Sunday, November 9, 2014

"Close Your Eyes"

I have found that when I say to my children, "Let's Pray," they all begin to get into a serious posture for prayer, but then someone along the way, and not the same person each time, will open their eyes and start playing with something or stare off into space. I can't really blame them because as a child there were times I couldn't keep my eyes closed long enough for the prayer of Grace before a meal. But,  I'll notice it, wink at the child to close their eyes or I'll wait until the prayers are finished to say something. This has been going on for years and lately I've begun to feel frustrated. I didn't even know why it bothered me so much, but it was and our prayer time together was more frustrating than peaceful, that is, for me.

So, I did the only sensible thing I could do, I prayed alone and asked God, "Should I be making a big deal about closing our eyes when we pray?"  In my quiet time He impressed on my heart how very much He loves my children and wants to give them visions or Words of Knowledge or Prophecy. Then I realized, we should close our eyes so we can hear from God. It was a revelation of sorts. I would tell my children to close their eyes so they could be listening to what was being said and come in agreement with it, but now it was so much more than that.

The next day I shared with my children what I learned. I was so excited for them. GOD wants to talk to them. He has something HE wants to show them! Thus, the eye opening problem during prayer time has stopped.

Now for why I'm really writing this article...

The other day I prepared a great lesson for my children and I was looking forward to doing it. The activity that went along with the lesson was to simply write or journal about their favorite Christmas or Christmas present and explain why. Sounds fun, right? Sounds easy, correct? WRONG! One of my daughters began to cry. She told me it was too hard for her. She didn't understand the assignment. She couldn't do it. I'll be honest, inside I wanted to go run and hide and leave her to figure it out alone. I could not emphasize.  I had no compassion. She cries whenever anything deviates from the norm and I just felt so lost-- her too.

So, without any ideas of how to reach her, I took her in my arms and began to pray for her. (Don't think I'm a great mom, wait to you hear the rest of the story). I DIDN'T close my eyes. I prayed a rote  prayer, and had a, "Nothing is going to change" attitude! In my mind I was done with the crying and the "I Can't" attitude. (Believe me, this isn't easy to admit or write about, but it's the truth of my ugly, imperfect heart and how God loves me still).  As my eyes were opened I heard the Lord speak to my heart, "Ellie, Close your eyes I want to show you something." I closed my eyes immediately.

With my eyes closed, I settled down.
The frustration began to leave and then I saw a vision.
The Lord showed me my daughter's heart. In her heart was a treasure chest. A beautiful treasure box, but it was locked up. Shut tight. I was dying to see what was inside. So, I prayed, "Lord, I see in my daughter's heart a glorious treasure chest, that is sealed with a key. Will you open it for her?" Then He showed me that she is afraid to have it opened. She is afraid of being rejected or made fun of. All her gifts and talents are inside waiting to come out." Compassion flooded my soul. I prayed for her to be released from fear. I prayed, "Perfect love drives out all fear" (I John). I prayed for her to know in her soul that she is accepted.

I could feel her tears water my shirt.
I could feel her heart pounding.
I could feel her fear.

I held her tighter .
Kissed her head.
I asked her, "Do you want God to open the treasure box in your heart?"
She nodded.
I prayed.
"Lord, will you now open the treasure chest. Will you take your Holy key and open it up. Allow the gifts and talents you have given her to come forth. Pour down your freedom. Let her shine! Amen."

We hugged a final hug.
I asked her, "Do you think you need help with your creative writing assignment?"
"Nope." she said in confidence and walked away and wrote a lovely remembrance.

Since that day she has been open in sharing her thoughts, feelings and expressing herself in dance and worship. I tell her in her ear, "I love the treasures God has given you!"

She sweetly smiles a look of freedom.

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