Thursday, February 4, 2010
Praying for my kids
I am reading the book "The Power of a Praying Parent" by Stormie Omartian, and "Prayer" by Philip Yancey. A group of like minded moms have started a Facebook group to study the first book, and this post comes out of thoughts for that discussion.
Omartian recommends praying for our children until we feel at peace with the issue at hand, however long that takes. She writes that we have to trust God to take care of them, or we will live in fear. True - but easier said than done.
Yancey writes that we should try to understand the much larger perspective of God when we pray.
The two ideas blend in a way that makes a lot of sense to me.
I love the thought of praying until I find peace. When an issue with a child gives a mother anxiety, when it is out of her hands to fix, the mother’s heart is not at peace.
I know that the world will not be kind to my children all the time. Their faith will be tested; they will be disappointed, hurt, and will make poor choices at times. It is easy to pray with a list of my petitions, giving God directions as to how I would like these problems fixed. Praying like this is praying from my perspective, not from God’s, and I need to shift that perspective.
By praying until I have peace, I am praying until I rest in the knowledge that God is control, that He loves my child, has a plan for my child, and that plan will further His kingdom.
By praying until I have peace, I am accepting God’s plan, even if it is different from what I really want to happen for my child at this time.
Anne Lamott illustrated this concept by describing a child clutching two markers tightly in her hands. The child really wants those markers. Yet when a juice box is offered, she must decide to let go of the markers to accept the juice to quench her thirst.
Praying until I have peace is letting go of the markers – letting go of my illusion of control, and allowing God’s peace to take its place.