Thursday, August 25, 2011

Standing in the Gap: A Family Affair

He was just a fourteen-year-old boy.
He had arrived in the land of opportunity, alone, all the way from the village of Katowice, Poland, to make a new life for himself.

Could be that Lady Liberty was the first thing he saw.
Or it could be that he was so caught up in his own plight that he barely paid her any mind.
No matter.
It was a new start for this poor, young Pole.

Later, he would meet the love of his life, playing in a wedding band. They would marry and raise four children.
He was Dzadzi (Juj-ee), my great-grandfather.
And somewhere along the way, Dzadzi met THE Love of his life: Jesus.

My mom tells me stories of her visits to Dzadzi and Bapci (Bup-shee). And one of her vivid memories was him on his knees. Dzadzi was an intercessor, especially for his family. Specifically, he labored in prayer for years, burdened for the salvation o f the next four generations.

I am that fourth generation.

My own grandfather, Dzadzi's son, gave me similar memories. When I would spend the night with my grandparents, Grandma and I would stay up late playing games and consuming munchies.

But Grandpap would quietly excuse himself early.
And that's when he would go to his knees at his bedside in prayer.
Like his father before him, Grandpap was an intercessor, too.

Grandpap's daughter is my mother. And I have memories of her (from the time I was a child all the way into my adulthood) sitting on the porch with her Bible and her coffee, her eyebrows knit together, sometimes in fervent prayer with silently moving lips, sometimes in quiet meditation. And it was common to see my dad in the early morning hours pacing in the living room, conversing with the Lord. Unlike my great-grandfather and my grandfather, who were quiet and reverent on their knees, my father's prayers were upright, out loud, passionate and bold.

Even today, my parents still have 'the white board' kept in a discreet place where they keep their prayer requests for their children and grandchildren and close friends. They are not only intercessors; they are a team of intercessors.

So, it's probably not surprising that I, too, find myself drawn to intercession. I distinctly remember when I was twelve years old, asking my dad to start waking me up in the morning so that I could read and pray. And, over the years, the Lord has gradually added specific burdens, turning my prayer time largely to intercession.

Dad and Mom.
Seems that intercession has become a family calling...
one that the generations before me have walked in faithfully...
one that I hope the generations after me will walk in faithfully.

Prayer is labor.
It is a labor of the soul.
And whether on their knees or on their feet, my family demonstrated to me both the power of prayer and the privilege of coming before the Throne of Grace.

"I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one." Ezekiel 23:20

1 comment:

  1. Love this story. And yes, prayer is labor. Lots of labor pains in it too!

    What an incredible story! I can't imagine growing up in a family like that, but now I get to create that for my own.

    You are an inspiring woman in my life! Thank you!