Praying For Grace And Mercy In The Storm
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Praying for God’s grace and mercy can (and should!) be a precious part of your daily prayer time.
As a Christian woman of faith who believes the Word of God to be true, you can confidently draw near to your Heavenly Father, by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and receive His mercy and find His grace every time you have need of it and seek Him out.
During your morning prayers you can ask for His grace to cover you (and His mercy to flood over you) and at night thank Him for all the ways it has. In fact, I even ask the Holy Spirit to remind me throughout the day that I don’t ever have to be enough and to remind me to pray for mercy and grace for all those times when I fall short (they happen daily, you know!).
Look at what the author of Hebrews has to say:
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.Hebrews 4:14-16, emphasis mine
Praying for God’s Grace & Mercy When You’re Afraid
We gathered all of our children into the hallway with mattresses, blankets, bottled water, our laptop to follow the storm coverage online for as long as we had service, and charged cell phones and flashlights.
The kids had on bike helmets and their boots, just in case. We had a foghorn handy, too, because we could get trapped and need to signal for help.
They were saying it was the worst storm to hit our state in this lifetime; many had already died as it had moved through other states.
I was terrified.
Everything was so unstable that tornados were just breaking off and going in all kinds of directions, with little ability to predict anything accurately.
My phone beeped: “Lisa, don’t be afraid. We are praying for you and are asking God to have it pass right over you and for not a branch on your property to be out of place.”
I hunched over my children as we felt and heard the changing atmosphere outside and prayed desperately, letting the Holy Spirit speak for me as all I could manage was, “Please Jesus, please Jesus, please Jesus.“
I knew God heard me praying for His grace and mercy in my heart, even though my mouth couldn’t form the words over my fear.
Again a text message: “Be at peace; the God who commands even the wind and waves calls you ‘Beloved.’ We are praying for God’s grace to cover you.”
And the the tornado sirens blared and the air turned eerily green.
When Death Passes Over
The angel of death was about to sweep through like a tornado.
They knew it was coming, as each of the preceding plagues had come just as Moses had declared. And just as with the other plagues, they knew obedience to God would protect them.
In Exodus 8:23, God declared that He would make a clear distinction between His people and pharaoh’s. Over and over the plagues that struck the Egyptians did not harm the Israelites.
But now the death angel was coming and God sent a set of instructions that seemed a bit odd: Make dinner (a one year old lamb or goat). Take its blood and paint your door frames. Then roast it and eat all you can.
But eat fully dressed, with sandals on and walking stick in hand. “Eat the meal with urgency, for this is the Lord’s passover.” (Exodus 12:11, NLT)
Even This Is For Salvation
And then, a hint of what was to come:
This is a day to remember. Each year, from generation to generation, you must celebrate it as a special festival to the Lord…When you enter the land the Lord has promised to give you, you will continue to observe this ceremony.Exodus 12:14, 25 NLT
God was promising them that they would survive, but that before they could celebrate there was much to be done.
They had to follow Him into a desert wilderness and trust Him for everything, relying on His grace and mercy in the face of their own glaring inadequacy.
He was also urging them to disciple their children (you know I love family discipleship!) and to teach them about God’s mercy, grace, and power.
And He was telling them to get ready for what He was going to do.
(Oooh, don’t you love the anticipation that comes from trusting God to do what only He can?!)
Because of God’s great love for people, He uses every opportunity to lead His children back to Himself. Even in this fleeing, God was fully present with His unfailing love, grace, goodness, and mercy.
It was not going to be gentle on them (being led through a wilderness season never is).
It was going to be hard work (God’s way is rarely easy).
They had to leave behind many of their creature comforts (isn’t it ironic that we manage to find comfort even when we are enslaved?).
But they were going to live in spite of the death angel’s journey through their area, because of blood painted on their doorposts.
Then they were going to escape from slavery with nothing more than they could carry with them, but never lack for anything. All because of The Lamb.
It was a beautiful foreshadow of the grace and mercy that would come through Jesus, the ultimate Passover Lamb, because of the Father’s great love one day.
When the Storm Passes Over
April 27 is a day many in Alabama will remember for the devastation that happened; it’s one I will also remember as God heard me praying for His grace and mercy and spared us.
I learned a lot about God’s goodness that day.
I think of my terror in the hallway, crouched over my babies and I weep for the women who lost their firstborn during the plague. I praise God that it’s His mercy that covers me, and that death must pass me over because I am His.
However, this death that His blood spares me from is not the one on this Earth, but rather the one that determines my eternity (and through His grace, I have eternal life).
Had God chosen to allow us to be taken to His arms that day instead of staying on this earth, His grace and mercy and goodness would be no less true or real.
I think of the prayer my friend texted me about the storm not harming even a branch, and the prayer that it would pass over us.
And it did. Oh, sweet friend, it did. Indeed, not even the sidewalk chalk we had abandoned on the patio was moved.
In my heart I prayed even as relief fell from my eyes in tears, “Lord, thank you for passing us over. Thank you for protecting my babies. Thank you for your grace and mercy!”
We still talk about that day at times. I remind our kids about those prayers, and God’s answer to them.
Just as God charged the Hebrew parents to remind their children to have the Passover every year, so we as parents must be intentional to talk about what God has done in our lives and for us and to live as women that pray with bold faith and teach our children to pray the same way.
When the storm passes over, the adventure is just beginning.
Jesus died and His blood is over you so that the angel of death can never steal your soul into hell.
Now it’s time to determine how you will live this life he has covered by His grace, and raise up the next generation of belivers.