There have been certain times during this trial when my prayers were reduced to nothing more than cries for help throughout the day. “Lord, have mercy on us.” “Lord, we need your grace.” “Lord, please help.” On these days I sometimes felt guilty that my prayers lacked substance. Then I remembered the truth of Christ’s prayers for me:
“It is a consoling thought that Christ is praying for us, even when we are negligent in our prayer life; that He is presenting to the Father those spiritual needs which were not present to our minds and which we often neglect to include in our prayers; and that He prays for our protection against the dangers of which we are not even conscious, and against the enemies which threaten us, though we do not notice it. He is praying that our faith may not cease, and that we may come out victoriously in the end.”
Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology, p.403.
“If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying for me.”
Robert Murray M’Cheyne, Robert Murray M’Cheyne p.179.
(From a post by Justin Taylor)
What enormous comfort and courage poured into my soul when I remembered my Savior’s prayers!
In these past few months, I have discovered a helpful exercise for the soul: studying the lives of great saints. These men and women often had great trials, and when I read about their trials it puts my own in proper perspective. Martyn Lloyd-Jones makes this point in the book Faith on Trial:
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.” 1 Co. 10:13
“Where the devil gets us is just here. He persuades us that nobody has ever had this trial before: no one has ever had a problem like mine, no one else has been dealt with like this. But Paul says, ‘There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man,’ and the moment you remember even that much, you feel better. All God’s people know something about this: we are such strange creatures, and sin has had a strange effect upon us. We are always helped in our suffering by hearing that somebody else is suffering too!.... Some of the greatest saints that have ever adorned the life of the Church have experienced trials and troubles and tribulations which cause our little problems to pale into insignificance.” Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Faith on Trial, pp. 56-57
So let me encourage you, sometime soon, to read a biography of a godly man or woman. Or, if you don’t have time to read, listen to John Piper’s biographical sermons online. For me, this spiritual exercise has caused my “little problems to pale into insignificance.”
“They that love God as they ought, will have such a sense of his wonderful long-suffering toward them under the many injuries they have offered to him, that it will seem to them but a small thing to bear with the injuries that have been offered to them by their fellow-men.”
~Jonathan Edwards, Charity and Its Fruits, p.78.
With school starting and daily schedules getting more regular, fall is a great time to consider joining the FAM club. We got this encouraging email from a club member last week:
I’ve been a part of the FAM club since the beginning of the year. I’ve been praying for the salvation of my sister and spiritual growth—in particular an interest in baptism—in my brother. Well though I haven’t been as faithful in fasting as I should be, I still prayed for them every week. I just wanted to let y’all know that I’ve seen spiritual growth in my brother and he will be getting baptized soon!!!
I’m praising the Lord! This has given me a renewed strength to pray for my sister!
For more information and FAM club testimonies, check out our club page.
“The mother is the hub of the home, holding all the spokes in place. Without her being at her post, the family spins out of control and falls apart.” Mark Chanski
When school starts, do you find that it gets more difficult to “hold all the spokes in place”? I sure do.
On a typical day I must get my son, Andrew, out the door for school (with homework, lunch and back-pack), clean up from breakfast, homeschool my two younger boys, pay the bills, drive to an afternoon activity, get home in time to meet Andrew and help him with homework, prepare dinner for my family and a guest, do dishes, catch up on laundry and finally clean up my house which looks like it has been visited by a tornado.
Just another ordinary day in the life of a mom. But so often, I go through these ordinary days far more aware of what I am giving than whom I am serving.
I need my gaze lifted beyond my daily duties to my eternal mission as a mother. In his book, Womanly Dominion, Mr. Chanski brings us encouragement right where we need it:
“There she sits exhausted on the edge of her bed, her face in her hands, wondering, “Where’s the glory in this?”
She needs something more empowering to keep her going.
She needs to gain and maintain the deep conviction of the glory, honor, and nobility of selfless service. This she finds at the foot of the cross, looking up to the One who earned for Himself “the name which is above every name” (Philippians 2:9), by “emptying Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant” (2:7), humbling “Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (2:8). There she beholds her Savior who mopped up the damning vomit of her own sin with the precious sponge of His perfect life and atoning death. The love of Christ constrains and compels her to press on (2 Corinthians 5:14). The Spirit of Christ empowers her” (pp. 120-121, emphasis mine).
Are you having a hard time being “the hub” today? Then “fix your eyes on Jesus” (Heb. 12:2-3), ask Him for help and strength, and thank Him for the honor of being a mother.
—from the archives