What I Wanted
“God bless my kids. Help them……… Keep them……….. Protect them……… Give them…………”
Basically, I was praying for God to make life easy for them.
Who am I kidding? Let’s be honest! Ultimately, I was asking for myself as well because when the kids are happy, so is Mom.
The truth was I wanted God to bless them so they wouldn’t have to struggle. I equated an “easy” life as a safe/happy one.
“God, keep all the bad stuff away and bring them only good”.
In essence, that is what I was asking from God. What I learned is how unwise this was as a parent, not to mention unbiblical.
What Jesus Wanted
Reading Luke 11:1-13 NIV, I am reminded of how selfish and foolish my prayers were for my children all those years ago. That’s why I desperately need to be in the Word because it is through reading it that I gain corrected perspective. Left to myself, I am so skewed in my thinking. I don’t recognize, nor desire, the right things.
In this passage, Jesus sets me straight when it comes to prayer. I am struck by what He taught us to ask for and what He chose NOT to ask for from His Father. In verses 2-4, He summarizes the subject matter of prayer.
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
And lead us not into temptation.
There is only 1 sentence dealing with temporal subject matter. All the rest dealt with spiritual.
That’s not what I had been asking for as a mom. Honestly, I was spending 99% of my subject matter on temporal issues when it came to the kids.
Maybe I should examine further how the content of my prayers for my kids compared to Biblical examples.
What the Disciples Wanted
The first time I was convicted over prayer as a mom came from this passage. Acts 4:23-31 NIV describes a scene after Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection whereby the leaders who put Jesus to death were now threatening the disciples. Having recently abandoned Jesus when He was in the midst of His experience, it is riveting to see how differently the disciples handle it this go around.
Verses 27-31 describe their response.
27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. 29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
Are these even the same men?!? Yes and glory to God for that!!
Notice how they handled the threat against them. It is shocking! These men who were fearful and cowering just weeks before were now asking for boldness!
They didn’t ask for protection. They asked for power!
As a mom, had I experienced that scene I would have asked for power too BUT for our protection. Instead, these guys asked God to consider the situation so that they could be properly enabled for persevering in proclaiming the Gospel.