I'm currently attending a Bible study called "Live a Praying Life" by Jennifer Kennedy Dean and what an amazing study it has been. Through this study, the Lord has opened my eyes to new concepts about prayer. For example, do you realize that through the prayer of believers God unleashes his power upon the world. We are just a conduit, of sorts, for him to accomplish his purposes. As Dean says in her book, "We are the epicenter of God's power."
In Ephesians 3:20 it says, " Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us."
As I thought about that verse, I began to reflect on the way I had previously prayed for my children. If you're like me, you think you know what would be best for your kids in a given situation and you're trying to do what you think God would want for them. At the end of my prayers I would often tag on the statement, "if it be your will", but did I really mean it? That's the part that was a "light bulb" moment for me. I suddenly realized that God loves my children infinitely more than I do. He sees the bigger picture of their lives and how it will fit into his plan for the world. His goal is to shape them into the godly young man or woman that will make an impact on the world. Maybe that means they need to fall on their backside a few times to diminish their pride. Maybe he's trying to teach them lessons about getting along with difficult people.We need to understand that God is not there to be our great "fixer" or our "vending machine" to accomplish our goals. It certainly does means that God is shaping them to be more like him through their trials and tribulations as teenagers, and there are many!
It says in Romans 5:3-4, "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character; and character, hope."
What does that mean for us as parents? We need to pray for God's perfect will for our children in any and every situation in which they find themselves, knowing that God wants to unleash his power into their lives through our prayers. We need to have faith that the all- knowing, ever-present God wants to accomplish his will through our children as they learn and grow both spiritually and physically. What an honor that is. So...let's put aside our agenda in our prayer life and yield ourselves to the will of God. After all, he created us (our children, too) with a plan and purpose in mind and he will accomplish it in his time and in his way.
"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is- his good, pleasing and perfect will"
There comes a time when every parent has to give their child over to the Lord to do with as he will...it's much easier if we understand that God loved them so much that he sent his own Son to die for them so that some day he could be reunited with them in heaven. They are only ours for a little while to love, teach and guide. Make the most of every day you have with them.
"For I know the plans I have for you,declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11