The Praying Life Ch. 19-22
I admit, I have a horrible habit of wanting to change others. I think they need my help. I have seen God do so much in my life through different avenues that I want others to experience it and I get really frustrated when they don’t do what I want them too. It is a blessing and a curse. I know that God has called me to lead others to Him, like He has called all of to do, but I can’t help but get frustrated when they don’t move when I want them too. This book is challenging that to my core.
God is the ONLY one who can change a heart so why do I try. Why does pray not feel like I am doing something when it is the ONE thing that actually DOES something? This statement in Chapter 19 rocked me “Until you are convinced that you can’t change your child’s heart, you will not take prayer seriously.” I don’t know that I am fully convinced or my prayer life would look way different.
I admit I had some of the fears this week that he addressed in last weeks reading – I want God to teach this person this but I don’t want him to get hurt in the process. I kept adding my two cents in how God should teach this person this quality I knew he needed. It was like, please teach him humility but don’t make it hurt him. Then I immediately knew that the one way we learn humility is through wounded pride. That is going to hurt no matter how it happens. Then I prayed that I would be able to stay out of it when God was teaching that humility. Not to rescue him from it but allow God to do his work. This prayer stuff is hard.
Did y’all get out your notecards? I have.
I loved, loved this “my prayers for Emily exposed my own heart. I began to see that I, too, loved the world and the things in the world. Even my frugality was a form of the love of money. The obsession of saving small amounts of money isn’t that different from the obsession of gaining large amounts of it. In both, money is the center. I also began to notice that I tended to be extra polite with a donor to our ministry. That, too, is a form of the love of money.” OUCH. I also loved that they choose a less expensive and flashy car in order to help this truth come alive in his daughter’s heart. I am guilty again. I often want to see things in my kids lives that I am unwilling to do in mine. Am I willing to purchase less so that my kids don’t get their security from things of this world. I wrestle with this. WRESTLE.
“Until we become convinced we can’t change our child’s heart, we will not take prayer seriously. Consequently, repentance is often missing. When we see, for example, our son’s self-will, we usually don’t ask, How am I self-willed? or How am I angry? We want God’s help so we can dominate our son. We forget that God is not a genie but a person who wants to shape us in the image of his Son as much as he wants to answer our prayers.” Enough said.
“You’ve given up on your ability to change other people. Instead, you cling to God and watch him weave his story.” Oh Lord, I give up my ability. I give it up. This has been particularly hard for me these last few weeks. I have been wrestling with wanting to change people. I have struggled deeply with this. Honestly, I have even gotten frustrated at people because I see these opportunities and experiences that if they would just take part in – it would change their lives. But I can’t make them do it and it is very irritating. God is really working on this with me but I have so far to go. Let me see if I can give you an example that might help you understand my struggle. Mission Trips. I have seen how mission trips change me and others lives FOREVER. I have seen the power and I know that God has called all of His believers to GO. But for the life of me, I can’t get people to get excited and go on mission trips. I get frustrated. I hear all the reasons they can’t go and I get more frustrated. Instead of stopping and praying that God would change their hearts I get angry. God is showing me, it is not my job to make people go on a mission trip that is HIS job. I am simply to obey. Here is where I personally get in trouble. I get worked up over things that I am not responsible for and things I can’t change. I am responsible for what me and my family is called to do. Period. I can be an example but I am not called to change people. He is. The end.
Are we willing to let our kids sit the bench? YIKES. “We are thankful Emily has this low-level suffering while she is still on our watch. It is a wonderful opportunity for her to grow in faith. She’ll learn far more about God on the bench than out on the playing field.Her goal for her child was tied to the child’s accomplishments. Our goal was tied to Emily’s faith. Because of that, we saw sports as just another venue where she could learn to sink her roots into God. I saw the bench warming as an answer to my daily prayer that Emily would not love the world or the things in the world.”
He goes on to say that life is more about bench sitting than being a star. Oh how we all want to be star and not the servant.
This book is hitting me where it hurts and right where God wants to speak. Thankful for that. I pray it is doing the same for you. What are you learning? Tell me, please.