Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Our failure to pray is because we fail to depend on God

Our default mode is DIO (Do It Ourselves), we are brought up to be independent thinkers, independent learners, independent live-rs. That makes lots of things hard for us when they call us to become co-dependent (marriage, parenting and old age to name but 3). But fundamentally for us as Christians it makes prayer hard.

In prayer we are confessing to God that we are not independent, that we need him to work in and through us in our lives and the lives of others. We are saying we can't Do It Ourselves. The problem is that often we forget this and so we don't pray about it, or if we do we pray about it knowing exactly what we are going to do and are just looking for God to bless what we are going to do anyway without seeking his will.

Take parenting for example. Parenting is hard but I'd guess that we spend more time thinking, reading and discussing parenting than we do praying about it. Why is that? Its because we think if we have the right techniques, if we can just be that bit better, if I can improve by the extra 1% then my children will turn out OK.

Actually we need to recognise that we are dependent on God for our children and for our parenting. Prayer should be our first and everyday resort. As we seek to deal with the rebellious child who rebels against everything we need to be praying God show me my sin in dealing with my child and Father help him/her come to know and trust you, may I show them your character and love. Now some of you reading this are thinking yes that's fine but what should I do!

How can I impact and change my child? What is going on is a battle of wills, we think we must dominate and overcome our child, but actually that is sin - that is just us imposing our will on him - it may be where that stubborn willful streak came from. First step is to pray about ourselves - God has given us children partly to highlight our own sinful hearts and call us to depend on him. Why not take a moment to do that now?

Having realised that we need to come dependently to God. Depending on him for forgiveness and as the ultimate example of a loving Father. We need to pray for God to work in our child's heart and mind not so our will is imposed but fundamentally and firstly so that they come to know God - the stakes are so much greater than getting my way as a parent.

What we pray about our children reveals what we treasure. It is worth thinking through what you pray for them, why not write a prayer card for each with your priorities, leaving space to add or adapt as necessary.

We need to be praying for our children because it depends on God not us.

What is true for our children is true for everything. Remembering that we are dependent on God for everything would cause us to pray more promptly, more regularly and more continuously.

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