Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Teaching our kids to pray, I mean really PRAY

I have been working on this post for a week now!  I tried to finish it while we were on our spring break trip but my dog passed away suddenly in the middle of the trip and my mind was not functioning correctly.  So, thanks for your patience with my absence of pen lately.

I have always been an incredibly independent chica?  My dad was a mountaineering guide for much of my young life so, my sister and I grew up on mountains and in far away lands.  We did what I wish my kids would do sometimes, we figured it out!  I have heard my Ma say that it may be a lot easier on my husband if she hadn't raised us to have such an I-can-do-it-myself attitude. Yep, to make matters even better, there are two of us.  God help not only mine but my brother-in-law as well.

I saw and met lots of people, all over the world, from very hard places who depended on nothing but their faith and themselves.  I admire them all, especially when those same people decide they want to be something more than a third world statistic.  I always knew that should I have children I would be sure they knew they could do or be anything.  

This past week we celebrated international women's day and ironically, Emma and I were discussing how blessed we are to have been born American women, a privilege that is so easily overlooked.  She was watching a video from the Noonday Collection  and asked me why some people only make $1 a day. A conversation on world poverty leads to one on exploitation, the sex trade and suffering.  That is a lot of yuck for a ten year old mind to handle and as I watched the wheels turn in that brilliant mind of hers I could tell she was pondering just like I do.  The look on her face said that this is not at all ok and then she declared that we should pray for them and my response, of course, was "you are right Love, we should." 

 I have always taught both our children that anything is possible with faith and determination.  Honestly, I knew that was true but was a little fuzzy as to what faith had to do with it other than eternal life with our Lord.  As I tried to write this, I realized that it has everything to do with prayer and learning from the scripture.  

After church, recently, we talked about how you have to ask things of the Lord, not only in prayer but aloud in prayer.  Jesus told his people to ask of him out loud and not just in your quiet, head bowed kind of prayer.  In comes my severe independence issues.  I have never felt comfortable asking for prayer or asking someone to pray for me.  It always seemed like a personal thing, something you did not bother other people with.  I was so wrong.  

We spent quite a bit of time reading stories about individuals that have found their calling in stepping outside their comfy box and "being the change".  Now, the stories we found were mostly women wanting to change what they see in hard places.  I know it's a mom thing.  As we become mothers it is even more unacceptable to see other other people struggling to feed starving children and educate our future.  After all, children are the future of Gods kingdom and there is usually a mother or woman of some nature giving up everything she can, including her life, for those children.  I always say it is just like on Animal Planet, you don't mess with the momma, it doesn't pan out well for you in the long run.

You know what?  Momma does not always need to act so tough.  Our speaker at church, Dr. Holmes, declared while I was sitting in church, with Emma, "The power of the enemy is in our secrets.  The healing of Christ is in the declaration of our need."  What?  I am pretty sure declare means out loud!  Oh boy, sketchy territory for me there.  

I knew at once that things needed to change with me.  I need to ask aloud and let others know when I need prayer.  We need to share prayer with our children more than just the typical "thank you for our house and our food and please watch over our sponsor child."  That is great and all, but they are old enough to pray aloud, I mean really PRAY.  The people that rely on their faith and determination, I would bet it all that they pray and ask for prayer and then are determined to do everything they can to use the opportunities that God gives them to make a difference.

So, I did
and I cried 
and it was hard 
and low and behold I am still ok.  

Our children saw my vulnerability crystal clear.  I bet they may even respect me a little more (not a ton but maybe a smudge) because I let my guard down. We prayed together every day while we were on Spring Break and amazing answers were given to us from the Lord.  Now, it is becoming regular.  Every time I think of something and I would normally throw out there a "we should pray for them," we do. I take the 30 seconds to stop what we were doing and pray out loud and together for whatever or whomever it is.  Most likely, whatever we were doing was not near as important as a prayer.  Now, if Duck Dynasty is on, we would at least wait until the commercial, but you get my drift.

So, please, I beg you, teach your kids to be independent and to work hard and know that they can achieve anything.  However, teach them the power of prayer and that asking Christ for help and declaring a need is hard, but crucial. We should never be shy about our needs.  It is through all these things together that they will achieve great things, know they are loved and be the change.  Oh, and it works best if you lead by example.

Now, if only I could figure out a way to get my kids to not run around naked!  Wait, I just heard my husband laughing at me in my head.  Something about leading by example?!?  :)

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