Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Teach Them To Pray

I love blogging about the crazy adventures that daily occur due to life with these guys. And while I more often than not have some lighthearted tale, I really have been feeling like I need to write this post.
So this one is a tad more serious, more of a list than anything, but it's important to document..at least for us. And if you're still reading and have decided to stick it out through a more serious post I've added a ton of pictures of a very typical public appearance with these crazy guys; to keep it entertaining at least :)
We know that in order to give our guys the best fighting chance to have solid and unwavering lives in Christ, they must be growing in their relationship with Him and coming to Him 'without ceasing'. Teaching them to pray has been a desire for Matt and I from day one, literally. The moment we know they are being formed we begin praying. 
Harrison already made Jesus Lord of his life and we are excited to see his walk deepening as he goes to his Father without hesitation; we pray the same for Jefferson and Wilson. While all the boys are at different points in their knowledge, these are just a few of the ways we've encouraged talking to their Father.
Anywhere, Anyplace, Unashamed: There's been moments of chaos, illness, bad news, good news, and eating out. We have shown them from day one, there is no place you can't talk to God. It doesn't matter who stares, scoffs, admires, or questions; it's always the right time and place if you need to pray silently for help, out loud for dinner, together in praise, or alone in peace. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
In The Dark: Bad dreams happen, especially in the active minds of imaginative little boys. We've heard our share of sleep time invasions involving giant penguins, man-eating spiders, rock throwing brothers, and flooding grocery stores. In all the sleep interruptions we go with scared little boys to our Father and in the dark, little voices recount the dream, rebuke Satan, ask for peace and strength, and give praise for His protection and love. Harrison has told us some mornings that was awake during the night from nightmares, but didn't need to wake us up because he asked God to help him fight that bad dream away and give him peace. Leviticus 26:6
Impressed Upon - teaching sensitivity to the prompting of the Spirit and what God may be trying to lay on your heart. We go on prayer walks and just pray out loud whatever comes to our hearts. I love hearing the boys pray everything from safety for the family that lives in the house we are passing, or simply thanking God for making magnolias so they can have 'cool tree bombs to throw'. Frequently Harrison will say, "We need to all stop right now and just pray for..." And so we do, allowing him to lead and I'm thankful to see his heart growing in sensitivity to his Father's. Romans 8:26
Part of Life: We pray all together, out loud every time we hear an ambulance, for those involved and the safety of the first responders. If we see someone sad, grouchy, or yelling in the store we will quietly pray for that individual and for wisdom in how we could help. If one of the boys has a headache, a stomachache, any ache we take it to God. If we're happy or excited about something, we tell God. Every night before bed we each tell God something from the day that we really liked and are thankful for. We tell Him we love Him...a lot. Ephesians 6:18
Be Still and Know: Sometimes there are no words. I think the church passes over this critical aspect of communication with God. There are little prayer songs, recitations, The Lord's Prayer, redundancy, run-ons, repetition, and words, when all you need sometimes is to be...still. To sit on the sand and hear nothing but surf pound the shore and feel surrounded in the presence of God. To stand on a mountain top above sky and earth and hear praise in your heart. God speaks too, in all kinds of ways, but you have to listen. Psalm 46:10
Ask: It's ok to talk to God about what you want, whether it's a toy or to grow 6 inches overnight. God is not a genie who grants wishes, but He is your Abba, Daddy, who loves to know exactly what you think is cool. He wants to know about your dream job, dream house, dream vacation. And then He wants you to rest contentedly in Him and rejoice always in the continuous blessings of serving Him.   Luke 11:13
Forgiveness: It's hard to admit when we're wrong. It's even harder to ask for forgiveness, but that's exactly what shapes prideful hearts into masterpieces. After an offense we get it right with one another and also with God. We tell Him what happened, we ask for forgiveness, and for His wisdom and strength in not making that foolish choice again. 1 John 1:9

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