Like most families, I’m sure you get stuck in a rut of doing the same things the same way over and over. One of those ruts, for us, can be prayer. Before meals, one of us says the same generic prayer, “Thank you for food, family, amen.” In the back of my mind, knowing that prayer is much more than that isn’t quite enough motivation for me to do anything different.
However, one day, my husband suggested that we start a prayer wall on the side of our refrigerator. While knowing that my husband has some wise and creative ideas, I am also aware that he’s not always the follow-through guy, and the flesh part of me wanted to say, “well it was your idea, so you make it happen.” But, knowing that God has called us to become one flesh and help one another was reason enough for me to create this prayer wall on the side of our fridge. As with many ideas we may try to implement, consistency is not my strong suit. I can make it happen for a while, but then the commitment falls away. I figured this would too. I was wrong.
I created one side of the wall for prayer requests and the other for praises and answered prayers. On the request side, I had pieces of paper, a pencil and tape so we could write a request and stick it to the request side. After we receive an answer, we move it over to the answer side. Granted, the answer may not always be what we would’ve liked at the time, but it was an answer nonetheless. We are a family of four with myself, my husband, my thirteen year old son and eighteen year old daughter. I was seeing prayer requests pop up on the wall on a daily basis, some for us personally and a lot for other people. To my surprise, my son was even participating. One day he said, “Mom! I put a request on the wall! (I was so proud) I requested a new soccer goal!” While I believe that God cares about every little thing that we do, our son had not seen the prayer part. He thought it was a request wall that was kind of like a Christmas list. Well, once the idea was clarified, he began putting up prayers for friends, soccer games, etc.
The answered side of the fridge is now full, and we are finding that we are going to need to create a way to save all of these praises so that we can remove them from the wall to make room for more. We are learning some things as a result of this prayer wall, which was a result of my husband’s leading. We are learning that it is best to work together as a family, to help one another, to pray for one another, to rejoice with one another. We are learning that God doesn’t always answer our prayers with a yes or in the way we want, but it is still an answer, and we learn to trust that He knows what He is doing. When we are not sure why He answered the way He did or seemed to not answer, we are encouraged by the following verses. Isaiah 55:8 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.” Psalm 9:10 says, “Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord have never forsaken those who seek you. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “He knows the thoughts and plans He has for us, plans for peace and for a hope and a future.”
I hope that your family may form its own prayer wall and that you will together learn the power of prayer.
Blessings to your family and families to whom you minister.
Chuck and Heather Butler