One Sobering Thought in Praying for Our Son

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I’m in the middle of a prayer-writing project in Ephesians.  Will hopfeully get it off to my editor by the time I find out if the next baby we have will be a boy or a girl.  Exciting times.

But, also, this has proved to be a very sobering time for me.  Much of Ephesians is about the dichotomy between life and death, between darkness and light, the difference between believers and unbelievers, adopted son and daughters or forever separated.

As I’ve been praying these for E – I know he is a believer so they are easier to pray with assurance that these verses of new life apply to him.  As I pray for little e, I do not have that same assurance.

Mister and I can pray for our little e.  We can train him up.  We can desire that he be saved.  But, that is all we can do.  The saving comes to God.  I don’t know for sure that God called and adopted our little boy before the foundations of the world.  All I can do is wait and see – and live with the knowledge that all God does is good and for His own glory and live my life in such a way that it would point our son to Christ.

The proverbs are sayings of wisdom not necessarily to be taken as divine promises.  And how many people do you know have sons and daughters they have raised in The Lord but they reject Christ.  And how many spouses pray for their entire lives for their husbands or wives to come to know Christ, but they never do.

God is our eternal Father and sent Jesus to save some.  There will be some in hell.  I can pray with all my might  that our little boy will be one of the elect, chosen in Christ – but God is the knower of all things.

I will pray and live to that end.

Far More Abundantly

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Do we pray often (or ever) we this phrase in mind?  Is our faith and our prayer life lacking?

I wanna make this post biblically accurate and not venture into the land of name it and claim it – poor theology that leads us to believe that God is a bank lender or santa clause or the easter bunny or even the tooth fairy.  God is the Sovereign Giver of all things to us for our good and His glory.  We need to take from his hand both blessing and trial (look at Job and Joseph).  But, how can we incorporate this type of praying into our prayer life?

Far More Abundantly…this phrase comes from Ephesians 3:20-21 – let me start a few verses earlier and walk us through it – since proof texting is not a fundamental way to understand Scripture.

Eph 3:14-21

The main point of this passage is that Paul is asking on behalf of the saints of the church at Ephesus that they would be filled with the power, love, and fullness of God through faith in the One (Christ) who worked for them and the power of the one who lives in them (the Spirit).  He wants us to dwell every day in ALL the fullness of God.  Do you or I live that way every day?  I’ll speak for myself – I don’t.  Sin.  Yup – that’s the answer to all that ails us.  Sin: pride, weak faith, laziness, unrepentant heart, those are some sins that keep me from knowing the fullness of God dwelling in me.

Then Paul goes on to confirm with the church at Ephesus that God is so big He can do (according to His plans – See other parts of Scripture) far more abundantly than anything we ask for – FOR HIS GLORY.  We may think we are asking big prayers – but are we really?

1.  Do we ask God for a ministry but really doubt in the back of our minds that He can grant us that?

2.  Do we ask God to save loved ones and bring them to Himself – but then give up when we don’t see that happen in the first week of our praying.

3.  Do we ask God for healing for ourselves or others and then faint at the weariness of the burden of praying endless prayers when the illness continues, the baby dies, the womb stays empty.

4.  Do we fail at continued prayer when there are financial troubles and we see no way out but blame shifting and going deeper in debt.

5.  Do we pray for husbands or wives that we don’t have yet and grumble to the God when our ring finger remains empty for one more holiday, New Years, or someone else’s wedding shower.

Last year during the month of May, I started praying this passage of Scripture for my husband in a situation we were facing.  During that same month He began answering that prayer.  And even when times are hard because of that answer to prayer – I must remember that our God can do FAR MORE ABUNDANTLY than we can ever ask or imagine – ALL FOR HIS GLORY.

And when we pray like this we must be ready TO ACCEPT HIS ANSWER – not our answer.  His answer may look completely different than ours – but are we willing to lay aside what we thought would be the way God would work and live fully in His answer.

Another study I’m working through is going through Psalm 119 verse by verse, many of them have to do with the Word of God and its truth in our lives.  But, what is the basic idea of the Psalms in general – the writer’s crying out to God.  Do you cry out to God with a hope and a knowledge that He will answer.  Do you wait in unhindered anticipation that He will answer – and He will answer in such a way that will be FAR MORE ABUNDANTLY than we could ever ask or imagine?

All (his answer is always for this reason) for His glory for now and forever.

Pray on.  Live in Faith.  Dwell in Fullness.

A Mother’s Prayer – Kristyn Getty

posted in: mothering, Uncategorized, Women | 0

Kristyn_Getty This is one section of Kristyn’s prayers as she journeyed in her role as a mother:

“In the spring of 2008 I first prayed for a baby, and in the spring of 2011 God answered
that prayer with the birth of our beautiful daughter. My joy was full but so were the fears
I wrestled. In some ways I felt like a baby Christian again, caught in a whirlwind of
emotions, learning and applying what I have known and trusted into a completely new
life – I know I’m definitely not the first to feel that!”

Many songs came along before I became a mother, but this Mother’s Day is different for me as I’ve had almost 8 months to hold my little boy in my arms and give him multiple kisses each day (as well as change multiple diapers, get spit up on, listening to him laugh and cry and scream).  As I’ve listened to the song of prayer by Kristyn Getty on their new album, I’ve heard another Mum’s love for her little one.

The prayer life of a mother never ceases.  Sometimes my prayers are: Lord, is he still breathing – when he has slept for 12 hours and isn’t awake and crying for food.  It is sometimes, Lord, give me patience today with him to have him for 14 hours without his daddy (at work and after work long meetings).

Kristyn takes her prayers in this song a little more on the long-term route, but one prayer that is very near and dear to my heart: we both want to see our children follow Christ and live wholeheartedly for Him.  Whether its Kristyn’s little jewel, or my squirmy little bright blue-eyed boy, or the little #2 that is growing in my belly – our prayers are the same.  Lord, may they love and follow you.

Since the Getty’s song has recently come out – they are offering some more personal insights into the song and also freebies for you (and other mothers in your life) this Mother’s Day:

If you want to send your mother or another mother a Mom’s Day card – here you go for a special one you can send


Book Review: Boyhood and Beyond

posted in: Books, mothering, parenting | 0

The day this post goes live will be my first son’s due date.  As most of you Moms know out there in blogland – due dates rarely mean anything.  I think it is a ploy for women to get all worked up and having something to plan for – then it comes and goes with little fanfare.  But, we shall see.

As soon as I found out we we were having a boy, I wanted to start praying specifically for him to be a man after God’s own heart.  I already was praying for his daddy that he would continue to press in and love Jesus – and that is what I want our son to model as well.

The first book I was recommended has been a wonderful tool for me to use to know things to pray for Baby about: Boyhood and Beyond by Bob Schults.  This is actually a book written for boys, probably between the age of 10-12.  And that means it was great for this pregnant mom and her attention span.  Short chapters, not difficult theology, and very practical.

Covering such topics as: wisdom, letter writing, loving your sister, obedience, serving, working hard, preparing for a wife and children and a myriad of other topics, Bob writes courageously for young boys but not treating them as kids – treating them as young men.

I want to train my son early to be man after God’s own heart.  Yes, there is plenty of time to have fun, play games, etc – but I want to raise him to be a man.  Teach him the characteristics of what a man should be: gentle, kind, humble, meek, protector, provider, and leader – whether it is in the classroom, at home, or on the baseball field.

“God creates boy to become men.” – pg 40

I didn’t mark a lot in this book, because I will probably be praying it again for him and then giving it to Baby when he is old enough to read it and learn from its wisdom. 

What do you or how are you praying for your children?

Book Review: J I Packer’s Praying the Lord’s Prayer (Crossway)

posted in: Bible, Books | 0

Of course during the new year time we see a lot about New Year’s resolutions and most from what I’ve seen this year have to do with reading and memorizing the Word more.  These are crucial to a Christian’s growth.  Another key discipline in the life of a Christian is prayer.  I’ve been flipping through this little gem of a book for a while now, but then decided to sit down and read it.  J I Packer is usually known for his deep theology books like Knowing God (which I also love).  But, this one, though rich in theology, is more pastoral and practical than other ones I’ve read by him. 

He walks through each phrase of the Lord’s prayer which has taught me more ways that I can pray like Jesus, and reminding me of the hope there is in praying the very words of Christ.  My life verse, Colossians 3:16, says to let the words of Christ dwell richly…how much more so in my prayer life?

At the end of each short, read-in-one-sitting, chapter has a list of study questions (perfect to use in a small group setting) and a few other passages of Scripture to broaden your understanding of the subject matter.

In matters of adoption: “Jesus directs us, however, to do it – in other words, to seek access and welcome to God’s presence on the ground that we are children in his family and he looks on us with a father’s love.” (21)

In the matter of sinful nature: “Were we left to ourselves, any praying we did would both start and end with ourselves, for our natural self-centeredness knows no bounds.” (41)

“I cannot sincerely ask for the doing of God’s will without denying myself, for when we get down to the business of everyday living, we regularly find that it is our will rather than his that we want to do, or to see happen.” (58)

On matters of food: “The Christian way is not to deify them (bodies), making health and beauty ends in themselves, as modern pagans do, nor it is to despise them, making scruffiness a virtue, as some ancient pagans once did.  It is rather to accept one’s body as part of God’s good creation, to act as its steward and manager, and gratefully to enjoy it as one does so.  Thus we honor its Maker.  Such enjoyment is in no way unspiritual for Christ’s disciples, for them, it is like their salvation, the Lord’s free gift.” (73)

On the will of God: “Christians look at their lives God-centeredly.  They see God as the one whose action has been the decisive factor shaping their lives, and as the only one who is able to assess what they have achieved.” (96)

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Jaron and the Theology of Country Music

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Ah – the joy of learning your theology from country music.  I love country music – but this song made me want to puke – but I was in a rental car so I didn’t think that was such a good idea.

What other country music songs make you think twice about the base of your theology?  how do you handle praying for your enemies?

Luke 7.27-36 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

DeYoung on the Heidelberg Catechism

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Kevin DeYoung definitely has been the author of the hour the past few years.  He is the Senior Pastor of University Reformed Church in Michigan.  His books, such as Why We’re Not Emergent and Why We Love the Church have received many accolades and awards and are widely read – mainly among seminary students and ministry teams.

This book, The Good News We Almost Forgot, takes a pastoral spin on the 16th Century Heidelberg Catechism.  If I were learning catechisms, or wanting to teach them to my children (if I had them), I wouldn’t start with this one.  It is wordy and long (breaking 129 Q/As into 52 Lord’s Day sections).  And I am not in agreement with everything that it says. 

But, this book is full of pastoral theology and is quite readable (broken into small chapters).  And my copy is underlined well.

“From what I’ve seen and read, the interest in missions among young people is trending away from saving souls and toward saving the world.  The interest is too often social to the exclusion of spiritual.  The two don’t have to be at odds with each other.  Those who deal with the spiritual must not ignore the social and those who engage the social must fully embrace the spiritual.  Every Christian engaged in mission – be it medical, educational, agricultural, or just plain being a good neighbor – should care about real-life pain and long for opportunities to share the good news that every person needs to hear.” p 37

“Jesus saves us from our sins.  The point of the gospel is not that Jesus saves us from low self-esteem, or from singleness, or from our crummy job.  Sin is our deepest, most fundamental, most pervasive problem.” p 64

“We’d probably sin less if we spent less time thinking about our sins, sexual or otherwise, and more time meditating on the love and holiness of God.” p 196

“Perhaps the biggest reason why God has us pray is for His own glory.  God is glorified when He is seen clearly to be the giver of what we asked for in prayer.  If we didn’t have to ask, we might not notice the answer, and we might forget the one who gave us the blessing.  God is glorified in prayer by the expression of our dependence on Him.  He is glorified by the faith we put in Him to ask for things.  He is glorified when we learn to recognize that every good gift comes down from our Father of Lights.” p 212