How long, O Lord?

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
    How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
    and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
    How long will my enemy triumph over me?

This post is for those who’ve been praying seemingly forever for breakthrough in the family.

Family strongholds are formed through multiple generations of sin, rebellion and iniquity and it takes future generations living rightly before they can be cleared away.

It means being the first in our generation to change learned behaviour that seems normal, but is actually destructive. Many strongholds have become so normalized we don’t know it’s there. For example, a family value such as being loyal to one another becomes twisted when it becomes “right or wrong, we will fight for one another.” In contrast, a godly value would be “we’ll stand up for one another when it’s morally right” but “we’ll correct one another when we’re wrong.” Some families don’t have that perspective and lawlessness becomes the norm.

A bold prayer we can pray is, “Lord, is there anything I need to change about myself? Can You show me?” And then, stepping back mentally and examining our own thoughts and actions, owning what is actually functional and what isn’t, and determining to change the latter so that relationships would be far richer in future.

It also means not turning away from God and judging Him when He isn’t answering our prayers within a certain timespan. It means we find where His grace is flowing and dwell there, and not fretting when He’s seemingly not working on our most pressing problem.

For example, His grace could be on our work or our studies, but not in our personal relationships. By all means, we should work or study hard in the field that gives us much fulfillment, AND trust God to work on the personal issues in His own time. Change takes time. Changing a whole family system takes much more time.

The Israelites had to wait over 400 years before they were freed from Egypt, and another 40 years for a whole generation of slaves to die out before the freshly formed nation could enter the Promised Land. Death is part of God’s order when He wants to bring in a new order. He answers prayers by raising up new generations to break new ground. In my case, He raised up the 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation before the family breakthrough came.

Someone once said that the only way to defeat the devil is to be willing to wait forever for God’s answer. It’s true.

But I trust in your unfailing love;
    my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
    for he has been good to me.

(Verses from Psalm 13, NIV)

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