kneeling Christian, by Unknown Christian, originally from 1924, offers powerful pearls on prayer. (Research revealed author is Albert Ernest Richardson. He was a British Anglican clergyman and missionary.)
The preface grabs you from its’ first page: “It’s not too much to say that all real growth in the spiritual life—
All victory over temptation,
All confidence and peace in the presence of difficulties and dangers,
All repose of spirit in times of great disappointment or loss,
All habitual communion with God—
Depend upon the practice of secret prayer.”
He continues, “Our yearning desire is to stir up Christians to ‘take hold of’ God as never before.”
Watch this: “We are never so high as when we are on our knees.”
The author doesn’t pretty things up any, either. Reminding us of the devil’s schemes, he pleads, “Fellow Christians, let us awake! The devil’s blinding our eyes…Do we realize there’s nothing the devil dreads so much as prayer?
Satan laughs at our toiling, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray.” (What an awesome reminder and motivation for us all to pray, pray, pray.)
Some of you may argue, “But I don’t know what to pray for?”
Don’t forget what Paul tells us in Romans 8:26-27: “Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, … and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” (ESV)
The author succinctly answers questions about what prayer is,
how God answers prayer,
if He always answers, and
obstacles we must be aware of.
In a powerful Bible study called Praying for Your Prodigal: A Journey Through Luke 15, by Kristen Sauder, Kristen also gives us a beautiful list of what prayer is:
A shelter in times of storms.
A classroom filled with wise instruction.
A banquet hall for our inner nourishment.
A place of comfort.
A place of compassion.
A place of forgiveness.
A place of renewed strength.
Prayer changes us internally and externally.” Kristen asks, “Does conversation with the Savior affect your countenance?” Ouch….and yet a blessed challenge.
Delivers help and hope.
Enables us to speak directly to the Father.”
Between Kristen’s excellent information on prayer and the author’s pearls in the Kneeling Christian, we must arise and awaken to our surroundings and to people for whom we can pray.
When family is closeby, or even if they’re far away, let them serve as visual reminders to kneel in prayer and storm Heaven’s gates for your loved ones. (Hopefully snakes and bats don’t fit into that equation.) We must also continue to lift up those affected by the recent tragedies.
It is never too late.
We must never give up.
The Kneeling Christian concludes: “To pray with all your heart and strength—that is the last, the greatest achievement of the Christian’s warfare on earth.”
And may I conclude with a favorite Scripture: I Thessalonians 5:17 can be quickly memorized and put to daily use: “Pray continually.”
Lord, please keep prayer in the forefront of our minds. Amen and Amen.
‘Til next time!