Submitted by anonymous
I’ve participated in Leap of Faith for the past several years now, and have seen pretty marvelous things happen in my own life and heart, and in the lives of people I love. This story is different, and I guess you could say it’s still in progress. I pray for Journey, but it’s sometimes uncomfortable because I would rather be lifting up all of the Church — every group of followers of Jesus. On Sunday (Valentine’s Day), I experienced a completely different perspective and motivation as I prayed through the guiding thoughts in the Leap of Faith handbook. It directed us to pray for healing over Journey. And I could have been struck by an ocean wave and lost less of my breath than I did with the overwhelming memory of the Friday night service I attended with my husband. We sang “Good Good Father” and Emily had to break from singing to address comments that have been received about the lyrics. I don’t have the whole story, but it sounds to me like people who have been hurt or let down by fathers in their lives are struggling with the idea of God as their Good, Good, Perfect Father Who loves them. How heartbreaking! My initial reaction to that prospect was visceral, and it made me sick to my stomach to imagine a life where the very concept a good father has been so tainted. Isn’t that just what this world aims to do? To take the things that are most sacred, most precious, and most pure, and to make them common, degraded, devalued, and filthy. A father — a daddy — is meant to be so much more than what we see. Fathers create life along with mothers. They are supposed to be our first protector, provider, our source of strength, courage, wisdom. They should teach little boys to be men after God’s own heart, and teach little girls to require men after God’s own heart. Our earthly fathers will fail and obviously, many within our community have been the victims of that failure. So will our mothers.
We are human, friends. We are created in the image of God; let us never try to fit Him into our image, for we cannot contain Who He is.
My prayer for healing over our church is an intimate and desperate cry for our Father to show His face, His love, His protection, His grace to every heart that shrinks from calling Him Father, Daddy, Abba. As I have prayed this prayer for the past three days, I’ve spent lots of time repeating Paul’s words to the Ephesians in chapter 3:
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the FATHER, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 MAY BE ABLE TO COMPREHEND with all the saints what is the BREADTH and LENGTH and HEIGHT and DEPTH, 19 and to KNOW THE LOVE OF CHRIST which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
My prayer is that we will be given grace out of His glorious riches to fathom how deep, how wide, how long and how high is His love for us and to be willing to be folded into His arms as our loving, faithful, and completely perfect Father. He will never fail us, church. He will never leave or forsake you. He is the Daddy that many have never known and that some of us are fortunate enough to have seen glimpses of through our own earthly parents, or others we’ve known. Please seek Him diligently and lift up your face, asking Him to shine on you and let you know for certain Who He is. With All my love, and all my hope, let it be so.