Monday, September 21, 2015

The answer? Pray

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.- Philippians 4:6-7

Many of us are no strangers to the proclamation that prayer changes things. We have heard the sayings like " don't worry about it- pray about it" or "Pray until something happens" ( PUSH) or " Have you prayed about it as much as you've talked about it?" 

I remember the groans I'd give my mother when she said things like "Well just pray about it", when I wanted to complain about an unfair assignment from school, or an annoying classmate, or difficulty with juggling my schedule. 
Pray, she'd say. 
What does the Word of God say, she'd ask. 
I'd sigh or roll my eyes ( on the inside of course) when the solution for anything I brought up was pray or read the bible.

Now in my thirties my children have the honor of being the recipients to the same advice. Mostly, "What does the bible say about that?", when refusals to share a toy are matched with noisy objections, or someone wore someone else's clothes without asking, or, someone verbally puts down a sibling.. and many other examples that I can pull from daily. 

The point is I too, need that reminder, as I have grown weary with the role of referee, or the mental tiredness of trying to juggle all the hats a momma must wear.  Instead I open my mouth in defeat. 
"I wish there was less quarreling among the children!"
"Why can't I just figure out how to have a managing home schedule?!"
"How can I communicate better with my husband"
"I'm tired of being tired! How can I get better sleep?"
"Ugh! I need to eat better- my body is run down."
& on an on....

I'm sure you can pick up a theme from that.
How about complaining? How about negativity? How about action-less? And maybe a lot of "I-ing" going on too.

But lately, very pointedly, the Spirit with each one delivers a simple word. PRAY.
"But God..." PRAY.

So when I grew overwhelmingly frustrated with having to clean another icky poo stinky diaper, I prayed. Father, I need your grace to respond to this in the way you intend. Also, I'd really appreciate if you'd let the end of this season come sooner than later. Help J feel and recognize the urge to go to the bathroom so we can more accident free days in Jesus name. Amen.

I prayed and the next day I noticed J's God-mommy shared a link on  3-day potty training boot camp with me. Well I read the article and it was very encouraging. I didn't employ the suggestions per se, but it inspired my approach to be a little more aware and less "lazy", and more excited about helping him get his bathroom needs met. The very next day, Sunday at church, he wore undies all day accident free. During service he fell asleep and I grew anxious that he'd wet all over the chairs. Then the Spirit said PRAY. I did. I asked the Lord to help him to remain dry throughout the worship service. I'll admit I was relieved and bit surprised that he was completely dry by service's end."Thank you Jesus!" It was not til after an extra 30 or so minutes of socializing and us deciding to head to lunch,that I woke him, took him to the bathroom and he went pee and poo :-) Yep, we did the bathroom celebration of course. ( And today is day two of a 99% accident-free day).

The point is God commands us to acknowledge him in all our ways- not some of them. We get into the socialized mindset, that some things are too trivial to bring to God.  God asked Abraham if there was anything too hard for God. Well we need to ask ourselves that, and also this- "Is there anything to small for God?"

Like today for instance- My son lost his agenda from school. He was distressed about it. He needed it for school and would be reprimanded about not having it. He was having pre-teen anxiety issues. I said, "what have I been saying you need to do?" At this point I had just minutes before told him to pray about a situation that happened to him at school. So with the present question he sighed, and with the enthusiasm of a sloth he replied "PRAY" with an upward hand move  that read,"I know I know."
I instantly saw myself in him at that age.  And I was my mother. How did this happen?

So to prove God I loudly said a prayer as he walked down the hallway " Father lead us to where this book can be found for the sake of avoiding the consequences of not having it and for the increase of our faith in seeing you move on behalf of our faith in prayer. In Jesus name. Amen."

Later in the evening after having looked high and low and close to giving up, I decided to run one more load of laundry. Hmm, the girls had a full basket and the boys' basket needed to be addressed as well. I asked the girls to bring me a load of laundry that can be added with the small load I had of my own clothes. My daughter lifted the first armful of darks into the washer and she stops. 
'I get brownie points, cuz I found it." I followed her eyes and there buried in the girls' basket was my son's agenda ( don't ask.) But it was found. 
"Thank you Jesus!" I proclaimed there in front of the laundry closet.
I told them how it was the Lord's doing. God had me think to do another load and I could have asked the boys to bring me their laundry but I asked the girls instead. "The Lord did that, you guys!" I was excited about answered prayer.

Yep. This is my renewed theme. Don't complain about it. Pray about it.
I guess I can add that to the myriad of prayer one-liners.

"Men ought always to pray and not faint.- Luke 18:1
"Pray without ceasing."- 1 Thessalonians 5:17