Oh friends! I can’t wait to share this with you this morning!
Because I just love when God takes something we know with our minds and then suddenly we read something or see something and we come to understand with our hearts!
That is what happened when I read this passage from, A Praying Life, by Paul E. Miller.
I know I can’t change my children’s hearts…BUT I STILL TRY.
My parenting has become more about demanding what I want and less about asking my heavenly Father what HE wants. Both what he wants for my kids…but even more…what he wants for ME.
Ouch. I can’t lie, it stings.
But a good kind of sting.
The kind of sting that brings understanding.
Parents, if you find yourself knowing that prayer is important in your parenting but lack that heart-level understanding…let me share this passage with you!
Parenting And Prayer
It is surprising how seldom books on parenting talk about prayer. We instinctively believe that if we have the right biblical principles and apply them consistently, our kids will turn out right. But that didn’t work for God in the Garden of Eden. Perfect environment. Perfect relationships. And still God’s two children went bad.
Many parents, including myself, are initially confident we can change our child. We don’t surrender to our child’s will (which is good), but we try to dominate the child with our own (which is bad). Without realizing it, we become demanding. We are driven by the hope of real change, but the change occurs because we make the right moves.
Until we become convinced we can’t change our child’s heart, we will not take prayer seriously. Consequently, repentance is often missing. When we see, for example, our son’s self-will, we usually don’t ask, How am I self-willed? or How am I angry? We want God’s help so we can dominate our son. We forget that God is not a genie but a person who wants to shape us in the image of his Son as much as he want to answer our prayers.”
Convicted? I know I need repentance and a renewed commitment to prayer as the ONLY way to change my heart and my children’s hearts.
And honestly, I am breathing a sigh of relief…Because I have felt the pressure (self-imposed mostly) to parent well, to have “good” kids…
Through prayer, I can let all that stress, pressure, anxiety, worry, and guilt go. I can lean on the Holy Spirit, I can parent with peace, gentleness and patience not because I somehow mustered up those things or poured a second cup of coffee, or slept 8+ hours…
No matter the circumstance, through prayer, I can parent out of a place of HOPE in God to work in the little hearts I live with.
So prayer? That’s it?
Um, actually yes.
It sounds crazy. But that’s just it. What seems like foolishness is absolutely it!!! God is enough. So like children, we ask for help and let him do only what he can.
And maybe somehow you are reading this and you are not a parent. But I’m pretty sure we all have people in our lives whose hearts we would LOVE to change. Maybe we’ve found ourselves even demanding change.
I’ll invite you to join me in letting go of that demanding spirit and turning to a spirit of prayer. Because OUR OWN hearts will be changed.
Singing His Grace,
~A Mini-Book Review~
A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World, is not actually a parenting book and I would highly recommend it to you! It has opened my eyes to how the spirit of this age (and my own heart) is one of cynicism and it also gives powerful and practical insights into prayer. I’m reading it slowly and carefully letting each chapter teach me to turn to prayer.