Friday, October 8, 2010

When the hand that rocks the cradle also prays....

One morning we read Isaiah 65 in family worship -- about God waiting to be gracious to those who cry out to him.  He waits, ready to bless with living water, bread, rejoicing, singing and gladness for the hungry, thirsty and weary.

I had been reading a small book of sermons by Brownlow North called The Rich Man and Lazarus
to the children.  Preached in Northern Ireland in 1859, these sermons were instrumental in starting a spiritual awakening:  "church-goers who had sat thoughtlessly for years listening to sermons, suddenly awoke to the realities of an eternal world; ministers began to preach with a new authority; factory workers carried Bibles to their benches..."  If you are curious about these sermons that God was pleased to use for revival, let me share a quote.  Asserting that the sin of the rich man was his being content without God, Mr. North goes on to address the congregation:  "I pray God that...every unconverted man ...on earth, may feel his want and need, as the Rich man feels his in hell; I pray to God that the sorrows of death my even now compass him, that the pains of hell may immediately get hold upon him."

What fodder for prayer as you rock the cradle, teach to sew, read aloud, and hear times tables.

"Lord, for my children and theirs and theirs, may they see you as waiting to be gracious to those who cry out to you.  If not, may the terrors of hell be upon them so they hear and come and cry, dreading the hunger, thirst, shame, wailing and sword that will be theirs otherwise.  Amen"

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