” Lord, teach us to pray.” This is what Jesus' disciples asked of Him one day after they had observed Him praying. Don't we ask for the same thing? I'm in constant awe of those who can pray easily. It's not that it's difficult finding the right words, yet for me it's a control thing. Who's really in control here? Is my life up to me? Does my husband get to choose what's right for our family? Do my children get to make choices? Is God even there and does He care? There's only one way to find out.
My Christian women's book club has chosen this month to read, ” The Power Of A Praying Parent,” by Stormie O'Martin. As I read this one, I am compelled to go check out another book by Stormie called, “The Power Of A Praying Wife.” Throughout one's life and in my case, my marriage, there has been such revelation throughout the years. My husband and I met and fell in love at a young age. He was 14 and I was 12. Both of us were Christians. We met in the church youth group and most of our early dating was done among youth functions. We married when I was 18 years old, and although, this year, we celebrate 20 years of marriage, it has not always been easy. I can almost bet every married couple out there can say the same.
What we didn't know about each other twenty years ago, is still being reveled here and there as we go through life together. Occasionally, those, ” I didn't know that about you,” statements turn into, “I can't believe you feel that way!” Sometimes, those revelations have been earth shattering. Now, as the parent of four children, one of those being a teenager, I'm facing certain revelations with her as well. You might hear me say, ” I didn't know you felt that way,” followed by, ” how can you possibly think that?” There are some interesting conversations in this house. One might call these conversations very vocal and emotional.
There is a point to be made here through all of these examples. I am in control of nothing! God is. It's not about me or what I want. It's all about God. It's only when I can come to that realization and turn my children and my marriage over to God that I may truly find peace. The easiest way to turn it all over to God is by learning to pray. I wrote in my notes this morning as I read through Chapter 7 – Maintaining Good Family Relationships from “The Power of a Praying Parent,” chapter 7 caused me to stop and think. All that I do not like in my life and all that I want changed in my life, these are the things I need to pray about. I need to pray for my husband and my marriage. I need to pray for my relationship with my children and I need to pray for the children and their relationship with one another. No matter what, I need to pray.
The word “pray” is mentioned 117 times in the Bible and the word “prayer” is mentioned 127 times. It is so very important, it's almost beyond comprehension how important prayer is in our daily lives. Here are just a few of the ” prayer” verses that have touched my heart.
“Yet give attention to your servant's prayer and his plea for mercy, O LORD my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence.” (NIV) 2 Chronicles 6:19
“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” (NIV) Matthew 21:22
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” (NIV) Romans 12:12
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” (NIV) Colossians 4:2
“Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise.” (NIV) James 5:13
“And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (NIV) James 5: 15-16
As I learn to pray, I learn to trust in God more. 1Peter 5:7,(NIV) says, ” Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” I'm not to be anxious about anything but give everything to God through prayer ( Philippians 4:6). I am to “Be Still” and know He is God (Psalm 46:10), and I must remember, that God works all things out for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” There's so much I don't understand, but I know God does. I know I make matters worse when I try to change things to how I want them to be. Instead, I should be praying, ” God, what do you want? What is best?” I'm learning.
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (NIV) Ephesians 4:2