Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Faithful to Prayer

Today is the 233rd post of the year!  

This year's mission to daily pray for my children has been an incredible journey for me.  And I must begin by thanking all of you who have joined me.  I can honestly say that walking this journey alongside you has been a tremendous privelege.  

Some of you are family I hold dear.  Others of you are friends I am blessed to live life with.  And many of you are essentially strangers.

Yet, TOGETHER we've formed a praying community.  A community in love with Jesus.  A community kneeling together before the throne of grace lifting up prayer after prayer about the children in our lives.

I've shared this with you before, but I fought the Lord about starting this blog for quite awhile before I finally obeyed.  Months before the blog began, He began to challenge me to personally choose prayer above fear and worry when it came to the daunting task of loving and parenting the three precious children in my life.  As I strove to habitually turn to prayer in all things parenting, I quickly realized I needed the support system of other believers.  I would have been content with the Mom's Prayer Group a circle of friends and I started back in early January.  But God had bigger plans.

I had no interest in becoming a blogger.  I was terrified of baring my soul on a daily basis for all the world to see.  Yet, the Lord began to give me a clear picture of a unified community of moms, dads, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, & caregivers who knew the greatest gift they could ever give the children in their lives was the gift of faithful prayer day in and day out.  I felt Him firmly asking me to write a blog for one year with a solid focus on praying His Word over the children in our lives.  The beauty of this picture overshadowed my fears. 

So on January 27th our journey began.  I had about 20 "views" on that first day.  20 people who prayed that first prayer with me.  I was honestly content with 20.  Yet overtime, the Lord has greatly increased this number.

Today, there are so many of us praying on a daily basis.  Our community is strong in numbers and MOST IMPORTANTLY, faithful in prayer.  I have tears in my eyes as I think about the beauty of our community.

Together we have obediently lived out Philippians 4:6,

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

I hope You have experienced the promise of verse 7 like I have,

"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Over the past year as I've made prayer my first response in parenting, I absolutely have a greater peace about my children.  And as I've dropped to my knees daily about EVERYTHING relatated to parenting, this peace has in fact guarded my heart and my mind.  

It's as though I have a forceshield protecting my mind and heart from all the fears and worries trying to infilitrate my spiritual soul.  I worry less about my children.  My heart's love for them is beginning to look more and more like the Father's love.  I see them through the eyes of their Savior Jesus.  And for me, the parent, I feel safe, guarded, and directed every time I kneel at His throne.  

Have you also experienced these blessings as you've been obedient to His Word and been faithful to prayer?  Oh how I wish I could meet with all of you and hear your answer.  Even if you've found it a struggle to become a parent whose first response is to pray, I have no doubt that as you've prayed along with me that the Lord has sifted and refined you in ways you never imagined.  And I trust that, like me, through prayer you've recognized your great need for Jesus as you care for, nurture, teach, discipline, and lead the children in your lives.

Many of you have been asking me if I will continue this blog every weekday after the year is up.  Up to this point, I've not been able to give you a definitive answer.  Over the past month, I've prayed regularly asking God for direction.  Seeing the community we have makes me never want to stop.  I firmly believe God is doing a great work in our own lives AND our children's lives as we choose prayer again and again and again.  I want to allow God to do more in our lives through this prayer focused community.  

And so, as long as people are praying alongside me I will continue to write this blog.  Yet as the time commitment to write every day has been a significant challenge for me, during 2014 I will only write once a week rather than five times per week.

My hope is to publish a new post at the beginning of each week, and maybe others as I feel led.  I encourage you to subscribe to this blog (see the follow by e-mail link located at the top of the information bar to the right) so that you can receive an e-mail when I've published something new.  Please know that I absolutely receive no income from this blog and have no intention of trying to at any point.  So asking you to subscribe is by no means a sales pitch.  It's simply an easy way for you to be made aware of new posts I've published.


Again, I want to sincerely thank you for taking the time to read my praying heart, for enduring all my personal stories about myself and my kids, and for praying along with me.  I am very aware there are hundreds of wonderful blogs available for you to spend your time reading, most with people who have great writing and artistic talent.  Yet regardless of my own limitations, you've kindly remained faithful to the blog and to prayer.  And for that, I am humbled and so very grateful.

If you don't mind I'd like to end with a little pep-talk for all of us.  Friends, we will never achieve perfection in parenting.  We will always make mistakes. We will always have moments where we fail our children.  Yet, prayer is our best response.  

When we pray we are first, humbly recognizing our great need for God in our parenting.  And second, we grow in wisdom and knowledge of Him and His Word.  And it is with this wisdom and knowledge that we find the best direction in parenting.

So we must never, ever stop praying for the children in our lives.

And for this reason, since the day we've joined together, I have not stopped praying for you (& me), asking God to fill us with "the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding."  And I pray this in order that we "may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that we may have great endurance and patience." Colossians 1:9-12


And for the children in our lives, my desire is that they learn to imitate our faithfulness to prayer.  For when they learn to habitually bring everything before the throne of grace, they will find a peace that transcends their understanding, a knowledge of God that transforms their hearts, and a spiritual wisdom that will lead and guide them throughout life.

And so like we've done 232 times before, let's pray these things for our kids today and for years to come!

Jesus,
What a year it has been!  Thank you for desiring to be in relationship with me.  Thank you for listening to my prayers.  Thank you for giving me a peace that trancends my parenting understanding.  Thank you for wise direction as I do my best to lead my children in the way they should go so that when they are old they won't depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).

Today I pray that, through my commitment to prayer, You would teach my children to be faithful in prayer.  As they see me choose prayer first, may they learn to bring everything before Your throne of grace.  And as they come to You in prayer would You bless them with a peace that transcends their understanding, a knowledge of You that transforms their hearts, and a spiritual wisdom that will direct them in all that they do.  

And as they pray, would You fill them with the knowledge of Your will.  Would their faithfulness to prayer teach them to live a life worthy of You.  One that please you in every way.  One that bears fruit in every good work.  One that grows in knowledge of You.  And one that is strengthened day in and day out by Your power so that they have great endurance and patience for all that life has for them.




    












2 comments:

  1. Hallelujah! I will meet you there!

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  2. Thank you Renee! I loved reading your blog over the past year! I wish you all the best in 2014. Happy New Year! - Charity Rettenberger

    ReplyDelete