This Mother’s Day Week I thought I’d amuse you with some of my own horrific mothering no-no’s and then point you to a quick read: Praying Circles around Your Children by Mark Batterson. It’s a powerful little paperback that will change the way you think and pray.
First, here are some of my Motherhood Myths, and then we’ll get to the prayer tips:
“I’ll never chuck a pop tart into the back seat on the way to school.” (Well, at least this didn’t happen ‘til child #3 arrived.)
“I’ll never yell at our children before church.” (Yeah, that happened more than once: Verrry ugly.)
“We will never blow thru’ a drive-thru’ two nights in a row.” (That didn’t last thru’ the first soccer season.)
“I’ll always realize what a blessing they are when they seem to be a pain in the you-know-where.” (I need to write this on a blackboard about a hundred times while begging the Lord for His forgiveness about a thousand times.)
“I’ll never cry uncontrollably in front of them.” (Scares our boys silly.)
“I’ll stop worrying about them when they reach age _____.” (Hasn’t happened yet.)
“I’ll never forget they’re really on loan from the Lord.” (This is a primo reminder I’m suspecting we ALL need. Frequently.) PLUS, He loves them more than we do.
Don’t mess with these Motherhood Myths! While you’re at, pitch your own if you have any! Instead, begin with this beautiful Scripture:
Lamentations 2:19 says,
“Rise during the night and cry out.
Pour out your hearts like water to the Lord.
Lift up your hands to him in prayer,
pleading for your children.” (NLT)
Author Mark Batterson tells of a legend he discovered in the Jewish Talmud about a prayer warrior named Honi. Honi literally drew a circle around himself in the sand, and stayed there praying for much-needed rain, for mercy on the people of the village, and for favor, blessing and graciousness. He was ultimately honored for “the prayer that saved a generation.”
This eye-opening little book, Praying Circles Around Your Children, gives you loads of promises in Scripture to “circle” around your children. It gives you ideas for circling a place of work, or a school, or a piece of property, or a home, covering that concern in prayer.
“Circling” something or someone in prayer is really akin to:
I Thessalonians 5:17 which simply says, “Pray continually.” Mark recommends we endeavor to rev up the intensity and tenacity of our prayers.
Mark adds, “Prayer is the way we take our hands off and place our children in the hands of God.”
Of the five prayer circles Mark gives his readers, the second one, Making Prayer Lists, is my favorite. Being a list maker (to a fault!!!), this idea grabbed me. Look at the verse he gives us:
“Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.” (Psalm 5:3 NLT)
What’s on your list? I have short-term and long-term requests on mine. I have a list of friends with health challenges. The blessing in seeing how God answers them is worth the time and effort of writing them down, plus you know the direction to keep praying.
Recently I drew circles in my journal and placed people in them according to their circumstances. The visual effect is comforting. Remember, tho’, these lists are not just your wish list.
Mark reminds us, “Every prayer, including your prayers for your children, must pass a twofold litmus test:
Your prayers must be in the will of God and for the Glory of God.”
I love one of Mark’s prayers for his children, “Lord let their ears be tuned to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit. I want my children to find their voice, and the key is hearing the voice of God.”
Don’t miss this warning: “If they don’t hear the voice of God, they will echo our culture.” Hello? Anyone aghast at the goings on of our culture???
Checkout the other prayer circles (I’ve only given you a snippet!) in the book. May we heed Mark’s closing remarks,
“Don’t lose heart.
Don’t lose hope.
Don’t lose faith.
May we all be reminded of Psalm 127:3:
“Children are a GIFT from the Lord; they are a REWARD from him…”
‘Til next time!