prayer

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Some of you may remember that the in month of October, I committed specifically to pray for Ty for 21 days using the Praying for Boys: Asking God for the Things They Need Most and the MOB (Mothers of Boys) Society Blog.

Well, I did it. Some days were better than others, but I did it.

The book was a great resource, and in addition to reading the chapters and praying through the provided prayers, I typed up the prayers and taped each day’s onto Ty’s door, so as I walk by, I can read a prayer or two.

But as with anything that you are committing to do, whether that be prayer, exercise, eating right, keeping your house clean, etc., it is in these moments that you will find yourself most challenged.

October was a rough month with my son. Fifth grade is kicking my behind. A new lack of responsibility has popped up, along with a sometimes super-emotional boy that I have never seen before. Disrespect and disobedience has reached a previously unattained level. Focus is a rare occurrence, and the desire for self-indulgence rather than self-sacrifice is rearing its ugly head.

There have been days when I just wanted to bang my head against a brick wall because that is what it feels like I am doing all of the time.

But, what I am realizing through all of this is the fact that when I take up the work of praying for my children in a more concentrated way, there is going to be a battle in the spiritual realm for their hearts. And I plan to win that battle with the Lord’s help. I will not give up. I will not allow these things that are trying to grab hold of my son to get a grip on him. I will continue to pray. I will continue to work with him. I will continue to fight for his heart and soul to be fully overtaken with the Spirit of God and not the spirit of the evil one.

It may not be easy, but it is necessary.

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I learned pretty quickly into this parenting thing that I can’t do it.

I like order. I like plans. I like things to turn out the way I want them to turn out. That means that I want my children to be perfect and do exactly what I want them to do, when I want them to do it. I expect them to breeze through school and life and faith because I am the perfect mom and am doing everything right. Right?

Oh, how naive I was when beginning this parenting thing!

Guess what? These little people have this thing called “free will” and they exert it. Strongly. At all times. And their will often does not line up with my will for them. It is in those moments that I want to beat my head (or their’s) up against the wall.

So, if I can’t do this parenting thing, that must mean that there is help, right? Absolutely! God, the giver of these little lives into our hands, is right there, ready and willing to help us bring them up in the way they should go. He has told us that if we lack wisdom, we should ask. That is why prayer is the most necessary part of parenting. We can ask for AND RECEIVE the wisdom that we need to raise these children. But often, we don’t have any idea where to begin when praying for our kids.

When my kids were young, I found a book called The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian (link below). This short and easy to use guide-book to praying for my children has been an amazing resource for me over the years. I even have a friend who typed out all the prayers and inserted my children’s names into them, so I could have a neat little notebook of pre-printed prayers to use. These 30 prayers have been prayed over my children multiple times in their lives. Do I use them every day? No. But I do pull them out when I can, and work through them, sometimes as a part of my devotional time of an evening. These prayers cover a myriad of topics that we don’t always think about praying for our children.

As much as I would like to have concentrated time every single day to go through those prayers, I have two kids and a life, so often my prayers instead are short bursts throughout the day as I think of my kids and specific things they are going through. Right now things like an infection in Ty’s tongue, Ty’s struggles with talking too much in class, and Anne’s fears about re-breaking her thumb when she gets cleared for sports without having to wear her brace, are at the forefront in my daily prayers for my kids. These prayers are often just quick shots to the Lord as I think of them throughout the day.

In addition, I am also participating in 21-Days of Prayer for Boys (see MOB society link below) during the month of October. Ty turns 11 in just a few days, so what a wonderful birthday gift to him for me to participate in an intentional month of praying for him, as a boy. I don’t really know how to parent a boy. I was the oldest of three girls and had three nieces and a daughter before Ty was the first boy to join our immediate and extended family. Boys are different from girls. No, boys are WAY different from girls. Remember this nursery rhyme?

Snips and snails, and puppy dogs tails,
That’s what little boys are made of.
Sugar and spice and all things nice,
That’s what little girls are made of.

I think they left out running (never walking), jumping (onto and off of everything), dirt, grime, sticky, unending energy, messy, hard-headed, strong-willed, and bottomless pits to the boys’ section!

I wasn’t prepared for such a difference between boys and girls, and so Ty often gets those cry out to God prayers of, “Help me, Lord, to know how to parent this boy!” That is why this 21-Days of Prayer for Boys is going to be so good for me! I get to hear from other moms of boys and know that we are all praying together for our sons for the specific areas for which boys need prayer.

There are many resources we have to go to when we don’t quite know how to pray for our children, which is good, because we can’t do this parenting thing without it. Prayer is what gets to the heart of the matter. Prayer is what gives us strength in our moments of weakness as parents. Prayer is our front line of defense for our children.

How are you praying for your children today? Let’s share some prayer requests in the comments so that we can also pray with one another for our kids!

Resources on praying for your children:

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What It’s Not

It’s not music, but it is something to listen to this morning.

When we come to prayer, just like when we come to any other activity, there are certain dos and don’ts. Prayer is not about our agenda, but about God’s will for His Kingdom work. Prayer is not about getting our way, but acknowledging God’s way. Prayer is not just one more thing to add to the list of things to do, but something that is imperative for us as we live our lives for Christ.

Here is my sermon from yesterday, in which I expound on these ideas. Take a listen. Let me know your thoughts!

prayer-bible

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