Admittedly, I am a big Fixer Upper fan. I used to joke that watching Chip and Joanna interact with each other was a little bit of marriage counseling for me since my husband and I also work together. I think that our personalities are similar too, so it seemed to fit.
One episode that I was watching had Max Lucado’s daughter Sarah on it. Max is a pastor and author in San Antonio, Texas who I have always enjoyed listening to. In any case, in this episode, the Lucado’s were on with Chip and Joanna having lemonade on their dreamy farmhouse front porch discussing their daughter’s new home. They wanted to make a piece of art for the new dwelling with the prayer that Pastor Lucado recited at their wedding. Pretty cool. But what caught my attention was actually at the end of the clip when they showed the art. The piece was nice but what I found so captivating was not the prayer written on it, but what was on the side of the piece that the show never mentioned. It said, “What are you praying for today that will last forever?”
That questions struck me. It caught my attention so much it almost seemed God was asking me personally. A sweet whisper of a question that I needed to answer. ”Melissa, what are you praying for today that will last forever?”
It is a worthy question to get lost in. There are so many things that we pray for that would fall into the “now” category. These prayers are important. God loves hearing all of our requests, hurts, and hopes in our current moments, and we definitely are called to be in a steadfast relationship with Jesus about all of it. But what about the forever stuff? What lasts forever that I need to be praying for today?…. People.
People are the only thing that lasts forever. Not our bodies that obviously can’t stand the test of time, but the souls of people. We are promised in the Bible that life does not end for us when our bodies physically die. It clearly states that our souls are eternal and will spend forever either with Jesus or without. The bible lays out both very clearly, and the forever without Jesus is more awful than one can imagine.
So, what am praying for that will last forever? I think “Who am I praying for?” needs to be our focused question. Who am I praying for to know Jesus? Who am I praying for to turn away from their pride and accept a life that is grounded in a relationship with the one that loves them unconditionally… just as they are? Who do I love that needs to know about the eternal and not only the temporary? Who am I… are we…. praying for to live a life free with the one who created them for the eternal?
I would encourage you that if you don’t know what the eternal has in store for you that you keep reading and asking questions. One of the most profoundly encouraging things about Jesus (and a constant theme you will see over and over throughout the Bible) is that He is a God that loves and accepts you exactly like you are right now, despite all our issues and past mistakes. He doesn’t ask you to get your act together before coming to Him, but instead tells you to find your purpose, acceptance, and rest in Him. I would encourage you that if you know Jesus already, pray for someone who doesn’t. Pray for something, someone, that will last forever.