Monday, 2 May 2016

POWER FROM ABOVE

On October 4, 2004, Colby Lawrence Burpo entered the world. From the moment he was born, he looked like a carbon copy of Colton. But as with all kids, God had also made him unique. If Cassie was our sensitive child and Colton was our serious one, Colby was our clown. From an early age, Colby ‘s goofiness added a fresh dose of laughter to our home.
One evening later that fall, Sonja had settled in with Colton to read him a Bible story.
She sat on the edge of his bed and read him the story as Colton lay under his blanket, head nestled in his pillow. Then it was time for prayer.
One of the great blessings of our lives as parents has been listening to our kids pray. When they are small, children pray without the showiness that sometimes creeps into our prayers as grown-ups, without that sort of  prayer-ese, ‘ a language meant to appeal more to anyone listening than to God. And when Colton and Cassie offered prayers in their plain, earnest way, it seemed that God answered.
Early on, we developed the practice of giving the kids specific things to pray for, not only to build their faith, but also because praying for others is a way to develop a heart for needs outside your own.
 You know how Daddy preaches every week? ‘Sonja said now as she sat beside Colton. I think we should pray for him, that he would get a lot of good study time in this week so that he can give a good message in church on Sunday morning. ‘
Colton looked at her and said the strangest thing: I ‘ve seen power shot down to Daddy. 
Sonja later told me that she took a moment to turn these words over in her mind. Power shot down?
 What do you mean, Colton? ‘
 œJesus shoots down power for Daddy when he ‘s talking. 
Sonja shifted on the bed so that she could look directly into Colton ‘s eyes. œOkay . . . when? Like when Daddy talks at church? ‘
Colton nodded. Yeah, at church. When he ‘s telling Bible stories to people.
Sonja didn‘t know what to say to that, a situation we ‘d grown used to over the past year and a half. So she and Colton prayed together, sending up flares to heaven that Daddy would give a good message on Sunday.
Then Sonja slipped down the hall to the living room to share their conversation with me. But don‘t you dare wake him up to ask him about it! she said.
So I had to wait until the next morning over breakfast.
 Hey, buddy, I said, pouring milk into Colton‘s usual bowl of cereal. Mommy said you were talking last night during Bible story time. Can you tell me what you were telling Mommy about . . . about Jesus shooting down power? What ‘s the power like? ‘
 It ‘s the Holy Spirit, Colton said simply. I watched him. He showed me. 
The Holy Spirit?
 Yeah, he shoots down power for you when you ‘re talking in church. 
If there were comic-strip thought-bubbles over people ‘s heads, mine would‘ve been filled with question marks and exclamation points right then. Every Sunday morning before I give the sermon, I pray a similar prayer: God, if you don ‘t help this morning, this message is going to fail.  In light of Colton ‘s words, I realized I had been praying without really knowing what I was praying for. And to imagine God answering it by shooting down power ‘ . . . well, it was just incredible.

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