Welcome to our fall session of #theFives, Day One!
For those of you who are a part of our prayer ministry, this is your first day of early morning prayer. (The fact that you are reading this at all means you are already doing great!) For the rest of you, this is our daily prayer prompt/devotional that Believe Boldly provides for the next 5 weeks. Each day you will receive a new prompt via email for you to use at your convenience, or you can simply follow along online.
Our theme this session is “Boundaries”- what they are, what they accomplish, and why they matter. Did you know that even God has boundaries? That means the better we are at setting and following limits and listening to what God says to do makes us more like our Creator. That’s pretty mind-blowing! This week will help uncover how boundaries were first modeled or shaped in us as children. Did you have too many boundaries and feel stifled? What about no boundaries at all, and you found yourself feeling unloved and unimportant? This week we examine these questions through biblical examples and personal prayer time.
“The Lord then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal…Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.”
And Noah did all that the Lord commanded him.
…Then God said to Noah, “Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives. Bring out every kind of living creature that is with you—the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground—so they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number on it.” So Noah came out, together with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives.”
Genesis 7:1-2, 4-5; 8:15-18
Noah’s story is a pretty cut-and-dry “I’m a man with boundaries for my family” kinda guy (at least in this early story). God tells Noah that a flood is coming, and Noah does everything God asks of him, from the way the ark is built & the amount and type of animals, to how long to stay inside. He even led his adult children and their wives to safety by fulfilling the boundaries God had outlined for them.
Noah’s boundaries were created to keep his family safe, not suppressed. The boundaries set created a safe space to live while the outside world was dying away in the flood. It may not have looked or felt the way his family would have liked- I mean, ALL that animal poop!- but it was perfect in the results it produced.
As children, we may have had a Noah-type parent, where all the boundaries they modeled and set were reasonable, healthy, and “for our own good.” There are also those of us whose parents never set boundaries at all, let alone healthy ones. Often parents don’t have good boundaries for themselves, let alone their children! God wants to correct the mistakes of our earthly parents so we can learn to live a healthy, productive life that isn’t at the mercy of everyone else’s expectations.
1.) Start by praying for all the things on your heart right now, to give your brain some space. Anything that is distracting you should be given to God in prayer.
2.) Take some time to journal what type of boundaries you had as a kid. Were you told “no” too much? Not enough? Were boundaries used to control you, or give you freedom and a safe environment?
3.) Ask God to show you how your boundaries (or lack of) growing up affected you in good and bad ways. (If it takes some time to hear from Him, that’s ok. It will get easier with practice!)