“Lord, we consecrate this trip.”
This is what I prayed over my daughter as we sat side by side in the airplane. It was her first time flying. I’m not a flight expert by any means, but I still explained every step of the process from security checks to boarding to seatbelts and the runway as if I knew exactly what was happening.
She still didn’t really know what to expect, so when the plane picked up speed and the engine roared, she glanced at me for a reassurance that this was normal. And then we lifted off the ground and she gave me one shocked look of, “are we living through this?”
I squeezed her hand and reminded her not to fear, but to marvel, nudged at her to enjoy the awe and the wonder of it.
With the initial take-off over with, we put aside the nerves. She settled into her book and I settled into mine. We were beginning an adventure, heading with other students and her teachers to a competition in a state we’ve never before visited.
My prayers started out tentative and nervous. What to pray? Not that she wins. That’s not it.
I prayed for peace and strength and favor.
As we flew, though, I read these reminders from John Eldgredge in his book on prayer called Moving Mountains, about consecrating ourselves for God’s work and for His Kingdom purposes.
Consecrate. I know the definition. Make holy. Make sacred. Dedicate to God.
We sing it, don’t we? We sing, “Take my life and let it be, consecrated Lord to Thee.”
I consider what this means, though. What is it I’ve been singing all these years in one of my favorite hymns? Do I know what I’m singing? Do I mean it?
John Eldgredge writes:
“the act of consecration is….the fresh act of dedicating yourself…or whatever needs God’s grace–deliberately and intentionally to Jesus, bringing it fully into His kingdom and under his rule.”
The night before, I’d read it in my Bible reading, how the nation of Israel gathered to dedicate Solomon’s temple and how Solomon prayed for God to direct them, to answer prayer, to be present, to forgive, to lead, to guide, to inhabit this physical building with the fullness of His spiritual presence.
They set it apart. They made it holy, all the stones and the wood and the linen made sacred, not because they were sacred materials, but because they were dedicated and anointed for God’s purposes.
Solomon prayed over the people:
And may your hearts be fully committed to the Lord our God, to live by his decrees and obey his commands… (1 Kings 8:61).
In Scripture, we see it elsewhere. Joshua told the nation:
“Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” (Joshua 3:5 ESV).
And the priests were instructed:
Also let the priests who come near to the Lord consecrate themselves, lest the Lord break out against them (Exodus 19:22 ESV).
In the Old Testament, they anointed priests. In the New Testament, they anointed apostles and evangelists. As the church gathered in Antioch, praying and fasting, the Holy Spirit called out Barnabas and Saul for a special work. Scripture says,
Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went” (Acts 13:3-4)
John Eldredge writes:
First , they consecrated themselves. Meaning, they dedicated themselves afresh to God.”
So, I’m on an airplane with my daughter at the start of an adventure, and as we fly I read these reminders about consecration. I consider what I most want here.
May my daughter see God at work and may others see God at work through her. May this whole journey be a part of God’s plans for her; His hand deeply molding and preparing her for the future. We dedicate this trip to you and set it aside for your Kingdom purposes.
It’s a prayer that feels truly fitting for any new season or endeavor.
For this opportunity…for this new ministry…for our marriage…for a new baby….for our new house… for this job or this project…for the start of this summer….for the beginning of a new school year….for this trip.
We give this over to the Lord. May it be sacred and holy, God at work, God present, God-directed, God-glorifying. Amen and amen.