On the Side: October 2020
Praying in the Breach
I once finished the Chicago Marathon. I ran right through the city uninhibited by the two million people who lived there. It was really something. I ran freely through a maze of normally congested streets. There were people pressing in on every side, yet I was unrestrained to work toward my goal. Do you know why?
People stood in gaps. At every intersection, volunteers stood to hold off the world and let me run through.
How good to have someone stand in the gap when the world is pressing in! Moses stood in the gap when the Egyptians closed in on the Israelites (Exodus 14). Esther stood in the gap for the Jews, and they for her, when they fasted (Esther 4:13-17). And Nehemiah? Nehemiah had very literal gaps to fill.
Nehemiah’s goal was to finish the walls and gates of Jerusalem. He was determined to fix the breaches in the wall even when his enemies came to attack during the building process. The presence of enemies magnified the problem (holes in the wall) and ignited fear among the people. “But we prayed…” writes Nehemiah when he reminds them who was fighting for them, “When I saw their fear, I rose and spoke to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people: ‘Do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, you sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses’” (Nehemiah 4:9,14, NASB).
Then…people stood in the gaps.
“From that day on, half of my servants carried on the work while half of them held spears, the shields, the bows and the breastplates; and the captains were behind the whole house of Judah” (Nehemiah 4:16, NASB). Nehemiah appointed his countrymen to stand in the gaps. He commanded them to stand in the breech with their weapons so the work could be done.
When I raced In Chicago, volunteers stood side-by-side in the gaps so the race could be run.
As I look at the exposed cracks we, and our husbands, are facing today, I’m thinking it’s time to kneel in the gap, Side By Side. With the Word of God as our sword (either in our hearts or hands) it’s time to fill the gaps with prayer. Join me. Stand in the breach with your weapon so the work can be done.
A prayer for Side By Side and the Christian Medical Physicians
Heavenly Father, help us know how to pray. Be glorified, and answer us so that all who see will know you alone are God.
Bless our pre-med students, grow them toward you as they prepare for the MCAT. Keep their eyes fixed on you.
Anchor the souls of our first-year medical students to your authentic hope and replace any feeling of isolation with joy and peace in believing.
In your grace, grant our older medical students a drive to persevere, running their race with endurance, considering it all joy.
If you are willing, give our new residents power, love and self-discipline as they settle into a new location and lifestyle. Help their spouses encourage that to happen.
Empower our Side By Side leaders with wisdom sought from you and engaging ideas to flourish their groups amid today’s challenges.
To our seasoned residents, we pray a hedge of protection. Send your angels to guard them physically, emotionally and spiritually.
We lift up our new MDs and ask you to give them peace that surpasses all comprehension. While new to their earthly communities and workplaces, remind them of their roots set down in your kingdom.
Help our medical wives of school-age kids provide stability to their families as education is re-defined, working at it with all their hearts as if working for you, Jesus.
To our physicians in the prime of their career, help them be fearless warriors, strong and courageous, knowing who is fighting for them as children of God.
We humbly ask a blessing on our doctors nearing, or in, retirement. Give confidence in you Lord, bless them for a career of service and help them see the new paths and fresh calling you have set out before them. Keep their eyes fixed on you.
Lord, we are immensely privileged to have the freedom to pray bold prayer. Thank you for all you’ve done: for your forgiveness, your presence and your faithfulness. We don’t deserve you, yet here we are with the honor of asking all this in Jesus’ name.
Shelly is a physical therapist turned stay-at-home mom, and a new COVID-homeschooler of four. This summer she celebrated her 20th wedding anniversary with her manly medical man. She enjoys art, writing, running and fly fishing with her family.