Since the very beginning of this pregnancy we have been prayerful, we understand as much as our heads can get around it that this is a precious gift from God. At the beginning our prayers were pretty general, "please let this pregnancy succeed", "please let this work," " please give us peace." As time went on and the strong sense that this was going to be our miracle, our dream come true, we began to pray more specifically using the book, For this child I prayed by Stormie Omartian.. We had bought this book when we started the adoption process and would spend time in our nursery praying over the child that God would one day bring into our lives, but suddenly we could pray for the baby growing inside me. When it was confirmed that we were having a son our prayers began to have "he" instead of "they" as a focus. These prayers are beautiful and helped us focus our prayers on the life and personal qualities we really felt were important for our family.
We have prayed all of the prayers in that book multiple times over the months. Recently, I was reading the book, The wonder of Boys by Michael Gurian and stumbled across this beautiful prayer. I think for the next few weeks we will be saying goodnight with this prayer.
Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, an humble and gentle in victory.
Build me a son whose wishes will not take the place of deeds; a son who will know Thee-and that to know himself is the foundation stone of knowledge.
Lead him, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here let him learn to stand up in the storm; here let him learn compassion for those who fail.
Build me a son whose heart will be clear, whose goal will be high; a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men; one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.
And after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor, so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously. Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, and the weakness of true strength.
Then I, his Father will dare to whisper, "I have not lived in vain."
This morning I woke up to the tragic news of the Colorado shooting. I can imagine that there is a lot of anger surrounding the suspect in this crime. He was a young man, no significant police record, what made him kill? I didn't feel like it was right to post without mentioning this tragedy and the more I read over the prayer above, the more I wonder about the life of this disturbed man. He was a son. He had a father and a mother. How much hurt was in his world to commit such a violent act? My heart breaks.
My prayers right now are for the families of the victims as they grieve their lost loved ones and also for the healing of victims who are still under medical care. My prayers are for the community in CO that is so damaged, scared and broken that it can be restored. I pray for the man responsible and for his family. I pray for the medical and police personnel who are serving the community to care for the wounded and bring the shooter to justice.
I pray that as a nation we recognise that we are failing so many of our young people. It's easy to point fingers, but how often do we reach out to young people, especially young men, in our communities who perhaps do not have a strong family or community who are helping them to come into their identity and tell them their worth and value? It's not someone else's problem. It belongs to all of us. Not that every tragedy can be prevented, but so often as stories of these troubled people come out after an event like this there was so much hurt and so much 'warning' but no one wanted to see it.
My prayers are also that God would open my eyes to those in my community who might need support, love, encouragement and a place to belong. To be willing to reach out and be the person that cares, even when its out of my confort zone. And that I can pray MacArthur's prayer over the young men in my community who might not have a father to be saying these words and having such hopes for his son.
Hug your loved ones a little tighter today.