We Fight On Our Knees
A couple of weeks ago I was u-tube surfing and came across a story about the mighty power of a praying mom. This story was done by the Kendrick Brothers (who produced Courageous, War Room, Facing the Giants, and more) about their mom. She cultivates a very close and personal relationship with God. She gets up early every morning and puts her bible on the table and stands to pray and talk to Jesus so she doesn’t dose off. Her bible was in tatters and had lots of writing in the margins. She and her husband began praying for their children before they were even born. Their prayers were bold and specific and still are.
It was the end of this eight-minute u-tube that caught my attention and my heart. She said, “I believe God wants WOMEN to pray over their homes, their husbands, and their children…EVERY DAY; to pray God will have His way and His will with us.” She believes because of the condition of the country and the church today, that we need to seek God more than ever for such a time as this. Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart.”
Her words and challenge prompted me to begin investigating what God says about our responsibilities in our homes; how we are to pray for and love our husbands; and how are we to raise godly children, leaving them a legacy of faith to carry on. A friend asked, “don’t we just know these things if we are Christians? Does God really give instructions to us?” The answer to that is a resounding yes.
Because of Mrs. Kendrick’s words, I have decided to write a three-part series called “We Fight On Our Knees.” Thus, the title of this blog… “Praying for Heart and Home.”
Over the years, there have been a few women who stand out in my life who passed on good godly wisdom just by how they cared for their home and how they served others by using their home as a place of fellowship and ministry. One of the worries I had as a young wife and mom was feeling my home was not organized enough or decorated for the trend enough to have anyone over. I also worried about the menu. When I did invite someone over, it was certainly not a spontaneous experience. It was planned out for days or weeks. I felt it had to be a complicated event. On one occasion I was stressing and actually complaining to a friend that I had invited someone over and wished I hadn’t because it gave me such anxiety and was so much work. She took me by the shoulders and sat me down and said, “honey, your heart is in the wrong place.” I had actually forgotten about that experience until I started praying about and writing this blog. She was 100% right.
I have mentioned before that I had a very large and extended family of cousins, aunts and uncles. One aunt felt very strongly how important it was for our family to get together on holidays or anything special that might come up. She had an old historical house right in the middle of Oregon City that was always the “go-to” place for the family, as well as hundreds (and I do mean hundreds) of friends and acquaintances. As I’m older now, I look back and see how she was using her home like God instructs us to do. Everyone was welcome there. I do not believe one person ever felt that Aunt Madeline did not have time to listen or help them. I would venture to guess that if I polled my cousins today, every single one of them would jump at the chance to go back and have those experiences and feel that bond again.
Many of us are weary. We are tired of schedules; tired of caring for others on a consistent basis; tired of zoom and covid; and find ourselves grumbling and complaining when one more thing is being put on our plates. We can give some of this weariness over to God because chances are, it is not what He calls us to do or be that causes us to feel overwhelmed. It is our own expectations or belief of what others think of us.
So, my quest was to find what scripture says about what the condition of our hearts should be when it comes to our homes and hospitality. As David Jeremiah said, “why is home and hospitality important? Because it’s important to God.” Enough said! 😊
1 Peter 4:9-10 says, “Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”
“Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unaware.” Hebrews 13:1.
Romans 12:9-12: “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil, hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.”
Luke 10:38-42: “Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to His teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to Him and said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.’ But the Lord answered her, Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Because the culture preaches that it’s all about us, our homes can become a place to showcase or show off what we have. Home can be a place we just pass each other in the hall, with little or no meaningful conversations, and everyone goes to their corner of the house. Repeat the same day after day. This can become dangerous because the bond of love slowly disappears, and we are soon roommates. This is exactly how Satan likes to see our homes.
Our homes are a gift from God. It belongs to Him. The gifts we have been given to edify each other is from God. It is clear from these passages that our homes are to be a place of ministry and the condition of our heart is important. It is an extension of God’s kingdom. In a sense, we are representatives of Jesus. Our homes should be welcoming, comfortable, and encouraging.
When we entertain, it does not have to be fancy or look like Martha Stewart had visited our homes. It can be simple. In fact, I believe people tend to be more relaxed and feel more at home if we don’t go overboard with our entertaining. I’m not saying there isn’t a time and place to go overboard; however, it is easier for our guests to relax if we are relaxed and not scurrying around. I love Pinterest, however, I can sure get caught up in “the look” and knock myself out trying to accomplish the same things.
Back to the woman I mentioned that told me my heart was not in the right place. She went on to explain how she handles serving the many people she had in her home. (Some invited and others just dropping in for a visit). She always has a freezer full of things that could be unthawed quickly and thrown together for a relaxed meal. Many times, she served chili dogs and chips. So, if someone stopped by unannounced, she wanted them to feel wanted. She would unthaw those babies and the conversation wasn’t about the wonderful food….it was about fellowshipping and having the attitude of Jesus. Our home can be an evangelism tool without even having to give the gospel to everyone who walks through the door. It can be just in the way they are welcomed and that they know you want them in your home. What people remember is the heart, the environment, and the love. Not how many hours you spend getting ready for them; how big or fancy your home is; or if you cooked a gourmet dinner. It’s the hospitality spoken of in the passages above.
In the story of Mary and Martha, there is nothing wrong with Martha wanting to serve Jesus a good meal, but sitting and listening to Jesus was the most important thing. If we allow ourselves to get caught up in the details of hospitality, we may lose out on sharing life with someone else; or offering an ear to someone who needs it; or most important, giving them Jesus. Our homes are the best evangelism tool for our family and anyone who enters in. DO NOT DISREGARD your immediate family. They need the feeling of comfort, peace, and joy in their home as well. Our family is our first responsibility of ministry in our homes.
I read this comment recently and it caused me to stop and evaluate what I’m thinking about when someone is in my home or needs an ear. “Feasting on Jesus is the main point and encouraging with the Gospel. Dishes can wait. Feeding a hungry soul is more important than feeding an empty belly. It is not about us.”
According to the scriptures above, we know hospitality is mandated by God; we know we are to love and serve those who God brings into our lives without grumbling; and we are all given gifts by God to be used for the good of others. What if you are one who does not feel comfortable or gifted in the hospitality area? This is something that can be taught and learned. Search out someone to teach and help you. Pinterest is a great resource for quick and easy recipes. This is a huge part of God’s plan for us.
Ladies, what an important role God has given us in His plan. It is time for us to FIGHT ON OUR KNEES for our homes. Let’s be women who when our feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan says,” uh oh, she’s up.” Pray that they will be a place of joy and comfort for our families, and a place of godly hospitality to all who enter. Pray for our hearts to be in tune to God’s. We are His hands and feet. We are His image bearers. Susan Hunt put it so well, “When it comes down to it, to be the wife, the mom, the woman, and the homemaker that God intended us to be-it takes the grace of God. Our homes are like an embassy.
BRINGING IT HOME
(Doing a frequent heart check)
I am adding a new section at the end of my blogs beginning with this one. I believe it is important to pray and take the next personal step to hear what God may be revealing as you read this. Therefore, I have added some “Bringing it Home” questions for you to think about and pray over. I find it helpful to journal as you think and pray about these questions and share your thoughts with a friend to continue discussing any changes or new spiritual insight you may have gleaned. My prayer for each of you is you will find your identity in being an image bearer of Christ and have a heart of love for others, fulfilling the call on your life.
- Have you ever thought about God being an unseen guest in your home?
- Do I have a grumbling in my heart?
- Are details consuming me? Are they distracting me from engaging? Am I a Mary or a Martha?
- 1 Peter says to be good stewards of our gifts. Would you say you are using your gifts as God asks of you?
- Hebrews 13:1 says not to NEGLECT showing hospitality. Have you ever thought about hospitality being something you are mandated to do? It is not an option.
- Are there any attitude adjustments or further teaching you need on this subject? If so, pray that God would help you seek a helper to walk alongside you or minister to you.
We Fight on our Knees Poster
When I began writing this series, I felt it was necessary for all of us to have some form of reminder that we do, in fact, fight on our knees in prayer. So, I had this poster designed for you to download for free and print. I hope it offers you hope and encouragement as you face whatever comes your way.