Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pour Out Your Heart Like Water

Recognize the phrase?  It's from Lamentations 2:19.

Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord,
lift up our hands toward Him for the lives of your children.

For three of the years my boys were in public school, a Moms In Touch group met at my house every Monday morning.  It's probably the one thing I miss the most about public school!  I tried for a couple years to get a homeschool MIT group going, but it just never really got enough momentum.  In case you're not familiar with MIT, the idea is to meet weekly with other moms whose kids attend the same school and pray specifically for your kids, their teachers, and their school.  MIT isn't affiliated with any church/denomination and there are groups not only all over the country, but all over the world.

Every Monday morning we spent an hour together praying for our children, pouring out our hearts like water.  MIT has a structured format, to encourage the group to pray rather than just talk about things, because you can imagine our inclination... ;D  You can read more about them at their site (linked above), and I'd especially encourage you to find out more if your kids are in public school.

One of the hallmarks of MIT is learning to pray Scripture for your kids.

It's been a very helpful discipline for me, because it's all too easy to fall into the habit of praying as if I was presenting a 'honey-do' list to God.  On the other hand, I detest the over-generalized and cliched, "We just lift up Susie..."   And I wonder, am I the only one who sometimes doubts if I'm praying the right things for my kids?

Praying Scripture reorients all of that.  Here's what I mean.  Suppose I'm concerned about the depth of the boys' faith, and/or their behavior.  Instead of me trying to tell God how I think He ought to handle that, (because that's always a recipe for success... /sarcasm) I read Philippians 1:27, which says,

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel...

Well, right there I can pray:
  • that my boys will conduct themselves in a manner worthy of the gospel
  • that they will be obedient whether I'm watching or not
  • that they will stand firm
  • that they will be united and back each other up
  • that they will contend for the faith of the gospel.  

I have something - many specific things - to pray.  I know that I'm praying in alignment with God's will.  And it takes my mind off my worries and puts the focus back onto God.  Amen?

Now, I'm not saying there's no place for other kinds of prayers.  Like, Please God, help Gunnar keep the medicine down and take care of his fever and headache.  God hears.  The Spirit intercedes.  This isn't about slavishly adhering to a formula.

This is about broadening and deepening the way we pray.


Okay.  Here's what I propose:

Each day in March I'll post a topic, a sample/sentence prayer, and a verse or two as well.  And you join in and pray along.

Thirty-one things to pray for our kids.
A March full of prayers.
A prayer-full March.

Sound good?

If you like it and find it helpful, go ahead and print them out.  I wrote mine on 3x5 cards, punched a hole in the corner, and put them on a ring so I can flip through them, day by day, month after month.

(To give credit where credit is due, I got the idea for the month's worth of prayers long ago from Focus on the Family magazine.  I don't have the article anymore and couldn't find anything like it with a quick browse of their website.  I'm hoping - being the kind of people they are - they would be glad to have the idea spread.)

I think it will be more fun and more encouraging if we do this together, so would you let me know if you're interested?  Feel free to invite your friends - the more the merrier.  I'll label all the posts "Parent Prayers", so if you miss some, or want to view them all, you can click on that label.  Or if it would be easier to have them emailed to you, there's a gizmo on the right that should fix that up for you.

Who's in? :D


Felicity said...


Q said...

I'm IN!

melanie said...

Thought of you as I read this...


... and I haven't forgotten your mention of praying for your boys in yesterday's 'daybook'

This needy mama must join with you! =) Thanks, Julie for leading the charge as we "storm the gates"

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Yay :D

Three is GREAT!

Where two or three are gathered, right?


PS And Melanie... great link! We must be thinking along the same lines :D

RogersUIO said...

Will you let a "lurker" join in too? :) I'm passing the word along as I think this is a super idea!

Anonymous said...

Hello to mrs. herder of the grasshoppers! I am IN - even though my children are grown I continue to pray for them and their children and the children of our church families. This will help me to focus on certain things. God is on the throne and hears our prayers - oh, that makes me grateful. Have a good day! ms jane

amber waves of grain said...

I'm in!

Herding Grasshoppers said...

The more the merrier :D

Anonymous said...

I'm in...our South African children really do need all kinds of prayers!

Wonderful idea...thanks

Ann said...

I'm definitely in! And, if the Choates' email will work in the village this time around, I'll see if Joanna wants me to email them to her.

Choate Family said...

I would love to join - especially if my sweet friend, Ann, can get those e-mails to go through to the village!