Teaching our children about prayer, while living it in our own lives.
Praying…we’re to pray without ceasing. But sometimes we find that “ceaseless” prayer a hassle. After all, we have to stop. Close our eyes. Bow our head. And wait for commotion to cease around us.
Nope. Not at all. Truly, that’s not the case.
Prayer is a beautiful thing.
Praying is what gave us our Baby Sam.
And prayer is what saved our baby, Maxwell.
Prayer is not magic. It’s not a guarantee that all will be “right” according to our standards. And prayer definitely does not work “our way”.
Bummer? Well, it depends on your perspective.
God is very specific about how we should pray.
One…We should come before Him. And that’s a Him with a capital H.
Two…We should present our praises and petitions to Him.
Three…We should acknowledge what it is that we have done wrong in our lives.
Wait. Right there. That’s why I don’t pray. I don’t want to keep acknowledging over and over and over and over (you get the idea) all of my wrongs.
Well, why not? Because you don’t want to admit you were wrong? Or you don’t want to change what you are doing that IS wrong?
If it’s either of the above cases, it’s a heart issue, my friends. A heart issue. Not a prayer issue.
Back to prayer…
And we are to pray the prayer that never fails…”God, thy will be done…”
You see. It’s okay, great, fantastic, superb to go specifically before God with specific requests and specific hopes for your lives…
My daughter did for 3 years before God gave our Baby Sam to us (and took him home before we got to meet him here on earth)…
And as much as she prayed with all of her heart for a baby brother, and we thought our little baby was a miraculous answer to that prayer, we did not get to keep our baby.
Hearts were broken. Lives changed.
And this is where we see God’s hand at work. If we had NEVER been given Sam, we would have never thought to try for Maxwell.
You see, it’s because God gave us Sam that hope was renewed in our hearts that perhaps…just maybe…we could have another.
And a year after our loss, 10 years into our marriage, and approaching our 36th year of life, we found ourselves for the first time ever at a clinic for a consult with a doctor.
And it was there that the doctor said to me in very broken English, “You see your right ovary there?”
“Well, you will ovulate in 3 days. Go home. I should not see you again.”
And, 8 months later (because he came early), we had Maxwell.
Had God not given us Sam, we would have never ever thought to try for Maxwell…And today we wait (each day because I’m as baked as a Thanksgiving turkey) for Josephine.
All because my daughter prayed. And prayed. And prayed. And she prayed ceaselessly.
Everything was not beautiful. Baby Sam never made an entrance into this world alive. Maxwell nearly died. And Josephine wanted to come at 31 weeks.
But because everything was not beautiful, because there was heartbreak, because there was the feeling of complete hopelessness…we felt God.
We relied on Him.
We leaned on Him.
And we learned from Him.
We were students of “Thy will be done…”
Through Adelyne, we learned that it’s okay to present the “impossible” requests to God…such as asking for a brother or sister.
Through Sam, we learned that in utter darkness God is still there.
Through Maxwell, we learned to believe in miracles! We learned that when God is prompting you to pray, to be faithful. To pray.
My sister-in-law, Jennifer, was woken up at 3am one night when Maxwell was at the stage of his life in ICU when no one knew if he was going to live or die. At 3am in Arizona, it was 12 noon in Poland. This is very important to realize the time…
Because it was at that exact moment that she was woken up with the prompting to pray for Maxwell that Maxwell’s life was hanging in peril. That he was bagged and the doctor had to be found.
And for an eternity no one knew what the outcome would be…Richard and I stood in the hallway crying out to God while my sister-in-law on the other side of the world was crying out to God.
And although it seemed like an eternity, the doctor finally made it to him and got his little life stable again.
Jennifer had no clue what was happening when she was awoken in the middle of the night. And yet she obediently honored God’s prompting and began to pray for our baby.
Praying teaches great faith. Faith that we are to go to God.
Prayer. Every day before Adelyne leaves for school, I envelop her in my arms and together we cuddle, and this is what I say, “Dear Jesus, please be with Adelyne today. May she be respectful and kind. May she have listening ears and a spirit to help others. May she be a shining example for you. Amen.”
And every day my daughter awaits that moment, even though it’s the same prayer.
And every day I am reminded that my daughter enters her days knowing that she is loved and there is a God she can go before.
And throughout the day, whether it’s a silent or crazy day. Whether I’m clean or a mess. Whether I feel good or like crap…I pray.
I pray for my children, my family, those we meet, hearts that are broken, lives that are a mess, for those that need healing…
I pray—and my greatest prayer is always that through the moments in life that we all face, we come to know Him.
Because, yes, at times life is unbelievably painful—but with God survival is possible.
Prayer. It’s not a magical potion—it’s so much more than that.
Prayer. It’s a beautiful connection.