Walking Into Inheritance

 Each of my children in turn has brought someone home to meet the family. In every case, they were wonderful people. In every case it was an interesting experience; I experienced something of a time warp. 

You see, I’ve been praying for my kids since I first learned that we were pregnant. Part of that – me being the responsible dad and all – included praying for their future spouses. 

So when my kids brought their intended home to meet the parents, several things happened. We celebrated, of course, we blessed the relationship, we continued developing our friendship with them, all the usual. 

But I also recognized that with that announcement that they wanted to marry my son or daughter, they were also stepping into decades of prayer for themselves. Kind of a time warp. Science fiction becomes real. It’s pretty cool, actually. 

It has been interesting, even exciting, to see how these good people are walking in the things I’ve prayed for them since before they or their spouse were even born. And of course, my prayers for them continue these days, but now I have the advantage of knowing who I’m praying for. 

Since then, my kids have been having kids of their own, so now there are grand kids to include in the prayers. I love declaring destiny, generally destiny I hear Father whispering, destiny I see in the Book, or even destiny I see forming in their skills, interests, passions. 

I’ve been enjoying praying for these wonderful humans who share a quarter of  my DNA quite as much as I enjoy lifting up their parents who share a larger share of my DNA. (I find these to be curious thoughts.)

The other day, I was out walking with Father, praying for my heirs and descendants, when I realized that I didn’t need to know exactly whom I was praying for any more than I did when I prayed for my little toddlers’ future spouses. 

So I kept going, speaking life to my great-grandchildren, and their children, my offspring whom I might never meet. Blew my mind a little bit. And then it set me into my place in history, in the grand scheme of goodness that God is in the midst of. 

And yeah, it’s a little like a science fiction time warp. But it turns out that it’s real. And in reality, there’s no reason that any of my (or your) prayers should ever have an expiration date. And if my prayers never expire, then I maybe ought to target those prayers in light of things (and family) to come. 

So as I prayed for every one of my grandchildren’s children, and about their children. Occasionally I would get a glimpse of an individual destiny in the uncertain fog of the future. That always gives me more focus for that (potential) individual. 

(By the way, this isn’t limited to my biological progeny. There are a few individuals who have adopted themselves into a relationship with my family. They get prayed for, too!)

Things get complicated quickly. The average Christian family today has 2.7 kids, I am told. That means  that in a few generations, I might be praying for dozens, maybe even hundreds of of descendants. That’s a bunch of people that I’ve never met (and might never meet), but who will eventually count me among their grandcestors. My blood (or a little of it) will flow in their veins, my DNA (or a little of it) shapes how they will be crafted, my history with God (or a little of it) cut the path that they will walk. 

I confess, it’s a little bit overwhelming. (And then I consider, what must it be like for God, the Father of Life? No, that’s too much; I can’t go there right now!) 

I try to approach prayer like I’m trying to approach most everything in my world: I pray for the people and destinies that I feel like Father is drawing my attention to. (My big brother said it this way: “I speak just what the Father has taught me.” I like his example.) 

So I’m just writing to explore the incursion of time warps into my prayer life, to help to make sense of this path that I’ve been walking with my Father for a while now. 

If this is helpful to you, feel free to step on this path with yourself, and discover what kind of time warps he has available for you and for your legacy. 

Whose Answer to Prayer?

For some time, I’ve been praying some pretty significant prayers about somebody close to me.

There were some changes that I thought would be healthy for him to make in his life, but I very much did not feel the freedom to talk to him about them.

So I went over his head, and talked to his Father.

(It’s probably appropriate to point out that part of my prayers were for healthy changes in his life, but the larger portion were about getting my will out of the way. I sometimes find it a challenge to pray for people’s choices in a way that still respects their free will for their lives ahead of my own will for their lives. And the more I care for them, the bigger that obstacle is for me. Sigh.)

Last week, my friend asked me to go for a walk with him, and as we started, he said he had something to talk about, and he did not want my advice or counsel. (I interpreted that as, “This is pretty serious for him!”)

Then he explained how he had come to some conclusions and abruptly made several of the changes that I’d been praying for. I barely kept from jumping and dancing around him, so happy I was about him. 

We walked for several miles while he vented and I listened. I asked a couple of questions, but otherwise didn’t hardly say anything: this wasn’t about me; it’s about him. Toward the last mile, we discussed some of his goals for how to walk out these changes, and how I could support him and his changes.

I spent several days rejoicing.

A few days later, as I was talking with Jesus about my friend, supporting his changes in prayer. 

And then I recognized something kind of dangerous in my thinking. I was praying for my friend’s success in the area of these changes, when God quietly uncovered some things in my heart. I was seeing this as about me: these were my prayers that were answered, and I felt a responsibility to reinforce the answers in continued prayer.

I became aware that yes, my prayers had some not-insignificant effect here (He never tells me how much), but this isn’t my victory. This is God’s victory that He s sharing (and working through) with His son, my friend. This is not about me.

I’m still invited to pray for my friend’s victory, but I’m not invited to take ownership of the change, to take responsibility for his continued success.