Walking With God in a Park

Credit: JC

Whenever I have a hard time hearing from God or need additional time with Him after morning prayers and reading, I head to a park. I am blessed to be able to choose from a number of parks near me. I look for parks that are not crowded and are more “natural” versus ones designed for people who want pavement. I bring ear buds and a playlist filled with worship music so I can tune into worshiping Him while walking in His creation. I typically will have an ear bud in one ear with the music while listening to sounds around me with my other ear.

If you do not have a park near you, find a quiet and safe place to put both of your ear buds in and listen to praise music. Close your eyes and just focus on Him. The goal is to draw closer to God, not necessarily be in a park or surrounded by nature – unless those help you draw closer. James 4:8 says, “Come close to God, and God will come close to you” (NLT).

On a recent walk with Him in the park, here are things I heard and things He showed me. I pray these insights bless you.

Do not allow fear to rob you of seeing God already at work

Are there times that you learn of an activity or a ministry and you are filled with joy just thinking about the opportunity to get involved? That is your passion being illuminated by God already at work. Your immediate reaction is excitement, energy, and a desire to get involved.

Soon after that, however, the fear sets in: How would this work? I have no time. I would not know anyone there. What if I don’t know what I am doing?

When we feel God leading us into an assignment or a task, it will most likely be scary. When we are scared of something, it causes us pause, to proceed with caution or rethink what we are doing. Being scared is normal when we are stepping into something new or something that only God can achieve that we cannot do in our own strength. This is different than fear.

Fear is defined as a potentially paralyzing emotion caused by impending danger, evil or pain, whether the threat is real or not. Fear can result in us not doing what we feel passionate about or led to do. Fear is the tool of the enemy. We must trust in Him to equip us for His calling.

Sometimes, trees fall down in winter but they are replaced with fresh growth in the spring

When one thing is torn down in your life, He will raise new life from it – in His timing. When one opportunity is gone, He sends something else. We just have to always keep our eyes open. While you are in a season of waiting, use this time to work on you. This season is a once in a lifetime opportunity when you will be the age you are, have these specific people around you, and be in your current situation.

Listen through the daily noise of life, and you will find Him in unexpected places

In the park, right next to a major highway, was a little waterfall. It is easy to be focused on the circumstances around us, for they are in our faces and demand our attention. God is present everywhere, but tends to be a whisper.

“‘Go out and stand before me on the mountain,’ the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.”
1 Kings 19:11-12 NLT


What if you don’t hear from Him? There have been times in my life when I was desperate to hear from Him for a looming decision with an expiring timeline. I had been on my knees praying James 1:5: “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking” (NLT). I poured out my heart to Him asking why I had not heard, despite trying many things and praying those verses.

Then I heard, “You have heard from Me. You have the Bible.” This is why it is crucial to keep reading the Word. If not already, you should make it a daily habit. If you think you don’t have enough time, start with a verse a day and slowly increase from there. Keep praying. Keep worshiping Him. Keep doing the last thing you heard Him tell you to do. The enemy will attack you and want to discourage you from obeying God. Remain vigilant. Enlist prayer partners. Stay focused on Jesus. Let Him bend you, break you, and mold you into who He created you to be.

“Overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.”
from Romans 8:37 NLT

The Answer to Every Question Is Three Words

Throughout our lives as Christians, we will endure many trials and blessings. Times of blessing are, of course, easy to walk through. The potential hazard during times of blessing is forgetting to thank God. We must recall that He provided all we have, and we should not slip into a sense of self-righteousness or thinking that we provided all we have.

It is during the trials, times of suffering, times of silence, and times of confusion, that we need answers. Depending on what we are walking through, our questions can range from “Why, God?” to “When, God?” to “How, God?”

The enemy will use those times of trial, silence, or confusion to try to get us to doubt God. To doubt His promises, to doubt His past provision, or to doubt that He will once again provide. The enemy knows that when we feel the farthest from God is the exact time that He is the closest and just waiting for us to draw near. James 4:8 says, “Come close to God, and God will come close to you.” The enemy will show up in full force when we are going through hard times.

Job and Joseph are just two examples in the Bible of people under attack but standing firm in their faith for God. Sometimes reading those chapters of the Bible does not help me. I feel like I am not a Job – I could not drop to the ground in worship if God were to wipe out all my children in one swoop, like Job did (Job 1:20). I truly do not think I could do that. Perhaps I could get to that place with time, prayer, and help.

However, in my journey, I have realized that there are three words that we need to insert as the answers to our questions for God. So, in those moments when we feel that the examples in the Bible are not encouraging, and God is silent, and the enemy is attacking, what answers do we have to the questions and hurt swirling in our minds?

I offer three answers, each with three words.

  • “It is well.” No matter what happens to us or our loved ones, our souls will spend eternity with Jesus because we believe He is the Son of God. There are many, many awful things we will endure in this life – but ultimately, our destination is eternity. We need to keep our eyes on eternity, and if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart He rose from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9). Your soul is safe for all eternity, and it is well.
  • “Thy will, Lord.” There are going to be hurtful, hateful, senseless things that happen. On this side of Heaven, we will not always understand why things happen. But we know that He works all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). We simply cannot understand all that God knows, and it is with this perfect knowledge from generations past and future that He makes the decisions He makes to form His perfect will for us. We will doubt God, we will say this does not make sense, and it will never make sense, and that very well may be true, but we are to “trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding” (Proverb 3:5). Surrendering to His will is what is best for us, whether we can see that now or not.
  • “God loves me.” There will be times of silence. We will feel far from God, or we will be passionately seeking God daily in prayer without an answer for a decade or more. This does not mean He does not hear our prayers. Psalm 116:2 says, “Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!” We may receive no response because the timing is not right, or His answer will be different than we seek. However, in those times, we must never doubt His love for us. He sent His one and only Son to die for us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). God is our loving Father (Romans 8:15).

Cling to one or all of these answers when the enemy comes for you. Nothing the enemy says is true, for he is the father of all lies. These answers above are Truth. They are promises in the powerful Word of God.

Only God holds your soul (Matthew 10:28), only God is in control of the plan for your life (Jeremiah 29:11), and only God has loved you enough to die for you (John 3:16).

Credit: JC

God Sends Us “Earthly Angels”

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Credit: JC

I grew up in a very dysfunctional and abusive house. My biological father left when I was a few weeks old. Sadly, I know there are a lot of people in the same boat – they were raised in families that did not at all represent God’s design of family. We live in a sin-filled world, but God sends us what I call “earthly angels” to help us when our lives are full of hurt.

Humans are not angels; they are separate creations. There are many verses that make it clear humans are not and do not become angels. One example is Psalm 8:4–6: “What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet” (NIV). However, I use the term “earthly angels” to describe humans, sent by God, who step into our lives to lead us closer to Him.

My uncle became the father figure I needed as I grew up. He was there for me when I was sick and carried me when I could not walk. He drove my mom and I back and forth to many Children’s Hospital therapy appointments for months on end. He was there when my heart was broken; he was there to teach me how a man should treat a lady. He showed me unconditional love when I messed up. He walked me down the aisle the day I got married. I believe God placed my uncle in my life as my “earthly angel” to fill the gaps of not having an earthly father present.

My uncle went to Heaven last night. His health had been declining swiftly over the past few months, so his transition to Heaven was not unexpected. It certainly hurts when you lose someone you love deeply, but I will say there is comfort in knowing you will see the person again in Heaven. When there is faith in Jesus, there is the promise of eternity with Him.

John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (NIV). “Whoever” is a huge, beautiful word. It does not matter WHO you are, WHAT you have done, WHEN you did it, or HOW you did it – you will have eternal life through your belief in Jesus.

My uncle and I shared this belief, so that is how I know I will see him again. We also have the comfort that our loved ones are no longer in pain. There is no pain in Heaven. Our loved ones can dance again and sing again and talk again. They are freed from the chains of hurt, pain, and death that had them in their grip on Earth. Revelation 21:4–6 states, “‘”He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death” or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’ He said to me: ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life'” (NIV).

My uncle is with me; I talk to him and look toward Heaven when I think of him. While I am very sad to have lost my “earthly angel”, I know he is freed from pain. I also know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).

My uncle’s children are adults, and they are atheists. I pray God will use this pain to save their souls. All they have to do is believe in Jesus as the Son of God. Acts 2:21 says, “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (NIV).

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.”
1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 NLT

We will see our loved ones again; whether we arrive in Heaven or the Lord returns while we are still on Earth, we will see them again! It is healthy to grieve, and we should grieve, but grieve with hope. Brothers and sisters, we will see our loved ones again through Jesus Christ!


Father in Heaven,

We lift up all who have lost their “earthly angels,” those people who change our lives for the better, those people who love us incredibly, those people who lead us to You, those people who help us meet You through their lives.

We thank You for Jesus and the incredible promises of eternity that we have in Him. Lord, please help those of us still on Earth to cling to Your promises when the hurt rushes in. Please remind us we can still talk to our loved ones. They are still with us – just in a different way. Please help us to grieve and to grieve with hope in Jesus.

In the Almighty Name of Jesus we pray.

Amen

Guest Blog: The Path To Healing After Abuse

By Esther

When abuse occurs, tell someone immediately please. If that person does not believe you, try another person – please. I know this is very hard, it takes tremendous courage. Please do not do what I did and stay silent. Remember that we have the Holy Spirit in us who raised Jesus from the dead. In Him, we can do this! He wants you to begin the journey of healing. If you are not comfortable telling anyone in your life, The Victim Connect Resource Center lists many hotlines that are situation-specific (children, military, women, teens, rape, domestic violence, trafficking, etc).

After you tell someone that listens, find time and give yourself space to truly understand and process that what happened to you does not define you. What does define you is how you react to what happened to you. Pray a lot. Pray specifically. Find a prayer partner to pray for you. This journey to healing takes time and there are days when you do not want to or feel like praying. This is where you need at least one prayer partner who will pray for you faithfully daily.

Realizing that God does love you, despite what happened, was also a journey for me. I had index cards with prayers and verses to help me when I needed reminders. Examples include:

“May you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”
Ephesians 3:18-19

You are created in His image (Genesis 1:27). You are precious in His sight.

“Long ago the LORD said to Israel: ‘I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.'”
Jeremiah 31:3

“And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. […] But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”
Romans 5:5,8

“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, ‘For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.’) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:35-39

The prayer I pray:

“Lord, I submit every corner of my life to You. Show me what I have yet to submit to You. Help me to release my need for this to feel fair or to see (him/her/them) punished. Rip out any bitterness in me. Show me what I can learn and how to grow closer to You through this. I need your peace. Help me to heal and forgive. Rain down on me the powerful healing of the Holy Spirit. Replace my pain with a focus on You and Your love. In Jesus’ precious name, amen.”

When I first started to pray this prayer, I meant only a few of the words. I begrudgingly prayed it every morning. I did not want to forget or let the ones who hurt me “off the hook.” I had to keep reminding myself that God will take revenge. I needed to focus on His love for me and who He wanted me to become as a result of all this. I had to believe that this was not my fault. I also had to see that dragging around unforgiveness was only robbing me of the abundant life that God came to bring to me. In John 10:10, Jesus says, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” As for the people who hurt me, I can tell you that they did not care what they did to me. They never thought about it again; I was the one who was caught in my cycle of reliving it and not healing.

As I forced myself to pray this prayer, I began to mean more of the words. Any step towards obedience, God will bless. It is okay to pray a prayer like the above one if you do not quite mean every word; you are obeying by crying out to God, trying to release the hurt and trying to forgive. Healing takes time and patience. It takes help from God, prayer partners, professionals and support circles. I read books, I journaled, I cried, I was angry and felt every other emotion you can think of. There is no right way to heal. There is no timeframe that you “should” heal by. But heal, brothers and sisters, please heal. Allow yourselves to heal.

Image Credit: JC

Please contact Wounded Butterflies if you are in need of personal prayer. Thank you, Esther, for having the courage to share your story.

Guest Blog: Sexual Assault — A Teen’s Survivor Story

Image Credit: JC

NOTE: Today’s guest blog deals with sexual assault and its repercussions. While we pray it is edifying, the material may be upsetting to some readers.

If you are a survivor of sexual assault or other violence, please seek help. The Victim Connect Resource Center lists many hotlines that are situation-specific (children, military, women, teens, rape, domestic violence, trafficking, etc).


By Esther

I was sexually assaulted for the first time at the age of eight. When I told my mom what happened, her response to me was, “Nothing happened. There is nothing to talk about. We do not need to bring this up again.” This response by my mom caused extremely deep scarring and a massive misunderstanding in my mind. This story is not intended to belittle my mom. My heart’s plea is that we learn from her response and what could have been done differently.

Brothers and sisters, if someone comes to you and shares with you that they have been assaulted or touched without consent or anything like that, please listen. I plead on behalf of all victims, please listen.

I was a senior in high school. It was a very large public school with about 500 students in each grade level. Drug raids to check lockers was the norm. There were two extreme social classes in the same school. I was from the “poor” side of town; literally I lived in a different zip code from the “rich” kids. There was a bus sent to pick up about 30 of us from the poor side of town to attend this high school. For most of us, it felt like being sent to a pack of wolves every day. We were poor, we knew we were poor and had accepted that. To be placed in a school with peers who were driving Mercedes at the age of 16 and going on international vacations regularly, was difficult for some. I chose a different approach than to try to fit in at the high school. I created an entirely different social circle.

My boyfriend and all of my friends were from other schools or people I worked with. My boyfriend would drive me to school so I could avoid taking the bus. During my senior year, I was only in school for the morning so I could go to work in the afternoons. I was not around my high school peers very much at all. I found most of them to be utterly clueless about life and self-centered. They did not understand how it felt to go hungry or not have heat in your house. Their biggest concerns were whether they would spend their time off in London or France.

Like most high schools, there was a group of athletes that traveled in a pack through the halls. For my high school, this group contained the football, baseball and basketball teams. One day, I was running a little late to class and I found myself running up the stairs in front of this group of athletes. One of them, a football player, his real name is Anthony, sexually assaulted me. Right there on the stairs. I cannot tell you what other friends of his were around or what time of day it was or what happened afterwards. As humans, I think our brains tend to block out trauma to protect us. I remember his full name, his face as he laughed at me and I remember resisting.

I grew up on government assistance. My mom had been a single mom for two decades and was doing the best she could. I started working when I was 13 so I could have clothes and shoes to go to school. I worked at a retail clothing store and had a large employee discount. Due to this benefit, I was dressed in the latest fashion. We had no dress code in our high school, and everyone just wore whatever they wanted as long as “what mattered” was covered. That day, I was in a short skirt, which was the trend at the time. I had to learn that the way I dressed that day did not result in me “deserving” to be assaulted. There are people who believe when victims dress a certain way, they are asking to be sexually assaulted. Of course, this is a ridiculous line of thinking. But one that I had to overcome in my own mind.

After the assault on the stairs happened, I recalled what my mom told me as an 8-year-old girl after that sexual assault on the subway: “Nothing happened. There is nothing to talk about. We do not need to bring this up again.” I obeyed my mom. I told no one. I did not even tell my boyfriend, who I know for a fact would have wiped the parking lot up with Anthony. Assuming Anthony even survived an encounter with my boyfriend. Once again, I bottled up the pain and the hurt and the self-blame. I had a twisted mindset of what was appropriate and inappropriate. I began to make very poor choices when it came to the opposite sex. I continued to bottle things up and push the pain down until it about killed me. All because a person I went to for help did not listen to me. I regret not trying someone else. I regret not telling my grandma, a teacher, a friend, anyone. I just did what I was told to do, “We do not need to bring this up again.”

Brothers and sisters, I say again, if someone comes to you and shares with you that they have been assaulted or touched without consent or anything like that, please listen. I plead on behalf of all victims, please listen.

Brothers and sisters, if you are a victim of any kind of abuse – know this: It is NOT your fault. You did NOTHING to invite it, you do NOT deserve it and God does NOT want you treated that way. He died for you and goes before you and after you. He places His hand of blessing on your head (Psalm 139:5). David goes on in verses 17 and 18 to say, “How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!” You are God’s beloved. “God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins” (1 John 4:9-10). God will deal with the ones who hurt you. You may not see the Lord take revenge, but He will avenge what was done to you in His time and in His way. “It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).


Father God, we lift up Esther and all survivors of sexual assault for full and complete healing in Your loving arms. Please shower them with peace, love, and the eternal warmth of Your light. May the perpetrators fall into Your hands and learn Your justice. In the blessed name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

If you are in need of personal prayer, please contact Wounded Butterflies. Thank you, Esther, for continuing bravely to share your story.

Guest Blog: Sexual Assault — A Child’s Survivor Story

NOTE: Today’s guest blog deals with sexual assault and its repercussions. While we pray it is edifying, the material may be upsetting to some readers.

If you are a survivor of sexual assault or other violence, please seek help. The Victim Connect Resource Center lists many hotlines that are situation-specific (children, military, women, teens, rape, domestic violence, trafficking, etc).


By Esther

When I was growing up, we lived a 30-minute subway ride to a major US city. Each year, Mom would take me on the subway to the city for Christmas. All the stores were decorated and there were special lights up and Christmas shows. The city was so beautiful and so full of light and love. It was an amazing trip that I looked forward to every year. On the year that I turned eight, Mom and I did not sit together on the subway. I do not recall why; the subway was not crowded. There was plenty of room for Mom and I to sit together. Maybe she wanted me to feel independent or that I was a grown-up. I cannot say. While I do not recall the specifics of why we were five rows apart, I know we were. I also know Mom was on the opposite side of the subway. She was facing forward, so her back was to me. These are details I do remember.

As an 8-year-old girl on a subway heading toward a major city at Christmastime, I was focused on the lights I would see, the music I would hear, and the lunch I might be lucky enough to have. I loved the hustle and bustle of the city, everyone walking quickly because they were on their way to the most important thing ever. The department store windows would look amazing with scenes of Santa, Christmas presents being gift-wrapped with red ribbons and scents of pine. . . . Then it happened.

A man I did not know sat with me. He had a light tan long coat, wool. He was a white man, definitely older than me by a few decades. As an 8-year-old, I cannot say that I was taught to be leery of strangers. Maybe I was. Even if I felt uncomfortable, my ability to exit the subway seat was blocked by this man. He sat next to me in a way that nobody sitting around us could see what he was doing. It all happened so fast. I could not scream, I felt like I was under water and I could not breathe. I could not think. While I will not recount the details here, that was the day I saw a grown man’s penis for the first time. It was the last day of my innocence. I would never be and have never been the same since.

Image Credit: JC

There is nothing from that day that I can remember about the city. Not the lights, the music, the hustle and bustle or whether we even had lunch in the city. I genuinely have no recollection of the trip after the subway ride. That evening, Mom was in the kitchen cooking. I went up to her while she stirred something on the oven and said “Mom, today on the train, a man sat with me and he had his penis out and. . . .”

She said to me, “Nothing happened. There is nothing to talk about. We do not need to bring this up again.” She never turned to look at me, she never stopped stirring. I did not know what to do. I left the kitchen. Out of all the events that happened that day, that moment is what became burned into my brain. That was a life-changing moment, and I had no idea the impact that moment would have on me for the rest of my life. Yes, what that man did to me was incredibly horrible and wrong and I have my opinions about the justice I want God to serve upon that man. But what scarred me more was my mom’s response.

This story is not intended to belittle my mom or anything remotely close to that. My heart’s plea is that we learn from what occurred that day and what could have been done differently. If someone comes to you and shares with you that they have been assaulted or touched without consent or anything like that, please listen. I plead on behalf of all victims, please listen. It takes incredible courage to come forward and try to share what has happened. There is fear, shame, and guilt. There are questions of, “Did I ask for this? Did I do something that invited this into my life?” There is a lot of self-blame. “This is my fault. I deserved this.” Or questions of, “Why did God allow this? Why am I suffering?”

If you are a victim of any kind of abuse, know this: It is NOT your fault. You did NOTHING to invite it, you do NOT deserve it and God does NOT want you treated that way. He died for you and how dare someone treat you as anyone less than the child of a risen, all powerful King! God will deal with the ones who hurt you. Deuteronomy 32:35 says, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back. In due time their will feet slip. Their day of disaster will arrive, and their destiny will overtake them.” This is a promise of God. You may not see the Lord take revenge, but do not doubt for a second that He will avenge what was done to you in His time and in His way. Hebrews 10:31: “It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

I know what it is like to want to hurt the people who hurt you. But please do not allow the enemy to gain a foothold in your heart or mind. When bitter thoughts come, take them captive, focus only on things that are true, honorable, right and pure (Philippians 4:8). I also know what it is like to have a gaping hole in your heart, to be walking around with a fresh wound that gets salt poured into it daily. When the enemy comes against me, I use the name of Jesus. I let the enemy know, “You cannot have me or my thoughts, I belong to Jesus.” I pray against the enemy telling me that I am not worthy of love. I listen to worship music when I feel attacked or discouraged. One of my favorite songs to turn up during those times of discouragement is by Tasha Cobbs Leonard and featuring Nicki Minaj, “I’m Getting Ready.”

It took years for me to begin to heal. I first had to realize what happened was not my fault. I had to truly believe that God loves me. I had to forgive the ones who hurt me, and I had to heal. It took me many, many prayers to realize that I am worthy of love. I also needed someone who would listen to my story, pray for me and believe me. To this day, the enemy will try to pick at that wound and reopen it. It is a scar I proudly carry because it is healed and my story can now help others.


Heavenly Father, we lift up Esther and all survivors of childhood sexual assault. The innocent whose lives are forever changed. Lord, we ask that You give them peace. That You bring into their lives any help they need. That You ensure their voices are heard. That You help them to use their stories for good. We know You are Love. We also know that You are Justice. We ask for Your Justice for these survivors. This is a dark, broken world. Please use Your children to shine Your light. In the blessed name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

If you are in need of a personal prayer, please contact Wounded Butterflies. Thank you to Esther for continuing bravely to share her story.

For Women: Our Men Are Under Attack

Whatever men you have in your life–dad, son, brother, husband, coach, neighbor, friend, boyfriend, and so on–the enemy wants them weak and vulnerable. That could mean physically or spiritually weak. Once the enemy can incapacitate a man, those around him are much more vulnerable.

This is not a sexist view, this is Biblical. Man was created first:

“The LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’ Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called “woman,” for she was taken out of man.'”
Genesis 2:18-23 NIV

But you will also note that the serpent used the woman to get to the man:

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, “You must not eat from any tree in the garden”?’ The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, “You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.”‘ ‘You will not certainly die,’ the serpent said to the woman. ‘For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.”
Genesis 3:1-6 NIV

While women have influence over the men in our lives, that can be good or bad influence. As women, we need to be on our knees for the men in our lives. If you think, “Well, there are no men in my life – no family, no friends, no Pastors, etc.,” then be on your knees for our President, for instance, if you are an American. Whatever political view you have, the Bible commands we are to submit to the government authorities that God instituted:

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.”
Romans 13:1-7 NIV

Men do not always pray for themselves. I understand that, for it can seem selfish to pray for yourself. David prayed for himself a lot, however, and he was a strong warrior and king. There are many examples of David praying for himself, and here is just one: “Arise, LORD! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked” (Psalm 3:7 NIV).

Credit: Snow

We need to encourage the men in our lives. We need to pray for the men in our lives. We need to let them know we are praying for them, whether they are praying for themselves or not, and that we have them covered daily.

The prayers of a woman are incredibly powerful, as are all prayers. The point I am highlighting here, though, is that the serpent used the woman to bring down the man. Can you imagine how much more powerful it would be if God used women, through prayer, to protect the men in our lives?

If they are unsaved, cry out to God for their salvation. If they are wandering, pray they would become the prodigal son. If they are weary, pray for strength and tenacity to keep their eyes on Jesus. If they are walking with Jesus, pray that they would continue to deepen their walk. (From a wife’s perspective, I personally can attest that a man who loves Jesus above all else is extremely attractive!)

Ask them how you can pray for them. If you do not know, just lift them up to God to fulfill whatever it is they need. God knows. Just be on your knees against the enemy’s attacks.

Will you join me in a prayer now?

Father in Heaven,

We lift up the men in our lives, whether fathers, friends, family, mentors, or romantic partners. We lift them up to You.

Please surround them with hedges of spiritual and physical protection forged by the precious blood of Jesus. Let only that which is of You or from You dare touch them.

We pray for their souls to grow closer to You. We pray for their flesh to submit to You. We pray for them to aggressively pursue You and Your Will daily in their walks. We pray their relationships with Jesus grow deeper every single day.

Lord, fill our men with strength and courage. Lord, fill them with wisdom.

Lord, fill us all with the desire to be on our knees in prayer for Your Will to be done in our lives. May we draw closer to You with each passing day.

Father, we thank You and praise You for all You have done.

In the precious name of Jesus we pray.

Amen