Are you still praying for Ted Haggard and his family? For other former-leaders in similar straits? Colorado Springs is not the only city affected by moral failure this last year, we all heard about it because he had a high-profile. It’s not been very long at all, only a few weeks, yet most of the world has moved on. The news media is on to other stories, but life is very real right now in that home; painfully real. Pray for them. And for others, maybe someone in your home-town, who’s dealing with similar concerns, and it’s all uphill right now.
Please take a moment at the end of each of the coming paragraphs to compassionately pray for him and his family. With the mercy you show, you’ll set the stage for the mercy that may come to you if you’re in need one day. Remember, judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy and mercy trimphs over judgment. ( see James 2.13)
It’s become obvious by now who were friends because they were truly friends – and how many were friends with the position he held. Chances are the number of real friends has dropped into single-digits by now. How lonely. God is there, it’s true, but sometimes all a guy wants is for someone to shake his hand and pull him into a hug. “You’ll make it, brother, don’t lose heart.”
Pray for courage from above.
By now it’s become painfully real how much work there is to do; how much tearing out of the old, the burned, the ruined, to start fresh. And there’s nothing worse than the smell of wet, charred remains when all you want is to start over.
Pray for the will to do what’s right.
The tears are dry now. Oh, they still cry, it’s just … they’re dry tears. That staring-up-at-the-ceiling-at-night, “if-only’s” flooding his mind. Or hers. Trying to accept the promise of better days ahead while at the very same moment wishing they could go back and choose differently along the way.
Ask God to comfort them, infuse them with His hope.
Trust (if there is any) feels like a sprout managing somehow to push through the surface. So fragile. So vulnerable. One slip will break it. Unimaginable vulnerability. Unimaginable. Unless you’ve been there. They’re almost afraid to pray that the seedling of trust is real, afraid their hopes will be dashed in a moment of carelessness.
Take a moment and pray on their behalf.
The notariety is gone. The pleasant, adrenaline-fed notariety that comes from leading, innovating, problem-solving and scoring victories; it’s gone. So is the adrenaline rush of fearful, panicked, saving-face, covering somehow, protecting a reputation already in ruin, trying to control the damage somehow. It’s all gone. The family is down to it’s nuclear size – and even those relationships could be strained. We don’t know. We’re not there. But God is. He knows. And He hears when we pray for them.
Most of the things that meant so much are gone. It feels like they’re ALL gone. Life has been reduced to its irreducible minimum, and while a man’s relationship with his Savior can be restored in an instant, God is under no obligation to remove the rubble or whisk away the consequences. He walks each day with His child-returned, but the consequences are there to teach. To leave a permanent impression. To indelibly mark the senses so the next temptation that comes along scares His child to death and brings him scurrying to His side – “Lord protect me!!”
Are you still praying for that family trying to accept the fact that dad’s no longer in the ministry? If there’s been a turn of heart, thank the Lord for that reality and pray on the family’s behalf this Christmas. It’s going to be a season-to-forget; 2006 has become a year to survive. New Year’s Eve will hear at 11:59:59 “Good riddance!”
If you don’t know exactly how to pray, perhaps this will help you.
Open the Word (the hard-copy, not the online version). Slowly read Psalm 34.11-22 or perhaps Psalm 145, especially verse 8 through the end of the psalm. Think of the family you’re praying for, and put first-names to the psalmist’s words. Turn these inspired thoughts into modern-day prayers for 21st century brothers and sisters in need.
We may never learn what our prayers accomplish. But that’s not our call, is it? Ours is but to be faithful in praying.
The enemy hasn’t given up – not by a long shot. But we can ask God’s protection and provision — if we will.