Prayer is Not Always What We Think It Is {Guest Post}

Ah, I’m so delighted to introduce you to Brianna! Despite living on opposite sides of the world, we were brought together through being on the launch team for Jen Hatmaker’s book ‘For the Love’.  Here she shares her thoughts on prayer – be encouraged!

 

Praying for our (2)

 

Prayer is not always what we think it is. Sometimes prayer is a wistful thought. Sometimes prayer is a look to heaven or a song on the radio. Sometimes prayer is when we’re on our knees. Sometimes prayer is really bargaining or begging. Sometimes prayer is for comfort. Sometimes prayer is for strength. Prayer can be MANY THINGS…But ONE thing PRAYER always remains is relationship.

 

When we pray, think or cry to God we are inviting him to hear us and us him. It’s a conversation of hearts. A building of relationship between us and our Creator. It is something to be practiced and second nature. Prayer heals us, not because it is some kind of way to get a wish granted by a Genie, but because it allows us to be real, whole, unashamed and seen by our Creator. Prayer allows us to unload our most pressured feelings…our most unholy and shameful thoughts and lay them at the feet of God of the Universe. [Read more…]

Praying for Grandchildren {Guest Post}

Praying for our (1)

 

But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear Him and his righteousness with their children’s children: Psalm 103 v17

 

My name is Jenny and I am Nanna to a beautiful nine year old and a handsome eight year old and it thrills me to say that they are being brought up in a Christian home by parents who love Jesus and each other and are being taught all about the Saviour.

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I grew up in a home where God was never mentioned, Jesus was  a baby in a story at Christmas and what little I knew about Christianity was taught to me in school. My own lovely daughters were also brought up in the same way. YET God wonderfully saved our whole household.

 

Why do I tell you these things?

 

To encourage you! In all circumstances God is able to save to the UTTERMOST (Hebrews 7 v 25) those who belong to Him.

 

However, I strongly believe that Christian grandparents have a duty to input into their grandchildren’s lives if possible. We have not been give any biblical authority to interfere in the way they are brought up unless they are in dangerous situations but we are given here instructions on what we can do. Deuteronomy 6 v 7. Talk to them about the Lord and teach them His word. I realize that these are ideal circumstances. Praise God if you are able to do these things.

However I have friends ….

* who have been told not to talk to their grandchildren about anything religious.

* whose grandchildren live in sad circumstances.

* whose grandchildren live in one parent families.

* without any thought for God.

* whose grandchildren live a long way away.

 

We can, as grandparents, live with great sadnesses.

 

So what is the best thing we can do in each and every situation?

 

We can pray for them.

 

When people brought their children to Jesus that he might lay hands on them and pray the disciples rebuked them but Jesus said “ Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the Kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19 v 13/15.

 

Let us pray that neither people nor circumstances will hinder our grandchildren from coming to Jesus.

 

I quote from a sermon given by C H Spurgeon October 20 1878.

 

“Jesus waits to bless. He is not changed in character, or impoverished in grace; as He still receiveth sinners, so doth He bless children; and let none of us be content, whether we be parents, grandparents or teachers, until He has received OUR children, and has so blessed them that we are sure that they have entered the Kingdom of God.”

 

The word of God is living and active – Hebrews 4 v12, and there are so many great verses we can pray over our grandchildren. I think it would be a good idea to have our own personal lists of prayers as we know their needs.

 

There are lots of prayer pointers on the internet – these two in particular-

 

* a good article on Desiring God by Jon Bloom – 7 things to pray for my children.

* a 30 day praying challenge by Bob Hostetler.

 

Ladies let us pray them into the Kingdom.

 

With love in Jesus.

 

Praying for Kids – Teaching Them They Can {Guest Post}

I’m so thrilled to introduce Alicia to you for the next instalment of our Praying for Children series.  Alicia currently serves as the Pastor of Christian Formation at a church in the suburbs of Chicago.  She works primarily with kids, youth and their families and the best part of her job is walking alongside families as their kids grow up.  She loves her community, good music and hearing people’s stories at coffee shops.  You can read more of her writing over at Striving For Shalom.

Read and be encouraged!

Grace and Love

Helen x

 

Praying for our

 

As a pastor, I try to instill in my kids the confidence to pray out loud.  It’s a skill most of us haven’t honed quite yet.  It’s nerve wrecking to take a chance and pray in front of others.  We think there are a certain set of words we have to draw from, a certain type of prayer that is or isn’t appropriate to pray, we freeze up under the pressure of praying out loud.

 

But children, they haven’t learned that fear yet.  They haven’t felt that pressure to get it right yet.  They are still eager to ask God for anything and everything that pops into their mind.  I see my role to help them keep that innocence and confidence as long as possible.  And to give them the chances to grow in their confidence and prayer habits in a safe environment.  Here are some tips on how to do that with the children in your life:

  [Read more…]

Hands to Work, Hearts to God {Praying for Values}

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We already considered here how important praying for our children’s salvation is. Without doubt, the thing we desire most when we love, look after, care for children is for the real and deep relationship with the Lord that we know is possible.

But between here and there, between the day we pray that they will be saved and the day when that happens, we utter so much more for them.

I have a little sewing box at home that I picked up on one of my trips to the States many years ago. It’s shaped like a little house with a roof that opens, and it is covered in this lovely fabric. There was a small button and bow stitched on to one corner of it and while I have had it more than 15 years, it’s still home to needles, threads and other sewing bits and bobs.
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Who to Follow When You’re Praying for Children {Part 1}

If you are a regular social media user, no doubt you have plenty of people you follow. Either because they’re funny, or wise, or encouraging…maybe inspirational. These are the people we love to follow. There’s nothing like a bit of feel-good factor in your news feed.

But in this month where we are praying for children, I want to introduce (or maybe remind you if you’re following them already!) to two particular organisations you can follow.  As you’ve probably noticed, this is only part 1 – I’ll be sharing more throughout the month, but let’s start little and often!

 

The MOB Society

 

I LOVE these guys! They are packed to the rafters with encouragement and inspiration for mothers who have boys. They are funny and interesting and their social media outlets will provide you with scriptures, resources, articles and much, much more on parenting and raising boys.

You can find them on Facebook and you can be sure to have plenty of advice for Christian parenting. [Read more…]

Prayer: The Great Expectations {Guest Post}

I am so thrilled to introduce you to my dear friend Jacqui! As a mama for two littles, she has plenty to say on the journey of motherhood.

Prayer.

This can take many forms as a parent: thankful, worried, desperate, happy, joyful, pleading, repetitive…

My current ‘prayer of the day’ is something along the lines of ‘give me strength’. There are times when this is asked directly to God as a genuine prayer when I need help; and there are times when it is but a flippant phrase whispered under my breath as my child decides that the pasta he so desperately wanted, needed, life depended upon, is not at all what he wants, and that it is actually peanut butter and jam on toast that he has to have, right now. Now. NOW!!!

As a Christian I believe in prayer/praying to God. My prayer life has changed quite significantly since having children. My focus has changed also with regards to what I actually pray for, understandably, and the time in which I actually get to pray and be with God is far less concise than what it used to be.

The expectation I had when I was pregnant with my first, Charlie, was that nothing would change. I would still commit to my normal hour a day routine, I could definitely do it while baby napped, I would go to bed an hour earlier if needed, I would find that time in my day…

The reality, as I have since found out, is that as a mummy of a 7 month old and a 3.5 year old, I actually find having the time to go to the toilet a daily task – that wonderful 5 minutes of peace in the private* sanctuary that is the bathroom – let alone finding an hour to sit, peacefully and have time with God.

*absolutely completely public domain, where any shred of privacy gets thrown out of the window when you have a toddler asking questions about Lightning McQueen alongside a dog who has a penchant for resting his head on your feet while you sit on the toilet.

The reality is, there are days when I am a tired mum of two.

The reality is, there are days when my kids and dog have driven me to the brink of insanity and I just want a cup of tea in peace.

The reality is, I may have had the absolute best day with my kids, but one sentence into my bible study and I am in such a deep sleep I have already started to dribble.

The reality is there are nights when Charlie needs me.

The reality is, there are evenings where I am on my sixth dummy run up to Phoebe and the interruptions make it hard getting into a bible study.

The reality is there are days where I have absolutely nailed it and the kids are asleep, the house is tidy and the bible study is done.

I have learnt, and continue to learn, to embrace this daily change. If I fight it by putting unrealistic expectations on myself to have an uninterrupted hour, then I will always fall short to these unachievable standards which is completely counterproductive to what I want to achieve. My goal is to have time with God daily, be it an hour or be it ten minutes. By realising this, I have learnt my most important lesson so far, and possibly the simplest of them all: that in my walk with God, like with any other relationship, there are different seasons!

Alongside my own prayer life, I am an avid encourager/supporter to my children’s prayer lives. At 7 months, Phoebe obviously doesn’t quite understand prayer, but regardless of this I pray for her/over her/with her, so she understands and gets an insight into my own relationship with God; that she will understand and learn that this is what a relationship with God is, talking to him, thanking him, saying sorry, asking, being still in the storm…

[Read more…]

Turning to God for Answers {Praying for Children}

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Last year we went on a family holiday and we were fortunate enough to be able to go to Spain. However, our travel out there was a catalogue of disasters! Everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong.

We had to leave a day early on the ferry from Shetland…I wasn’t packed fully and ended up packing EVERYTHING WE OWN.

The ferry left early due to poor weather so the crossing was rough…14 hours on choppy seas. Not fun.

I had a hospital appointment first on the day we were also flying to Malaga. It was running late.

Then they forgot to put my eye drops in that take 20 minutes to work.

Then they forgot about me.

Then I saw the consultant who had his chatty pants on and wanted to pass the time of day talking about playing the fiddle.

We should have been in and out in an hour…but we were still there three hours later!

Then we got into the car and drove to the airport car park. But GPS did not have the address so it literally led us up a dusty country road where NOONE parks ANYTHING.

Eventually we made it to the car park and got on the shuttle bus and then we were ready for off…still not sure we would make our flights. Of course, the driver decided to have a natter with a few folk and then saw some more holiday makers in the distance and decided to wait for them.

By this time, my nerves were frayed. Being the Queen of The Worst Scenario Always, I was tirelessly playing over and over in my mind what might happen if we didn’t make our flights.

Then my 8 year old daughter astonished me.  Calmly and sincerely, she said “let’s pray”. And with that, she closed her eyes and bowed her head, and asked in all earnestness that God would help us make our flights. Audibly. Carefully. In the middle of a packed bus full of holidaymakers. Then she raised her head, gazed out of the window and sat waiting.

Oh what lessons I could learn from this! Is this not what we want for children? To have that simple, earnest faith? To bring anything and everything before the Lord, wherever we are, whatever we are doing, regardless of circumstance? And then to sit and wait, relax and know that we have an awesome God who has heard our prayers and pleas, and will answer as He sits fit in the right time and way?

I was encouraged by this, of course, but it also motivated me to be so much more intentional with my prayers for and with my children. So, with that in mind…how can we be deliberate?

 

Praying for Faith

 

We can pray that our children will turn first to God. That they will seek Him in each instance of their life – in the good times and the bad.  We can pray that they will have the faith to lay all their burdens, cares, concerns and worries at the foot of the cross.

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1

 

Praying for Trust

 

We can pray that our children will bring all their needs before the Lord and leave them there with Him. That they will trust Him as their Heavenly Father to know what to, when to, how to respond. To trust that He loves and cares for them deeply and dearly.

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. Psalm 56:3

 

Praying for Peace

 

We can pray that our children will know the peace that passes all understanding – that they will be able to rest at the feet of Jesus.

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3

 

What ways do you pray for your children’s prayer lives?

Grace and Love

Helen x

PS, we made our flights! 😉

 

 

Praying for Little Souls

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There are some things that children accept without question.  My own children are at the age where they are aghast to learn that there are some folk who don’t believe in God. It confuses them, and they are perplexed by it because, since the day they were born, they have been told that God is real. He is alive. He is at work. He is everywhere at once. He hears their prayers and knows their deepest wishes. He made the stars and the skies and the birds and the trees and he made them too.

They unquestioningly have accepted this and, for that in this moment in time, I am grateful.

But I also know it may not always be so.

Their small lives are relatively very easy.  The major decisions in their lives are made for them. They do not need to earn their keep or calculate their spending. They do not need to fret over where their next meal is coming from, or whether or not they are to do this job, or live in that house, or date that girl or boy.

They go to sleep in safety. Their education is close to our home and free. They have hot and cold running water when they turn on the taps. They are clean and well-fed.

And for these things, I am glad and we are blessed.

[Read more…]

Praying for Children – A Round-up of Resources to Get You Started

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So glad you are here to join us this month!

We will be taking November to pray for the children in our lives. So, it doesn’t matter whether you are a parent, a grandparent, a carer, Sunday school teacher, sister or auntie…if you have little ones you pray for regularly, even if they

are expected, hoped for or running around in the background as you read this, then there is something for you!

Today I am going to start with a round up of great resources you can check out to get you started!

 

Printable Prayer Cards from Time-Warp Wife

 

Darlene Schacht at Time-Warp Wife has created these lovely daily prayer cards – click here.

I love these because there are enough for each day of the month, you can slip them in your pocket or hand bag and you can have one focus each day.  Just print and snip, hoop them at the top with a key ring and you’re good to go!

 

Biblical Virtues Poster

 

This colourful printable is really helpful if there are particular characteristics and virtues you want to pray about. Or you can just use them all, daily or take a different one each day. Click here and sign up at the blog to get this great poster.

 

Printable Bookmark

 

Maybe a bookmark is more useful to you? Something to slip into your Bible, or the book you are reading, to remind you every time you pick it up? Arabah Joy has made this lovely one, so click here.

 

Head-to-Toe Printable

 

If you’re more of a visual kind of person, then this may well suit you! Click here for a great set of prompts.

 

Praying Personally for Children and Teens

 

Susan Merrill has some suggestions here for you if you want some ways to pray personally for your child/teen. With blanks to put in the name of your child, these are helpful prayer prompts and starters, so click here.

 

Do you have any great resources you use? Any ideas for prayers? Share your links and ideas below!

Looking forward to this journey through November with you!

 

Grace and Love

Helen x

 

Coming Soon! {November Month of Prayer for Children}

How many of you out there have children in your life?

Mamas?

Grandmamas?

Auntie, nanny, au pair, carer?

Sunday school teacher, youth worker?

There are so many of us that fill at least one of these roles. So, for the month of November, we are going to pray for all these children. Whether they are newborns or toddlers, school children, university students, let’s lift them up in prayer!

[Read more…]

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