Pray 4 US
Memorable Moments Hebrews
Hebrews 13:18-19 ESV
Hebrews 13:18-19 The Message
Revelation 22:1-5 The Message
I’ve been involved in prayer ministry off and on for more than forty years. Even when I wasn’t heading up a prayer team God has called me to pray for others since I was a teenager.
My dad was an Elder at the church where I grew up and he was a pray-er. He taught me how to be still and wait for God to direct me.
I learned later that is called Listening Prayer.
Some years later when I was in my 50’s I was a member of a large church that had an active prayer ministry. The pastor who led the worship and prayer teams taught a great class in Listening Prayer. The material covered wasn’t much different than what my dad taught me in the late 1960’s it was wonderful to know the church was embracing and teaching how to listen to God.
Hebrews 13:18-19 in the English Standard Version says, “Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. I urge you the more earnestly to do this in order that I may be restored to you the sooner.”
Pray for us…is a plea. I recently relocated to a part of the country where I lived nearly forty years ago. As I was packing I found a box of older books and almost all of them were books on prayer or about prayer ministry. I was reminded it has been a recurring theme for most of my life.
Pray for us. I get it. When times get tough we need others to stand with us.
The next phrase about having a clear conscience was puzzling so I did further research.
The Koine Greek translation actually says, ‘we are persuaded, for, that, a good, conscience, we have’. Hummm…so the English Standard Version is fairly literal in this case.
In the Message Version we read, “Pray for us. We have no doubts about what we're doing or why, but it's hard going and we need your prayers. All we care about is living well before God. Pray that we may be together soon.”
Now we’re getting somewhere.
The author is not confused and has a conscience about the path he/she is on. At the same time they see a hard road ahead and that’s why prayer has been requested.
In my 55+ years of practicing listening prayer coupled with having dreams and visions I have often seen the road ahead. There have been times when I didn’t want to see the road ahead. While ‘seeing’ gave me an indication about what kind of pot holes I’d find, there were times when I saw the darkness.
I knew God did not reveal all for a reason.
I saw darkness on the path ahead before my dad was told he had cancer. I prayed but I didn’t know what I was praying for. I did not know to ask God to help me to let go of my dad. I did not know he was heaven bound. I did not know how difficult that would be for me.
I knew I was on the right road and God knew what He was doing but I had no idea how hard it would be, I did not know I would never be the same again. I did not anticipate how many tears I would shed.
At the time I wasn’t thinking about my dad dying when I was 34 years old.
God knew that.
I can see now that God was preparing me to let go. Looking back I’m certain that even if I’d known it wouldn’t have been helpful. It was a time I had to learn to take one day at a time.
I did know I’d see my dad again, but I didn’t know how to ‘do living’ without him. It was hard going. There were other ruts in the road that followed, but God pulled me through them.
A few decades down the road I had another really difficult year. This time I knew for certain God would see me through it. I didn’t know how but I knew I would survive it as well.
What I learned is that each trial makes me stronger and prepares me for what’s ahead. That’s all part of God’s plan.
Ultimately what I want and I think what every believer wants is to live well before God and provide some tidbits of help to men/women along the way.
In verse 19 the author of Hebrews ended by reminding the readers that the ultimate goal is to be together. The English Standard Version uses the word ‘restored’ together.
The Message Version says the goal is to be ‘together’ soon.
I like to think both versions are right.
In the end we will all be restored together in the presence of Holy God.
I look forward to seeing my great-grandparents, my grandparents, my dad, a baby I lost, my aunts and uncles, my cousins I’ve lost, and my best friend.
I see it as being a wonderful gathering where all of us will be restored in God.
Just to give us an idea of what heaven is like, in Revelation 22:1-5, John wrote, “Then the Angel showed me Water-of-Life River, crystal bright. It flowed from the Throne of God and the Lamb, right down the middle of the street. The Tree of Life was planted on each side of the River, producing twelve kinds of fruit, a ripe fruit each month. The leaves of the Tree are for healing the nations. Never again will anything be cursed. The Throne of God and of the Lamb is at the center. His servants will offer God service—worshiping, they’ll look on his face, their foreheads mirroring God. Never again will there be any night. No one will need lamplight or sunlight. The shining of God, the Master, is all the light anyone needs. And they will rule with him age after age after age.”
In perfect harmony we will reside there.
It WILL be one grand party!
Spiritual Practice: Heaven
Consider the glory of the light of God in heaven. Remember we will worship God for eternity. Who else will you see in heaven?
In God, Deborah