A prayer for you - let me tell you.
One of the prompts in my Bible study last week was to consider the ways David prayed for his son Solomon in this passage from 1 Chronicles. It urged me to consider what specific qualities and concerns David prayed over, and how I could in turn pray those things for others in my life.
To be honest? My first thought was that these are things I want to be praying over others, but I need to be praying over myself. I don’t know about you, but transitions are hard. When David prayed the words above over his son, Solomon was about to take over the throne and become king of Israel. Talk about a BIG transition. On a bit smaller scale, but no less weighty in our worlds, right now the weather is transitioning from winter to spring, my semester workload is transitioning from light to busy, and I’m preparing to transition from student to teacher, single to married, one location to another. It’s exactly the time - like David knew Solomon needed - that I need to remember what God says is true about me. His plan for me, His love for me, His expectations of me - they hold everybody else’s and my own plans, expectations, and feelings towards me in right perspective.
So here is a prayer for me and for you, patterned after the things David prayed for Solomon, since transitions are not an isolated phenomenon and chances are high that you, wherever you are, are experiencing some change and uncertainty in some aspect of your life as well. You’re not alone. You can pretend I’m reading this to you if you’d like, but as great as I am at reading things, and as sincerely as I do pray for you, my sweet friend reading this - I want to encourage you to read it over yourself as well. Stand in the mirror and say it to yourself out loud if that’s what it takes to assure yourself that these things are true about you. Because they are.
May you learn to recognize the presence of God, which is with you always. May there be space in your busy life for the Lord to draw close to you, for Him to speak to you deeply and intimately about the calling He has placed on your life.
The NIV translation of verse 11 says “may the Lord be with you, that you may succeed.” May you always remember that it is God’s presence that enables and emboldens success. The fruit that comes in our lives and the lives of those around us when we live out of our calling does not come from us hustling, it comes from God’s being with us - full stop.
So may you succeed in pursuit of that calling. Not with the intent to achieve or because “success” is a fixed, defined point after which you stop - but because you are chasing what will grow you for your good and His glory, which God has promised in His word concerning you, His child. May you always have a right view of that word success - one that leans more on Christ than it does comparison, one that emphasizes overflow and satisfaction in your love for God rather than in your personal status or material resources.
Above all, may the Lord give you insight and understanding so that you never forget what Jesus Christ did on the cross. We used to be held to the standard set forth by the law of Moses, a standard we could never meet. Now we are freed from law to pursue the fullness of life on Earth and the standard of righteousness Christ accomplished for us in His death and resurrection - knowing we will fall and fail but that forgiveness is already offered if we would only accept it. May you always accept it.
“Be strong and courageous, don’t be afraid or discouraged” are the exact words God spoke to Moses, that Moses then passed on to Israel from the Lord. The second half of the verse, though, gives us something more to go on when that feels impossible. “For the Lord your God is the one who will go with you; He will not leave you or abandon you.”
May you remember that fear and discouragement are feelings. Feel your feelings in full freedom, but do not allow them to tell you what is truth. Scripture says that as a child of God, loved and redeemed, you are strong and you are brave not because you feel like it, but because His presence with you makes you so. And that presence will go with you everywhere, every day - it is right there even when you feel most left behind by the things or the people of the world, because God will not abandon you.
May you wait no longer for the next season, thinking it will bring increased time or capacity. Sacrifice your time to understanding the gifts God has given you, and the opportunities He is bringing before you to operate out of them.
Begin the work.
And know that He is with you.