|Photo by Dorcha 2008|
Saturday, October 26, 2013
I was blessed and honored when a dear friend who has gone through many life changes asked me to say a prayer at the housewarming celebration for her new home. Writing this prayer helped me to realize how we can consecrate our lives to Him in all that we do, transforming our home into a holy place of worship where He is Lord, Shepherd, and dearest Friend.
Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you for our beloved sister in Christ, for her sweet spirit in loving and serving You and in welcoming with hospitality and with love all who are gathered here to her new home (Romans 12:10-13; 1 Peter 4:8-9).
May all who enter these doors be blessed by Your Presence and be a blessing to her and to her friends and family, as you have promised that when we open our home to others, we may entertain angels unawares (Hebrews 13:2).
May angels protect our sister, her home, and all who enter it (Psalm 91:9-11), knowing that our true dwelling place is in You (John 15:3-7). May this home be a shelter from the storms and a warm, inviting haven for her and for all her guests. Please keep them safe, healthy, prosperous, and in Your perfect will.
Your mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23), and we ask that you would bring your daughter the hope and joy of beginning a new life in this new home. May she awaken each morning refreshed, for You have promised sound sleep to Your beloved (Psalm 127:2).
As she dresses and prepares for each new day, may she remember to put on the whole armor of God to be able to withstand the devil (Ephesians 6:11-18). May she be cleansed in the fountain of Your Living Waters (Revelation 7:17), clothed in Your righteousness (Job 29:14; Isaiah 61:10), and adorned with a meek and humble spirit, which is of great value in Your eyes (Romans 13:14; Galatians 3:27; 1 Peter 3:4).
As she leaves these doors, may she acknowledge You in all her ways so that You will direct her paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). As she walks into her yard, may she take time to appreciate the special love notes You write for her each day in Your still, small voice (1 Kings 19:12). May she recognize and appreciate You in the warmth of the sun, the beauty of nature surrounding her home, the sweet song of a sparrow, the grace of butterflies dancing in the air, and a rainbow of flowers sparkling in the dew (Psalm 19:1).
When she returns home, may she find it a special refuge of relaxation filled with Your grace (Isaiah 32:17-18), where there is quiet so that she can be still and know that You are God (Psalm 46:10). No matter what trials she had to face that day, may You give her the peace that passes all understanding as she seeks You in prayer (Philippians 4:6-7), for You are the God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
As our dear sister cheerfully honors You with her giving (2 Corinthians 9:7), may her cupboards and closets be well-stocked and full of needed provisions (Proverbs 3:9-10; 21:20), for You have promised to supply the needs of Your children (Philippians 4:19). May every meal she prepares, serves and enjoys here be nourishing and healthful to the body, blessed by You.
As she breaks bread at her table, may all who partake remember that Your body was broken for us (Matthew 26:26; Mark 14:22), to pay the price for all our sins (1 John 2:2;4:10), so that all those who place their faith in Your death, burial and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) as the only Way to Heaven (John 14:6) will have eternal life (John 3:16).
May this home be filled with Your spiritual and material blessings (Deuteronomy 28:2;; Proverbs 10:22; Ephesians 1:3), with the sound of joyful laughter (Psalm 126:2), new songs of thanksgiving and praise (Exodus 15:2; Psalm 28:7;33:4;40:3) and conversation that is pleasing to You (James 3:13; 17-18).
May this home thrive with the encouragement and support of friends (Galatians 6:2; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12), especially with the Friend Who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24), with family fellowship, and with Your Word (Psalm 1:1-3; 119:105). May it be bright with Your radiant light dispelling any darkness (Exodus 10:22-23; 1 John 1:5).
May Your child use her time here wisely and productively, honoring You in all that she does (Colossians 3:23), whether it is a prayer of thanks as she washes the dishes (Ephesians 5:20), or a prayer for wisdom as she balances the household budget (James 1:5). May she be a good and faithful steward of this house and property, its contents, its resources, and all the many blessings You have provided (1 Peter 4:8-10; 1 Corinthians 4:2)).
When the day is over and she goes to bed, may she have peaceful sleep and sweet dreams, knowing that You work all things together for good for those who love You (Romans 8:28). May she experience the joyful anticipation that this could be the night You return to bring your children home, that we would be caught up to meet You in the air (1 Corinthians 15:51-53; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17), and that You would wipe every tear from our eyes (Revelation 7:17).
2 Samuel 7:29 Therefore now let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may continue for ever before thee: for thou, O Lord God, hast spoken it: and with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed for ever.
We thank you for providing this home, these friends, the joy of knowing You, and Your many blessings to our dear sister. We ask all these things in Jesus’ precious Name,
© 2013 Laurie Collett
Saturday, October 19, 2013
As we saw last time, Solomon describes in Proverbs 31 the ideal woman he prayed for his son to marry. The Proverbs 31 woman is generous and charitable (v. 20), trusting that God will allow her to be a channel through whom blessings flow (2 Corinthians 9:6), and knowing that you can’t outgive God (Luke 6:38), Who is the source of all good gifts (James 1:17). She is a blessing to her family (Proverbs 31:12), has a realistic opinion about herself (v. 18), provides for her family through her hard work and planning (v. 21, 24), and enhances the reputation of her husband (v. 23).
God’s plan for marriage is for the wife to submit herself to her husband’s authority, who in turn loves her self-sacrificingly (Colossians 3:17-24; Ephesians 5:20-33). This is a beautiful picture of the relationship between Christ and His bride, the church (Revelation 19:7-9). He loves us so much that He died to redeem us (Romans 5:8), and we follow His authority because we trust that His infinite love and power enables Him to work all things together for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28).
Although the hard work, thrift and prior planning of the Proverbs 31 woman allow her to be well dressed (v. 22), her true beauty comes from being clothed in good character traits. People admire her not for the clothes she wears, but for her spiritual and moral strength in following God’s Word, and for the honor she brings to her family. God has clothed her in magnificent garments of salvation and righteousness (Isaiah 61:10; 1 Peter 3:3-10).
Because she is a woman of character, she finds joy in following the Lord, no matter what the external circumstances (Nehemiah 8:10; Philippians 4:4). She knows that she can be patient and wait upon the Lord to bring her through trials and to bless her (v. 25; Psalm 23:4-6).
The Proverbs 31 woman is kind, speaking the truth in love (v. 26), but knowing when to be silent (v. 26). She can control her tongue, refraining from gossip (Matthew 12:35-37), criticism or anger that could ruin her testimony (James 3:2-13). Her restraint in speech reflects the Word of God that she has hidden in her heart to avoid sinning (Psalm 119:11) and the subjection of her actions to the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:1).
This type of woman, although rare, is a tremendous asset to her family and all those around her, and they respect and praise her, recognizing that the blessings she gives them are priceless (v.10, 28, 29). We should strive to be praiseworthy in setting a good example and teaching our children how to behave and fear the Lord (Proverbs 10:1; Titus 2:3-5), in our generosity (Luke 6:38, Philippians 4:16-18; Mark 9:41; Matthew 6:20-21), and in our faith and prayer life (Philippians 4:13; Colossians 1:27; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Psalm 119:10-11).
We can become this kind of woman not by relying on our social skills or our physical charms, but by fearing the Lord – by putting His will for our life ahead of all else (v.30). In doing this, we can live in a way that will reflect our position in Christ to those around us (Ephesians 4:1)
As important as it is to love and provide for our family, even this can become an idol in our lives if we put it ahead of our obedience to God and our desire to please Him. Rather, if we put God first in our lives, He will provide for our physical needs (Matthew 6:33), let us be a blessing to others (Proverbs 31:30), enlarge our sphere of influence in this world and give us eternal life in the next (Mark 10: 29-30).
Until Christ comes again, may we honor Him by giving to all we encounter our example of faith in Christ, in His death, burial and resurrection as the only Way to Heaven (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; John 14:6) that they too may accept and follow Him (2 Timothy 1: 5; Acts 16:31).
© 2013 Laurie Collett
Proverbs 31: 20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.