Praying Through

I have recently begun reading a book by Mark Batterson called The Circle Maker. The concept of “praying through” versus “praying for” really impacted me. I will often pray for someone or something. Many times these prayers are said and forgotten. Sometimes, however, a one-time prayer is not enough. Some might think or say that if your prayer request is not granted right away there is something wrong. (Not God’s will, not enough faith, unconfessed sin, etc.) I have grappled with some of these ideas myself, and though I haven’t gotten even halfway through it, this book has been a help. Some occasions call for praying through, rather than merely praying for. This has been the case with many issues in our lives over the past few years.

It has been out a while, but since I recently discovered it I and my husband are very excited about this book and it’s companion video. We plan to view the video segments on our family lake trip next month and hope it will challenge and encourage our family to pray through with confidence. I am so excited to see what God has planned! I have another little project planned related to prayer that the younger kids should like (We will see if I get a picture up of the finished project!)

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Lessons for Mom

My oldest daughter reading aloud about animal behavior today read something about how an animals’ vicious behavior can stem from two distinct emotions:

1. Predator (It’s a hungry meat-eater.)

2. Fear (Mama bear is protecting her cubs.)

Knowing this helps the animal trainer/owner to gear their response more appropriately. It follows that if an animal is acting out of fear, it would not help to come at it aggressively and thus reinforce the fear. I thought about this afterward and it seems to me that to an extent, that can relate to us as humans as well. Animals have such a limited amount of behaviors and emotions, while humans are much more complex. But God uses the world of nature to teach us.

As a parent, if I perceive that my child’s behavior (not necessarily vicious, but perhaps sullen or grumpy or otherwise not their normal, perky, cooperative self) is born out of some type of fear, then my response may need to be adjusted to deal with the fear, rather than just to correct the behavior. Of course, it may take some insight, much more than with an animal, to discern the basis of the behavior. It may even allude the child who probably can’t readily identify the reason behind the behavior.
I confess, that I needed to get this lesson today. I have been too bad about demanding “why” a child did/said “so and so”. Yes, there are times to put my foot down, so to speak, and deal with the situation from a position of authority and “because I said so”. But (another lesson we touched on today) I should not, as we have seen in so many in positions of authority do, overstep the bounds of the authority as parent, even in seemingly little ways. I pray for forgiveness and thank God for teaching me so clearly. I thank God for my children who are so patient with me as I continue to learn.

I John 4:18 NIV states: “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

Fear is something adopted children have lots of.  But my biological children have lots of fear as well.  Sometimes it seems that they may have even more.  About different things.  So do we adults.  In reading about dealing with extreme child behavior problems (oftentimes with children from traumatic backgrounds) I’ve found good advice to be for the adult to acknowledge and deal with their own fears first.  Me, afraid?  Why yes, when I come to think of it, I don’t like to admit that at times I am afraid what others will think of me as a parent.  Yet, even more I think I am afraid for this child to continue in the state they are now in and I cannot get an appropriate long-range view while imagining the worst outcome.  So I act out of fear.  Something that conflicts with my desire to trust God and rely on  him and his guidance.  Yes, getting a handle on my own fears to help deal with theirs is a big help!

Bryan Post is an author of “The Great Behavior Breakdown” and other books which give great advice for parenting children with extreme (or not so extreme) behavior issues, especially when they have been affected by childhood trauma.  I recommend this book for anyone parenting or working with children or youth with any type of trauma background.  Keep in mind that there are many different types of trauma and it can cause problems (fear) long after the outward issues are resolved.