Friday, April 22, 2016

Fervent Friday: Family

Good morning and Happy Friday! 

Any big weekend plans? We are packing up and heading to the lake for a last minute getaway. For now, how about another Fervent Friday post? (<—click there for the background info.)

I love food and exercise, but I am pretty sure it is clear to anyone who knows me here or in real life that my family is the most important thing in my life. 

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Likewise, because they are so incredibly precious to me, they render me most vulnerable. They are my kryptonite. Obviously Satan knows that about me and likely every other mom on the planet and uses our family to get to us and break us down. But, there is good news. We can fight back with strategic, passionate prayer. 

Praying for your family can be broken down into three main categories: children, husband, and other family members. A few notes and examples about each.

1. Children. Oh man, do I pray about my children. I pray for God to protect them. To love them. To show me how to raise them. For them to sleep (Cora, I’m looking at you.) However, something I never really did was pray with them. I mean, of course we say our “bedtime prayers” and God bless everyone including the woman at Starbucks. However, until recently, I had never tried to pray with them over a specific battle or obstacle. 

That all changed after I read this chapter. In fact, within a few hours. Ina was upset, hysterical really, over getting ready to go to swim lessons. So in the middle of forcing her swim suit straps over those tiny little shoulders I stopped, took a deep breath, put my hand on her and said, “Ina when I get scared or upset or frustrated I pray, so that is what we are going to do right now."

God, thank you for Ina Mae and for the opportunity for her to learn to swim. Show her not to be scared, help to keep her safe. Help me be patient with her. Help her to tell me how she is feeling instead of getting upset, screaming, or crying. Thank you for Jesus. Amen.

I am going to be honest and say that through most of that prayer Ina was still wriggling and pouting, BUT she listened. And, it helped to calm me down. In tough situations I don’t always remember to pray with her, but when we do, it always helps.

2. My Husband. I could talk about this forever (and ever and ever), because marriage is some tough stuff. But obviously it is a sensitive situation and not only my story to tell. One day I will write about more specifics, but today I will only say that I pray this every morning:

God, I know I can’t control my marriage, so I lift it into your loving arms. Hold us. Protect us. Heal us. Show me how to be a good wife and then motivate me to be a soft place to land. Help me to be like Jesus and to show grace. It is through him I ask these things. Amen. 

3. Others.  I never really had a prayer list until we started our small group a few years ago. Now, if I know you, you are likely on there. I used to “just pray” for a person, like, “bless Grandpa,” but now I try to be as specific as possible. Here is an example of a prayer for my grandpa that was totally and completely answered.

God, please heal grandpa. Help find a way to give him nutrition. Give the nurses, doctors, and therapists guidance and knowledge to care for him. Help him not be scared. Show him he is loved. 

Now, I literally have a list in my book that I pray the same words over and over again, until they are answered (or no longer necessary) and then I check them off. I really enjoy this practice, not only because I see how God is working in our lives, but also because it helps me to know how to respond or react to those situations, if that makes sense?

What about you? Do you have a specific way that you pray for your family or loved ones you find helpful? I would love to hear it!


Week 3: Identity

Week 2: Focus

Week 1: Passion

Fervent Friday Intro

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