Sunday, September 29, 2013

"more of" ... a 31 day challenge for parents

so, i'm curious ... what is one thing you could do more of for your children?

let me first tell you what i think your answer isn't going to be ...

it isn't going to be...
   more laundry.
   more meals.
   more money.
   more treats.
   more driving.
   more privilege.
   more movies.
   more trips to the mall.

am i right?

i'm pretty sure none of you were tempted to go down one of those paths. for the most part, we already do an awful lot for our kids. we give them an awful lot -- perhaps, at times, even too much.

no, i'm not sure my kids need more of anything at the moment ... i mean clean laundry and healthy meals are good things, but if i had to be selective, i can't say i'd put them at the very top of my list.

now, i'm not assuming we all think exactly alike, but i have a hunch that a few of you might have answered you would like to pray more for your children ... maybe even pray more with your children.

so maybe it was just a few of you or maybe it was most of you ... regardless, i bet some of you do want to pray more.

funny! because lately, that's been on my heart too! (so glad we're talking here today).

perhaps it's because i have five of them, and somedays praying for (or with) five kids takes an awful long time -- we have a boatload of issues and needs to address in our household ... but, truly, i think it's mostly just a parenthood thing. doesn't really matter if you have two children or twenty, you probably would like to be better about bringing them before God's throne. because regardless of the number of children in your home, they all pretty much need to be prayed for. now, if you do happen to have 20 children shuffling around under your roof and calling you mom, please let me know, and sister i will add YOU to my prayer list for sure!

so, i have an idea:  (that phrase always worries my children) how about we do that! how about we join together and pray for our kids?

we are about to flip the calendar to a brand new month -- october! (my personal favorite). what if we all virtually come together, bow our heads, kneel before Him and cover our kids in prayer.

what if we even call it something special like a 31 day prayer challenge?

what if we make a commitment and even put our name on it? i don't want to stress you out, but maybe we even write it down! make it real ... draw our line in the dirt ... stake Christ's claim on our kids.

what if?

now before you slam your laptop shut and run away shrieking ...  just think about it.

consider joining with me this month and committing to a focused 31 days of prayer for our kiddos. i know commitment is hard. i get it. lately, i have a hard time committing myself to a one-a-day vitamin. i understand. but it really won't be between you and me ... it's between you and God. and it's for your kids ... and what's more, it works!

i mean, i don't know about you, but i could use a little revival in my house this month. i've got some kids (and they've got a mother) who need a little bit of prayer intervention. you know what i'm saying?  i'm hearing the grumbling, i'm watching the resistance, i'm aware of the attitude and i'm sensing the self-centeredness ... and i'm talking about me as much as i'm talking about them.

bottom line: i'm looking for God to do a holy work in this home. and i wouldn't mind some company if your'e willing to come along. whether you have a three year old or a 43 year old, i bet you still want to pray for your child.

i'll say it again, i am looking for God to do a holy work in this home. and after 17 years of parenting, i am more convinced than ever it doesn't begin with me and my mother-power, it begins with prayer and God's power.

many years ago, i read stormie omartian's book, the power of a praying parent. it's definitely up in the top of five of my must-reads for parenthood. half my book is underlined from my time spent in its pages. this gal may have a crazy kind of name, but, believe me, she's got some really good stuff to share ... she writes:

I believe that being a parent is becoming more and more difficult each year because of what our children are exposed to and bombarded with everywhere they turn. But we don't have to be worried sick, dreading what is around the corner, or fearing the worst. We don't have to be tossed to and fro by every new stage and age and trend and fad. We have the power to make a big difference in our children's lives through prayer. That doesn't mean we abdicate our responsibilities as parents. It means we partner with God to raise our children as we pray for every aspect of their lives.

Praying for our children doesn't mean that nothing will ever go wrong in their lives. But when it does, we don't have to beat ourselves up for not being perfect parents. Besides, it's not being a perfect parent that makes the difference in a child's life, for there are no perfect parents. It's being a praying parent that makes a big difference. And that's something we can all be."


so, would you join me?

i know somedays we are all so busy "doing" for our kids, we forget to stop and pray for them. if you asked me which is more important, i would surely answer you: prayer! but, even knowing (and believing) that text book answer, doesn't mean i am good at it.

i kneel every day to empty the washing machine or to tie a shoelace or scratch something sticky off my kitchen floor but do i truly remember to kneel every day on behalf of my children?

is it more important for them to be covered in clean clothes or to be covered in holy prayer? we all know the answer ... but somedays it's hard to put down the chores and rise up to the challenge. it's as choice. but i know how it works (at least in my home):   somedays we choose to handle it ourselves instead of handing it over to Him.

my plan is simple ...

each day i will post a PRAYER WORD on my even the sparrow facebook page  (please join me there if you haven't already). i will post one word and a scripture verse to go along with it. i'm sure that word might mean something different for each of you ... or even for each of your children. it's just a prompt. that's all. i am not promising anything here except a simple and committed prompt to pray ... God takes care of the rest. that's His department, not mine. (a-men)!

i'd love to hear from you. leave a comment. leave your favorite verse on prayer. let me know how it's going ... or just leave your name and a smiley face or a cute emoji and i'll pray for you as you pray for your kids. and feel free to pass this along to a friend or two.  let's see what happens in this harvest month of october when we choose daily to pray MORE.

"devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” ~ colossians 4:2
october prayer topics for our kids ....  heart * gratitude * character * gentleness *   peace * self-control * friendships * dreams *  health * generosity * patience * attitude * purity * confidence * boldness *  wisdom * unity * perseverance * joy * righteousness * future *  compassion * truth * willingness * humility *  love * prayer * passion * rest * contentment *  excellence

"and this is the confidence that we have toward Him, 
that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us.
 ~ 1 john 5:14 


again, here's the link to my facebook page where i'll be posting daily prayer prompts in this month of october. join me there or click on the following link which will also be updated daily with the prompts from my blog. 
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jody-McNatt-even-the-sparrow/182617438580535

OR you can check out THIS POST which i'll update each day with new prayer prompts here on the blog! 

as my 5 year old likes to say, "easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy!"

28 comments:

Simply LKJ said...

Love this idea Jody, and the words you have selected. While I am not on FB, I plan to write them down and commit to praying for our girls for the next 31 days. When Katie left for college last year, one of the things that I realized was that while I can't necessarily make her bed, wash her clothes, cook her a meal, wipe her tears, give her a hug, etc each day...I can do the most important thing. Pray for she and her sister everyday! In my book that beats any of the other things I mentioned.

Amy said...

I love this idea and will join you! We need more of God and less of the six of us in our house. Excited to see him move in and through us!

Jamie Molle said...

I'm in.

Shea said...

I'll join you Jody….I'll be slowing down and praying more this month.

Jennifer Wilmot said...

Jody...thank you for this encouragement to be intentional and PURPOSED in praying for our kids. I'm totally in....

sharon moye said...

Hey Jody, count me in!! I have been prompted to pray more for my young adult children.. Thanks for pulling us all together:)...

Christina said...

I"m in also. Thank you!

Paige said...

I'm in too!

jodymcnatt said...

hooray! so glad to hear from you jennifer! xoxo

jodymcnatt said...

awesome lauren. and i LOVE how you're looking at this with your girls now out of the house. that is SO encouraging to me. it's a different season, isn't it? BUT it is a season which needs just as much -- maybe more -- prayer. as mamas we want to DO for our kids ... but prayer is doing something simple and asking God to DO something grand. thanks for joining in!

jodymcnatt said...

yay! so glad you're in amy! i like that, "more God...less us!"

jodymcnatt said...

love it!

jodymcnatt said...

i'm so glad, christina. look for the first word and verse tomorrow morning. =)

jodymcnatt said...

sweet shea ... i am sitting here in tears reading your words.(friends, shea begins chemo this week). yes, you will be slowing down ... and i know it will be painful and exhausting. but i am asking Jesus to also let it be just a little bit sweet because you are in His tender arms and closer than ever to His tender heart. you know i am praying hard for you ...this week. this month. thinking about and praying for you every single day. love you friend.

jodymcnatt said...

awesome to have you join in sharon! starting tomorrow! =)

jodymcnatt said...

so glad paige. we've got a lot of kiddos to pray for, don't we? storming the gates of heaven sister!

Lori said...

I'm in!!

DiJo said...

I'm in!! God and I are going to have a lot to talk about!!!!! :)

Becky Crenshaw said...

I'm in, Jody! Love it!

Suzanne and Adam said...

I'm in! God has recently convicted me to pray more for my kids and this challenge is the perfect accountability!

emilyab12 said...

I saw this on a friend's page. I'm in! :)

manyslices said...

Beautifully inspiring. I love your line "we do so much doing for our kids we forget to pray for them". That resonated so much with me. I swore off facebook, so I will be unable to follow along unfortunately. But all the same, this post reminded me of the Spiritual truth that simple acts of faith leave the longest shadow in our children's lives.
Cheers,
Leah

Nunazuna said...

Thank you for the beautiful challenge and offer. :)

jodymcnatt said...

accountability is such a valuable tool ... a treasure really ... we all need it! I NEED IT! one of the reasons why i made this public. glad you're joining along.

jodymcnatt said...

hi leah -- i'm a chronic "do-er" also ... just how some of us are wired for sure! i love your phrase, "simple acts of faith leave the longest shadow..." beautiful. and true. glad you're along! i do have a post here on the blog with the word/scripture prompts each day. i update it...check that out since you're off facebook. blessings!

jodymcnatt said...

you're welcome! so glad you're with us. =)

jodymcnatt said...

hi emily! welcome!

Susan Fleming said...

What a wonderful idea Jody! Thank you so much for sharing....I am in!