We watched a pretty scary movie with our daughters tonight called The Call. It's a bit like Silence of the Lambs and Psycho. A lot of conversation followed which is the norm around here, especially after scary movies.
Someday, my dear Carlotta and I will talk more about our experiences growing up with the influence of "that which is possible but not wise." Needless to say, I could never be an atheist. I was well aware of demons and evil long before I committed my life to following Jesus Christ. I was a "kind of" Christian. I prayed every night because that's what you're supposed to do. But I hadn't read my Bible since my Sunday School and Catechism days. I was a horrible sinner, arrogant in my heathen ways. Scary things seemed to follow me. And why wouldn't they? I was such a willing vessel.
RLB didn't believe a bit of it until he started witnessing crazy things as well. After we committed our lives to Jesus Christ and returned to the Word, we started a tradition for every home we'd move into. As soon as we took occupancy, we'd pray over the home. We'd demand all evil to leave and would pray for protection over the home.
This post isn't about telling ghost stories though. It's about prayer.
We talked with our daughters about evil. That evil has no friends. I relayed to them a story about a boy I went to middle school with. I remember he'd read black magic books and would talk about the freakiest things. It was no surprise when I learned he murdered his father a few years later. Evil has no friends. He lives in prison now.
So we told the girls about the depths. And then we backed up and talked about where it all starts. Things are happening fast around here now. Our house has been on the market for a week and we've been told an offer will be coming in within the next couple of days. And though our children are very excited about moving back home after this Army experience, there will be a lot of changes coming their way. There will be a lot of goodbyes to say. There will be a lot of uncertainty.
It is not uncommon for children, not to mention pubescent teens to allow their emotions to affect their attitudes. When their life seems upside down, it is very easy for them to be whisked away into a pity party, verbalizing discontent, fear and anxiety. Though they share an excitement to return to our home state, the reality of leaving the home they've known for so long can be overwhelming.
I talked with the girls about guarding against this. This is where it starts. They will choose to go down the road of discontent, fear, anxiety, vulnerability, and despair, or they will choose to pray. I saw tears well up in my older daughter's eyes. There was a reason we were having this conversation, right now. I used this time to go into some very specific examples, drawing from my teenage years.
"When you start to think things like: 'why me,' 'it's not fair,' 'why do I have to go through this?' 'I deserve...,' 'I wish my life was like so-and-so's,' ...you need to stop and pray. Ask God to take this from you. Don't hold on to it. Don't allow it to fester and grow. Pray for peace and contentment. Begin the habit, begin the commitment of going to God first before you trust negative emotions. Allow the Holy Spirit to change your heart, your attitude, your words, your countenance."
"Evil takes hold on the simplest of things. Guard yourself from evil. Demand it be gone from you. Pray for protection. God is always good."