Saturday, August 25, 2012

Prayer changes things... especially me!

Four years ago Joe and I walked into a house of 13 teenage guys as the next in a rather long line of their parental figures. While we were eager to share family life, most of them only had a few years left in school and independence was calling. Friends were welcome. Teachers were needed. But parents? That was the last thing most of them wanted.

I soon realized one of the best ways for me to influence their lives was unobtrusively, through prayer. Over the years, what at first seemed a quiet way to nurture their hearts became a beautiful journey into God’s desires for the young men in our home.

When I began praying for the guys I didn’t know their deep, personal needs, I was still using school pictures as flash cards to memorize their names. Now it is still rare for the guys to share with me their prayer requests, but God has faithfully given me plenty of His.

In times of conflict, when none of us seem at all loveable, I sigh, “Make this kid see reason. ” But then God invites me to ask for more, “May he know how wide and long and high and deep Your love for him really is.” (Ephesians 3:18)

On days marked by teenage angst and frustration, when I want to pray, “Make him lighten up,” God offers me the gentleness to whisper with Him over their soul, “Be at rest once more, for the Lord has been good to you.” (Psalms 116:7)

At times raising teenagers can be painful. Setting my mind on God’s heart gives me perspective.

As I learn to pray for the young people in my life the book, Every Day I Pray for My Teenager is an inspiring resource.

It's loaded with topics and each topic has a page of verses and a page with a suggested prayer.

I’m learning that prayer is more than asking for what we want for the people we love; it’s discovering God’s heart for them. His heart is big. His dreams are grand. It’s amazing how just catching a glimpse of His heart expands my own.

I love what CS Lewis said about prayer, “It doesn’t change God, it changes me.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I, too, have used and recommended Eastman Curtis' book. It is so encouraging to read the way that God focused your prayers based on His Word and helped you to share your concerns with God vs applying the pressure on the teens that are so often felt when we (parents) express ourselves out of our imperative, not God's.