In the middle of the night, on knees at the altar, before a meal, next to my hospital bed, and on many other occasions; my father has prayed for me. He prayed with joy and prayed in sorrow. I was present during many of his prayers and heard the words he spoke on my behalf. I don’t remember all of the prayers, but there is one phrase from them that has stuck with me over the years, one that was spoken so frequently that I can’t help but remember it.
“Give her wisdom beyond her years.”
2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Over the years there have been times when I made bad choices, unwise choices, choices that affected my life with permanent consequences and affected the lives of others as well. And yes, I wondered about those words that Dad had prayed and wondered if God had failed him. Had God not answered his prayer? No, I don’t think God failed my dad, but I have learned that unused wisdom is worse than no wisdom at all. To have the resources of heaven in my heart and mind and ignore them all together because I subconsciously believe I can do it my way and be okay is a little absurd at least. It has been during these moments that I have learned that God is not obligated to ordain anything that he has not initiated.
As the tables begin to turn in our lives, and my parents are needing to make important decisions about their future, decisions that they won’t be able to make themselves if too much time passes, I now find myself praying that my father’s mind will be penetrated by the Holy Spirit and that he will have wisdom in making decisions. I’m praying that he will have wisdom beyond his 83 years. The other side of that same prayer is that my siblings and I will have wisdom in knowing how to deal with the complexities of helping parents whose sun is beginning to set. Will my dad’s prayer now be fruitful as I help him make decisions for himself? Will I call on all the resources of heaven to help me? Will my father who prayerfully parented be wrapped in the wisdom of God that he has so earnestly prayed for over the years? I pray it is so.