Useless… Unless the Lord…

Kathy Branzell of National Day of Prayer: So often we hear these verses quoted around Mother’s and Father’s Day. While it is true that God is remarking on the gift and blessing of children, there are other cultural and language layers woven into this Psalm of Ascent that was prayed ascending to the House of God, or what we often call the Temple Mount, in Jerusalem. These verses are not just for the family or even families that include children, but also note the significance of the “next generation’” for the Church, the community, country, and culture.

0
106

From Our Dear Sister in Christ, Kathy Branzell of National Day of Prayer!

Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, To retire late, To eat the bread of painful labors; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep. Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They will not be ashamed When they speak with their enemies in the gate.  Psalm 127

Reflection

Greetings prayer partner,

So often we hear these verses quoted around Mother’s and Father’s Day. While it is true that God is remarking on the gift and blessing of children, there are other cultural and language layers woven into this Psalm of Ascent that was prayed ascending to the House of God, or what we often call the Temple Mount, in Jerusalem. These verses are not just for the family or even families that include children, but also note the significance of the “next generation’” for the Church, the community, country, and culture.

 

Beginning with the not-so-obvious points, these verses address those of us who were or are children. If you did not catch that, it is for all of us. As we discussed in last week’s article, we belong to the Lord; our Heavenly Father created us, authored our days, gave us our gifts and talents, guides, guards and loves us and has not missed a moment of your life.

There are all types of earthly parents, you may have been blessed with “Awesome” parents who are everything a kid could hope or dream. You might have “Always there for you” parents who were at all your games, performances, volunteered for everything, ate dinner, helped with homework, watched TV, and hugged you goodnight every or almost every night. Of course they were not perfect, they didn’t have all the answers and they could not always give you everything you wanted but you could depend on them.

 

You could have “Absent” parent/parents who rarely made it to any of your events, had family time a few nights here and there, but career, hobbies, and/or social engagements always took priority, and you were expected to just understand especially when they bought you gifts or planned “quality time” to make you and themselves feel better. Please note the word “career”, not work, in this description. There are many parents who must work long hours, double-shifts, even two jobs, not for a lavish lifestyle or to make a name for themselves but they work hard just to provide food, clothes, and housing for their family. They are not the parents I am describing as being “absent.”

NDP_logo_2020

About the National Day of Prayer

The National Day of Prayer tradition predates the founding of the United States of America, evidenced by the Continental Congress’ proclamation in 1775 setting aside a day of prayer. In 1952, Congress established an annual day of prayer and, in 1988, that law was amended, designating the National Day of Prayer as the first Thursday in May. The next National Day of Prayer is May 2, 2024.

Unfortunately, you may have had the parent who “Abandoned” you; they either left you or were never a part of your life at all. I pray that you hear the compassion in our hearts as we recognize how there are all sorts of family dynamics and dysfunctions but one “Almighty” Heavenly Father who calls us His children; His fearfully and wonderfully made workmanship and He is all we need all the time. In being Filled with Him and His Word, we will never be ashamed. He is awesome and always with us, never absent and never abandoning. Our hearts are His home, His dwelling place. When we submit to His labor of love in our lives, we become arrows that are sharp, shoot straight and strong, hit their target, and are dangerous to the enemy in battle. We become a spiritually significant generation for the Church, our community, country, and culture.

 

When we stand before the Lord to give an account for all God has given to us, we cannot blame our parents, politicians, pastors, or our problems because the Lord was loving us and laboring in us all along. It is up to each of us to choose to invite Jesus to forgive and live in us. As a “Holy Household” we have a personal relationship with Him that overcomes darkness, sets us apart, and sets us up for spiritual success.

How To Pray

The most obvious point of this Psalm tells us that unless the Lord builds the household; unless He is Lord over it, in it, and through it we can pay, paint, participate in all sorts of sports and clubs and fill our schedules with activities, education, vacation and more, but all will prove useless without God. God is clear that an 80-hour workweek provides labor that is in vain and brings pain, not gain. What shall it profit a person, if he gains the whole world, and lose his own soul… and I would add, loses their family?

 

The greatest Valentine gift you could ever give your family is to become an “Abiding” member of your family; leading them to the Lord and joining Him as His love and light builds and fills your household.

Prayer Partner, would you please pray with me now?

Lord Jesus, You are our Heavenly Father, and You never leave us or forsake us. Thank You for blessing each of us with Your purpose, and through Christ, grafting us into Your family. Teach us how to dwell with You as we would dwell with family in a house – ever-present, always speaking and learning and growing. Heal hearts that have been wounded by the choices of earthly parents and parental figures and renew our minds to fulfill Your mission for us, to become spiritually significant tools in Your hand to grow your Kingdom. Show us how to be abiding members of our family, always pointing them toward You and filling our homes and gatherings with the light of Christ.

In Jesus name, amen.

Serving Him with gladness,

Kathy Branzell
President

LIGHT Your Path!

Please join us as we “Lift up the Word and Light Up the World.” Here is some LIGHT for your path as you pray for Family.

 

 For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. (Ephesians 3:14-16)

 

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Mark 8:36-37 KJV)

 

No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. (Joshua 1:5)

 

Please add your favorites to this list and be encouraged to repeat them in faith-filled prayer.

February Prayer Response – Super Bowl Season

During national sporting events there is heightened demand for human trafficking, both labor and sexual. Human trafficking occurs not only onsite at the event, but in casinos and places across the nation where high-stake betting is taking place.

NEW Prayer Prompt Texting Opportunity

Each year, our NDP Task Force state leadership selects a scripture verse to pray over their state. In 2024 we will be praying these verses over one U.S. state or territory each week, starting in the east and moving west. To begin receiving these scripture-based prayer prompts, text 2024STATES to (833) 259-8648.

Urgent Prayer Response

We continue to pray through the reports coming out of Israel and Gaza, as our hearts break for our Israeli brothers and sisters, as well as Christians in the land and the shedding of innocent blood in Israel and Palestine. We invite you to join with fellow NDP intercessors in unified Day and Night Prayer for Israel. Text ISRAEL to 31401 to receive two prayer prompts each day, morning and night, throughout this war. Copy and share this call to prayer as you feel led to invite others to join in unified prayer.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.