Funny thing. I have been in ministry for over two decades. I pray daily. I am into the Word of God daily. Regularly, I pray beyond myself and my “own” world, so to speak. Prayer is my knee-jerk reaction to everything in life, so I thought. There are things I have witnessed and been blessed to be a part of that, without prayer, would have never been and you would likely not believe. Interceding for the lost and all that life brings is my most prized tool and weapon of choice. But God, dogs and spiritual war? Well, allow me please to explain…
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” [1 Thessalonians 5:16-18]
I do. As well, I give thanks for my pups, pray for their health and such. But, to my surprise, I never really prayed over my pups. To my humility, I must confess, the prayers I did pray for my dogs were more of just simple praises to God for His creation. It never fully dawned on me before that when God says, “The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand.” (John 3:35, emphasis mine)–He does mean literally ALL things. Everything. There is no “but” or other exception to that statement.
The Clouds Parted
So, what does this have to do with training dogs? Well, to be fully transparent, a few weeks ago one evening I was fretting over this fear-reactive issue with Hanani. Feeling a bit more than a little defeated, we had a little chat about her behavior and I did get quite teary.
You see, I know Hanani and I were brought together primarily for the specific work of locating missing children presumed dead–to bring to close many cases, justice for families and such. You can read more about that work here: Simple Truth, About. To realize even the notion that she may not be able to pass CGC certification is breath-taking in the not-so-good sense. As Hanani and I chatted about these things that one night, I just began praying over her. With my hands on her, I praised God for her, yes… but it was like the clouds just parted and deep intercession just began to pour out of me.
Yes, I have experienced this before. Anyone grounded in the Word and a willing vessel of Christ knows what I am talking about. But this was the first time I experienced such in this specific type of situation. I prayed against the spirits of fear, aggression and dominance. (Seriously folks. This just popped out of me.) I prayed the peace of our Lord to envelop my pup. I prayed to become a better steward of the grace that God so freely gives.
I gotta tell ya! I was so invigorated after that prayer session! Oh my! Beyond words… And some new things finally began to make sense for me. Jesus, the Son of God, by His Spirit residing within me, has “all things” in His hand. That does include all of Creation–including my pups. He has all power over all things, and has bestowed within me the same. For He tells us,
Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. [Luke 10:19]
Funny. The things we “know well”, yet do we really know them in all areas of our lives?
So, now what?
This is all so clear now that I am almost embarrassed to admit I did not see it sooner. It all makes sense now, the fact that apart from Christ, we can do nothing (John 15) does include everything in my life. It does include my dogs. After all, He created them and then entrusted them to me.
After that prayer bringing such clarity, my prayer life expanded. I spend time since then, daily, praying over my pups, the work we are to do and the cases we already have waiting. Not to mention, the CGC certification Hanani needs. I pray against the enemy’s interference in God’s work in our lives–mine and my pups! So far, I can attest that it is working. Slowly and certainly, Hanani is calming, confidence building.
This pup that had to be crated or muzzled when guests were in our house, is finally enjoying our guests 🙂 She is also doing much better in public around people, yet still aggressive with other dogs. But we’ll get there.
The Countdown Begins!
With this new-found strength, we’re back on track to accomplish the 2019 Goals (posted in January). Granted, we did get put behind a month due to Hanani going into heat, but we’re back on track now.
At the end of April we are scheduled to start a 5 week CGC class, which will end with the test for certification. This means, we have 2 months to get Hanani in shape! She needs to be able to endure a classroom setting, focused, with
- other dogs and their peoples
- no aggression/fear issues
- on a flat collar
- no muzzle
And let others (strangers) touch her. In the next post I’ll put up more detailed information about the Canine Good Citizens (CGC) certification requirements, but for now just keep in mind–and in your prayers!–that starting today (March 7, 2019) we have
to be ready for this class!
Please feel free to share your thoughts and prayers below! Thanx!!