A bruised reed he will not break and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; Isaiah 42:3
Sometimes it seems our faith is small, and even by God's estimation, it is. Other times we seem to be able to look "giants" in the eye because we know our God is mighty to save.
How gracious God is to preserve even the smallest of faith. Christ knows what it is to be a smoldering wick. His faith was never small, but his life began small. Into a silent night, his flickering light came. And the world did not know him and it did not receive him. Instead, it turned him out and sent him to be born among the cattle.
Even the ruling king, Herod, sought, with a fierce agenda, to snuff out his light. Still God preserved it. And so it flickered on, growing in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and men. Finally, as a man during his ministry, Christ knew what it was to live in the face of a hostile culture. And still he fulfilled his ministry and lived to fully serve God each day that was ordained for him. Through every opposition and effort to snuff him out, Christ persevered and remained faithful until his time had come to lay down his life--his ultimate act of faithfulness. How Satan would have loved to have snuffed out that light...and he tried all along the way to do just that.
Our church's small groups have been studying the book of John this year. As we've moved through chapters 7 and 8, there are notable distinctions from the people in the crowd: between those who believe Christ to be the Messiah and those who reject and hate him. Some in the midst were being converted even at the same time others were publicly opposing Christ. This is fascinating to see how the same message can cut some and heal others.
In studying, I realized some prayers could be formed from such distinctions. I know there are times when my faith is weak and I am a smoldering wick. I also know there are people I love whose faith I long to see be fanned into flame.
I will be honest in saying that my children are the people I was thinking of most while forming this list. At points I see a smoldering wick of faith in them--glimpses of God at work. Oh, but for more! How I long--and I believe every Christian mom longs!-- to see Christ fully formed in our own children.
My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, Galatians 4:19
These distinctions from John 7 and 8 may be prayers we can use for those in whom we long to see Christ formed...prayers that God would bring full life out of the smoldering wick. And these are certainly not prayers exclusive for mothers! Of course reading John 7 and 8 will bring further understanding to these points. May they strengthen and encourage each of us today.
Prayer for A Smoldering Wick...
- May they not hate you as you testify of the evil in our hearts (John 7:6)
- May they not judge by appearances, but with right judgments (John 7:24)
- Give them belief in and recognizing where and when you are at work; what more do they need to see from Christ; the evidence you have given is sufficient (John 7:31)
- Please grant them belief in you so they may not die in their sins (John 8:24)
- May they know your presence, and sense when you, the Truth, are guiding them (John 8:25)
- May they know your pleasure when they obey, just as you knew God's pleasure when you obeyed (John 8:29)
- Give them belief as they hear your word (John 8:30)
- Give them a hunger to abide in your word. Set them free by your truth (John 8:31)
- May your words find a place in them (John 8:37)
- Make them to love you (John 8:42)
- If they do not understand, cause an unsettling and wrestling until they settle the matter by your word (John 8:43)
- Make them to see Satan is a LIAR and you are the TRUTH (John 8:43)
- Make them of you and to hear and understand your words (John 8:47)
- Give them faith and power to keep your words (John 8:51)
God, fan into flame the smoldering wick. Bring life and let it not be snuffed out!
In Jesus powerful name, Amen.