Today I am welcoming my friend and author Meadow Merrill to the #BeBoldGirl series. You’ll love the unique way God reminded her to pray boldly for her family. Meadow’s memoir Redeeming Ruth released on Monday, May 1st, 2017 available on Amazon. You will not want to miss her story and steps of faith. Welcome, Meadow!
My family of seven lives in a small house. Not tiny, but tiny enough. Two rooms downstairs. Three bedrooms and a laundry room (that doubles as my office) upstairs. One and a half bathrooms. With three teenagers and two little boys it gets messy fast. Especially when someone leaves the backdoor open and the chickens decide it is their house too.
I wish I were joking. But a couple of weeks ago, my husband, Dana, and our older kids were at work and school. I’d spent a couple of hours tidying up and reading to our younger children. Everything was beginning to look the way I liked it—orderly—when I had the brilliant idea to work outside.
It was such a beautiful fall day, I couldn’t resist. So there I was, happily painting the new shutters—the ones with sweet little hearts cut out of the centers—that Dana had built for my birthday when my 6-year-old son, Asher, tore across the front lawn yelling, “The chickens are in the house.”
I stood up, paintbrush dangling from my hand. “What do you mean, the chickens are in the house?”
“The chickens are in the house,” he repeated, as if there could be any mistake.
Off I stomped, across the lawn, up the front stairs, and through the door—no longer happy—to find several hens clucking across the dining room table, scattering my papers. Two more perched on the windowsill, enjoying my African violet and Christmas cactus. Bird droppings littered the floor and hallway. And there the backdoor stood, wide open.
“Who left the door open?” I hollered at Asher, who had followed me inside. “Get the chickens! Now!”
But as soon as Asher tried to catch one, it flew at the closed window, squawking and sending papers and feathers flying. The other birds panicked, fluttering past the open door into the living room, dodging every attempt to catch them. That’s when I completely lost it, shrieking at the chickens that had undone all my hard work.
Asher and I eventually caught the chickens and cleaned up the mess. After, I apologized to Asher for yelling. But as I stood there, inwardly fuming the chaos that had been caused by an open door and a few opportunistic chickens, I felt the Holy Spirit whisper, “See what happens when you leave a door open?”
The Bible has a lot to say about doors or gates—about sin crouching at the door, desiring to rule over us (Gen. 4:7); about marking our doorways as a sign of God’s protection from the destroyer (Ex. 12:22-23); about inscribing his word upon the entrances of our homes (Deut. 6:9); about consecrating the gates of Jerusalem to God (Neh. 3:1-6); and about the shepherd, Christ, who himself is the door, both of protection and of salvation (John 10:7).
In other words, God has given spiritual authority to those who walk in the power and protection of Christ to have command over who and what enters through the doorways of their house. Likewise, it is our job to exercise authority over the spiritual entrances of our homes. How? By discerning when a spiritual door has been left open and to boldly pray so that the destroyer—an opportunist if there ever was one—will lack the opportunity to cause chaos in our homes.
That day with the chickens, I realized that I had become spiritually lax in praying with authority for God’s protection over my family and home. The enemy is a destroyer. He is the source of all bitterness, anger, confusion, jealousy, rebellion, and chaos. If you, like me, desire to live a healthy, godly life, it is time to pray over your doorways—physically and spiritually.
Begin by asking God to show you doorways that have been left unguarded: negative spiritual influences where the enemy has sought to get in. Is it through offensive entertainment? Selfish spending habits? Unhealthy friendships? Unloved relationships? Poor attitudes, such as complaining? Neglect of prayer and Bible reading or fellowship with other believers? Then pray with faith, boldly believing as Christ says in Matthew 18:18,
“Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven.” (ESV)
It is time to decide who your spiritual house belongs to. Then kick the chaos out.
Meadow Rue Merrill writes and reflects on God’s presence in her everyday life from a little house in the big woods of midcoast Maine. Her memoir, “Redeeming Ruth: Everything Life Takes, Love Restores,” released in May 2017 with Hendrickson Publishers, available on Amazon. Find her at www.meadowrue.com
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Linking up with Katie Reid at #RaRaLinkup, Holly Barrett at #TestimonyTuesday and Holley Gerth at #CoffeeForYourHeart
What an eye-opening, thought provoking message here. Thank you! I never looked at prayer quite this way. Need to keep my doors shut and pray over them!
I just reapplied oil to my doors having read about cleansing your house of strife, of course I want it to stay peaceful. Sometimes others will drag in their junk.
Yes, love this. It is so valuable. Sometimes we don’t even recognize we’ve left a door open or unguarded until an uninvited guest walks in.
Love this blog series and love the idea of praying over those unguarded doorways in our lives. Thanks for sharing this, dear Rachel!
Thanks for linking this post with the #RaRaLinkup May His joy be your strength as you rest in His Sufficiency and care for you.
Thank you Katie, more and more I have been thinking about the sufficiency of Christ. We are truly so unable to accomplish anything on our own.
Rachel, so happy to be your neighbor at Holley’s today!
My biggest doorway has always been fear. It can paralyze me if I’m not careful.
I am sorry about the chickens, but your story made me laugh. 🙂
Ugh, yes, fear can be so debilitating. I can certainly relate to that one!
Thank you for this powerful post. “It is time to decide who your spiritual house belongs to. Then kick the chaos out.” It only takes a slight crack. I so appreciate this reminder today. Blessings!
Wow!!! This was great!!! Thank you so much. And I too was laughing hysterically at your chicken story. But how true that is, at just a tiny crack the door swings wide open! Sometimes I don’t realize the door blew open because it’s so suttle, right? The fear, worry, insecurity or anger. This was perfect for me today as my husband and I prepare to move to a new town for his first full time pastoral position. We are supper excited. We have had doors that have tried to swing open BUT GOD (don’t you just love that) has been protecting us as He says He would. If everyone that reads this could pray for us we would appreciate that so much.
Thank you thank you for you writing it was very encouraging and reminds me to be on guard! Blessings to you sister❤️
Susan, thank you for your comment on Meadow’s story. I have been praying for you and your husband as you move to a new town and new job – praying for God’s protection.
Thank you for allowing the Lord to pour through you in this blog this has Blessed my soul, I have been entrusted by Christ to keep my family and I have to tighten up in this area be real, open, and honest….Be Bold in prayer!!!!!
Shana, you have been entrusted by Christ and he will give you the strength you need to shine for Him. Keep praying, friend.
This is possibly a dumb question, but how exactly do you do this? What do you say? Every door? Just once? More often, how often? I’m learning, thank you!
This is great and worded so well! I pray over my doors and home regularly! It is so true how life can distract us and we forget fhat the enemy is around every corner. We have to remember the importance of praying over our homes and families! Thank you for this post and God Bless you and your family!
So encouraging to read that you regularly pray for your home and family, Liz. There is a lot of power in prayer and I think we don’t often know what are prayers have protected us from. God is powerful.