Five Minute Friday: Small

How providential that the prompt for today’s FMF is 

SMALL

Eleven years ago today, my life took another turn.  I became a grandmother for the first time. Months of waiting, anticipating culminated in this day. We are so blessed by family now with 7 g’kids and another on the way in a few weeks. They are all precious to me, but it’s when they are so small they can fit on a pillow on your lap that I get all mushy.

You see, I’m a pediatric nurse by profession and tho retired I’m never far from that role. It’s the small ones, the defenseless, helpless, can’t do a thing for themselves babes that I gravitate to- every time. 

I can’t help but wonder if that’s how God sees us- and if it’s not the driving reason, above the sin and straying issue that He sent his own Son as a babe- He loves the defenseless, helpless, can’t do a thing for ourselves state we are in and He hovers over us the same way I’ve hovered over countless babes, especially my own. 

So if you think that you are too small, insignificant, helpless, hopeless for Him to notice. Don’t. He sees you. He loves you. Even if it was just you!

For God so loved the world that he gave his only son…. 

A Mother’s Day Gift

As this Mother’s Day draws to a close I’m reminded of a gift I was given several years ago when my kids were young. It was a list.

Strange gift?

Yes and No.

It was a list of things to pray for your children. I was given this list in my Bible Study group as we looked forward to Mother’s Day that weekend. The list contained some deep character building, responsible adult producing and God-sensitive traits that I saw at once were what I needed to pray for my children. I was already praying for their salvation; but I must admit my prayers were simplistic and global in the way I prayed. True Confessions time: I was unorganized and to tell the truth a bit in ADHD mode in my prayers. I was easily distracted and other thoughts flitted around my head like starving butterflies.

We were asked to pray for each item on the list for a solid month. And then, we were asked to pray these, once a month, every year! What a challenge! 

To pray over one aspect of your child’s life for an extended period of time takes time. 

What mom wouldn’t wonder where that time could be had? Ahh, but what better investment?

Instead of praying all over the place, here were specific, God defining things that I should have thought of myself.  {It takes some of us longer to mature in Christ than others- no matter how long we’ve been believers!}

These twelve areas made an eternal difference in my children’s lives. My adult daughter still talks about one of the things on the list. I’ll let you in on it later!

Here is the list:

  1. Pray that your child would know Christ as savior early in life. 
  2. Pray that your child would have a hatred for sin.
  3. Pray that your child would be caught when guilty.
  4. Pray for your child’s protection from the evil one.
  5. Pray that your child would have a responsible attitude in their relationships.
  6. Pray that your child would respect those in authority over them.
  7. Pray that your child would desire the right kind of friends and for God’s protection from the wrong kind of friends. 
  8. Pray that your child would be kept from the wrong mate and be kept for the right mate. 
  9. Pray that your child, as well as the one he/she is to marry, will be kept pure.
  10. Pray that your child would totally submit to God and resist satan in ALL circumstances.
  11. Pray that your child would be single-hearted and sold out to Jesus.
  12. Pray that there would be a hedge about your child so he/she would not find wrong people or places and they will not find your child.

 

Although this is obviously not an all-inclusive list, the issues in this list are issues of the heart and mind. And eternity is at stake. In a world where it seems that everyone and everything is competing for our children’s attentions and affections we must see this is a battle for our children’s eternity. Not only for their present condition.

I also discovered that God brought so many other specific things to my heart to pray for them every day. Over the years I have seen God accomplish the shaping of their lives and He continues to shape their lives as they pray for their own children. I also discovered that I was a beneficiary of this time spent in specific prayer.

There are no magic potions, no magic cures; no quick and easy have perfect children solutions. Even the most obedient child has a misstep {or two} along the way. Whether that event is small in the bigger scheme of things or it’s a game changer and causes deep pain, praying for our children is the most important thing we can do for them.  

Ok, drum roll please –

The one she still talks about is #3. And, the truth of it, she and her brothers were each caught at one time or other. Not every time, but they did learn that very real, sometimes serious, consequences were the result and they understood how the poorly thought out and even flat wrong choices and acts were harmful to them and harmful to others around them as they matured.

I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 2 Timothy 1:3

 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:14-15

“Praying Circles Around Your Children” {a review and a giveaway}

 

Mark Batterson, pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C. has written a new book: Praying Circles around Your Children. In this book, He expands on the concept in his book The Circle Maker of the legend of Honi, the Circle  Maker.

 

            “Pray hard. Pray bold. Pray through.” 

   

Mark equates the drawing of Prayer Circles to praying without ceasing. He says that praying circles is all about resolving in your heart that you will pray until the day you die-ALAT- “as long as it takes”.

I agree that the most important thing we, as parents, can do for our children is to pray. Pray for them. Teach them to pray. Pray with them and ask them to pray for us.

Here he presents a simple and clear method to pray for and teach our children to pray. As a young parent, my prayers leaned toward Arrow Prayers. You know, the ones that speed to God in the middle of the crisis: “Help!”  It wasn’t until I had been a parent for a while that I began to pray with scripture when praying for my own children.

His five prayer circles include:

  • The importance of praying promises from scripture for our children
  • Making prayer lists for our children
  • Creating prayer mantras to pray over our children
  • Forming prayer circles with other parents
  • Praying through the Bible for each child individually and specifically

The one place where I find myself balking is the prayer mantra. The word, mantra, comes from the original Sanskrit meaning of a sacred message or text, charm, or spell. It is the word used in Hinduism and Buddhism to indicate any sacred word or syllable used as an object of concentration; and embodying some aspect of spiritual power. I equate it with another religion. This word has become a part of the vernacular of our culture; but I have a problem with its use in relation to our prayers. However, I do know the inherent power of the Word of the Lord-spoken and prayed.

The importance of praying scripture for and with our children ”your children need to hear and see you praying”, the concept of praying through the Bible with our child in mind and praying certain scriptures that apply specifically to our child’s personality are the jewels in this book. Because Mark’s bottom line is praying for God’s Will and for His Glory, I can say this little book would be an asset in any parent’s library.

get your own copy here

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions in the review are my own. They have also graciously given me a couple of copies to give away to others.

If you are interested in receiving a copy of the book, please let me know in the comments.