An Obedient Spirit (21 Days of Prayers for Sons)

May (he) walk after You, God, and fear You and keep Your commandments and obey Your voice. May he serve You and hold fast to You (Deuteronomy 13:4).

“No.” he stated defiantly.

When I repeated my request for him to share his crayons with his younger brothers, the “Noooo” was repeated as a battle cry and the crayons were flung across the room. Now his two younger brothers were crying, and I was one frustrated mama.

Obedience — 21 Days of Prayer for Sons Challenge via The MOB Society

This isn’t an unusual scenario. No, it’s all too familiar. I’ve often wondered why obedience is so difficult for him when his brothers seem to understand. Where have I failed him as a parent?

Like my son, I’m stubborn. I must get to my wit’s end before I’m driven to prayer—where I ask, “What God, should I do? How do I deal with this young man?”

Praying for an Obedient Spirit

As my husband and I each continued to come up against a brick wall with our son, all of our discipline seemingly for naught, we finally were driven to prayer and searching the Bible. We were driven to seek out wise counsel.

We learned that God doesn’t instantly change our children just because we want him to. Like many things in life, we often learn much about ourselves through prayer. We learn how we need to change; we learn how we need to grow.

Creative Discipline

Once upon a time, I thought I knew the way to discipline. It seemed to work quite well with my oldest son. I would proudly say, “I won’t ever have a child that acts like that.” Famous last words, right?

It wasn’t long after I uttered those dreadful words, that I realized the child who acts like that, was mine. Oy.

We are not all the same. God does not dole out discipline to his people in exactly the same manner. The Lord sent the Israelites wandering in the wilderness for 40 years after their incessant grumbling, complaining, and lack of faith. Jesus reproached Peter for his violence with a sword in the Garden of Gethsemane with a harsh rebuke.

God knows his children. He disciplines them the way they need to be disciplined—in a way that will bring about repentance. What an eye-opener.

My husband and I began to ask ourselves:

  • If God uses various methods to discipline us, should we begin to think about more effective ways of disciplining our son for his disobedience?
  • Does the way I discipline bring about a spirit of repentance and sorrow, or does it create rage?
  • What do we want the end result of discipline to be? Simply physical obedience? No. We desire our boys to have a humble and submissive spirit of obedience, ready to obey his parents and God.

We began to realize the way we were disciplining our son, the way we thought was the only way to do it, was in fact driving a wedge between us and our son. It was inciting him to anger. He wasn’t receptive to our training. We’ve had to begin observing how different types of discipline impacts our child. We’ve had to get creative with our discipline.

Disciplining in this manner may be more labor intensive, but it’s worth it in the end.

Through seeking God’s will in this issue, we have begun to make progress. As we deal with outbursts of anger and defiance in a more God-honoring way, we are beginning to see changes in our son.

  • His spirit has begun to soften.
  • He is more receptive to our instruction.
  • We are dealing with the outbursts of anger and disobedience much more infrequently.

How can you foster a spirit of obedience?

 

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Trisha is the happy wife to Luke and homeschooling mom to four boys. She enjoys blogging, creating homeschool resources, and resources to help families raise godly families with her husband at IntoxicatedOnLife.com. Stop by for free access to their growing library of resources! 

 

 

A Heart Change (21 Days of Prayer for Sons)

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” Ezekiel 36:26 – 27 (NIV)

Somehow I had bought into it. Believed that if I did everything “right”, my kids would all turn out “right”. I’m not quite sure why I thought kids’ lives were the same as the math equations I taught them each day. If I stayed at home, added extra Bible reading and memorizing, factored in our church commitment – voila! The end result would be kids who were crazy about Jesus. That’s how it worked in my life, so isn’t that how it worked?

The part I didn’t allow for was free will. So when that free will started to become apparent in the life of our first born, I was thrown off. To be more honest, I wanted to hide. Doubt and questions about faith scared me. I wanted to yell “Just believe!”

Heart Change — 21 Days of Prayer for Sons Challenge via The MOB Society

That is when Jesus taught me, “You wrote your own story with me. Now it’s time for your kids to write their individual stories with Me.” That is when my perspective on raising God-loving children really changed.

Yes, since that revelation I’ve continued to pour God’s truth into my children’s’ lives, but I am more intentional now. Instead of seeing them as empty vessels that are my responsibility to fill, I see them as God’s children on a journey of discovering Him just like I did. And while their path might look similar to mine, it most likely will not. My kids are individuals and God will draw them in a way as unique as they are.

To make this sound easy would be a far cry from truth. There have been many early mornings and late nights of tears, wishing I could write their stories. I haven’t liked some of the turns. Some twists in the road have been down right terrifying, but I am learning every day, if their hearts are going to change, only Jesus can do it.

As I look up today’s key verse, I see a date many years ago scrawled in my Bible. No doubt from one of those early mornings with Jesus. My time to pray and reinforce His promises in my heart. It is there, with Him daily, I am reminded He can bring a heart change. He can give a new heart; a new spirit.

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WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Have you given much thought to what God expects of you as a parent, versus the areas that are really more His job? Maybe like me, you’ve thought of kids as 2 + 2 = 4.

Make a list in the comments of things you think are your job, and ask God what’s your responsibility and what ultimately is His.

Throughout the day, pray the ten scripture prayers found at the end of the Heart Change chapter!

Familypic2013-1024x680Lynn Cowell is a Proverbs 31 speaker and the author of several books including her newest Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants. Her passion in speaking and writing is empowering wise women to raise wiser daughters. Her husband and their three children live in North Carolina where they love to hike, raft and enjoy anything combining chocolate and peanut butter.

Just joining us? Simply subscribe to the MOB Society blog now. That way, the 21 Days of Prayer for Sons posts will come straight to your inbox all month long!

Going It Alone (21 Days of Prayer Prep)

This is day three of preparing our hearts for the upcoming 21 Days of Prayer for Sons challenge. We’re studying the first three chapters of Praying for Boys: Asking God for the Things They Need Most. If you missed day one, click here. Day two, click here.  As you read today, ask the Lord to reveal His heart for your sons, and prepare yours to begin praying tomorrow!

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“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:19

Alone.

Just the sound of the word stirs up emotion. If you are in this place now, either spiritually or physically as a parent, you probably never intended for life to be this way.  I know I didn’t. My husband and I eagerly welcomed all three of our children into the world as huge blessings from God, but I knew how proud he especially was to have two sons.  Sons…to carry on his family name, to coach in sports, camp out with, and to train to be mighty warriors for Jesus.

Then, life happened… and it was full of grief and pain. The Lord took my husband home to be with him in February of 2013.  And I was left staring at these little boys with big brown eyes and sweet, but energetic spirits, wondering the same thing I did when they were handed to me after they were born.  How am I going to raise boys?  Only this time, I felt even more clueless, with their father no longer there to guide me through the world of boys.

Going It Alone — 21 Days of Prayer for Sons Challenge

Truth is, even though we may feel like we are walking alone in this parenting journey, we really aren’t.  Our Heavenly Father is always here to guide, comfort, and be strong in our weakness.  He has promised to supply all of our needs.  So where does that lead us as we approach Him in prayer?  For me, it’s done three things.

  1. Intentionality – My prayers are more intentional.   I have friends who say they are praying for my children regularly, but I don’t usually hear those prayers.  When I feel like I’m the main one crying out to God for the hearts of my children, I don’t waste time praying for things that don’t really matter.  I go right to the matters of greatest importance, asking Him for wisdom for myself and hearts in them that desire to obey Him and love others.
  2. Humility – I’ve become more humble with my prayers.  I am well aware of my own capabilities and know that this job exceeds them.  I just can’t do it all.  But it is not about me.  My current state in life forces me to fall on my face, fully reliant on my Savior.
  3. Opportunity - Because of that forced humility, I dream bigger.  I am reminded of the miracles that God performed in the Bible, and am expectant for Him to still do miracles today in my children’s hearts.  I trust that the story He is writing is greater and grander than I can see, and I pray big for them and their futures.

When the One who holds all of the riches in glory is the Creator and Sustainer in our families, we really never have to go at it alone. Trust Him, dear mama.  He’s got this.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

If you are in the fight to raise godly sons alone right now, or know someone who is, in what ways have you seen God work already?  

In what ways can you be praying bigger?

Christy Davis HeadshotChristy Davis is a mom of three precious children and loves coffee, good books and craft time.  She writes at What Hope Looks Like from Here (www.davisfamilymoments.blogspot.com), a blog she prays will bring hope to women.

Not signed up for the 21 Days of Prayer for Sons challenge yet? We start tomorrow! Simply subscribe to the MOB Society blog now. That way, the posts will come straight to your inbox all month long!

 

 

What is Prayer and Why Should We Do it? (21 Days of Prayer Prep)

This is day two of preparing our hearts for the upcoming 21 Days of Prayer for Sons challenge. We’re studying the first three chapters of Praying for Boys: Asking God for the Things They Need Most. If you missed day one, click here. As you read today, ask the Lord to reveal His heart for your sons, and prepare yours to begin praying on October first.

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“O Lord, please let the man of God whom you sent come again to us and teach us what we are to do with the child who will be born.”

Samson’s dad praying in Judges 13:8

When I was in college the girl who lived across the hall from me was a Prayer Warrior. She would turn up the latest Hillsong CD (It was “Shout to the Lord” if you’d like to figure out how old I am) to level 25 and start yelling her prayers for the whole hall to hear. Now, I was a little different. We had this empty broom closet at the end of our hall with…well, nothing inside. You could go inside, lock the door and pray to your heart’s content. Whenever I went in there, no one knew I was there. I wasn’t slapping my hands on the floor, crying real tears or shouting “Hallelujah.” In fact, *whisper* I may have fallen asleep once or twice.

Praying for good grades or direction in your career or relationships is super important, but when I became a mother, my prayers became a little more…desperate. I felt like Samson’s parents shouting out to God, “Lord! I have NO IDEA what I’m doing! Please! Please teach me how to raise these kids!” In fact, sometimes I may have shouted my prayers to God. I certainly cried real tears and I probably turned up my iPod to the max to drown out whatever else those little ankle-biters were doing below me.

So, what is prayer? Like Brooke said in Praying for Boys, it’s simply talking, asking and listening to God. Plus, the best part–it’s believing Him. Not believing in Him but believing Him. The way you believe your husband will bring home dinner like you asked, like you believe your mom when she says she’ll pick up the kids after school.

What is Prayer and Why Should We Do it?

I think prayer is an action that shows you actively trust in God’s love, care, direction, power and interaction in your life. When we pray (especially when we pray God’s Word), we are connecting to God and His desires. When we pray, we are opening up ourselves to see God interact and move in our lives.

When we pray those quick prayers in the bathroom with the ventilation fan running, we’re believing God is ready to step in and help in our lives. When we pray those Scripture prayers and insert our sons’ names, we are believing God will bring those truths to fruition. When we pray simple “God bless ‘em and keep ‘em” prayers as they jump out of the car for school, we are believing God is there next to our boys.

Our simple prayers are like steps of faith and acts of trust. Our prayers don’t have to be at a certain time, for a certain length or with some big emotion behind them. They just have to be. When we see our prayers as spiritual reality, we’ll be more apt and more excited to pray. When we recognize our prayers are the same kinds of prayers prayed by Gideon and Moses and Daniel, I agree with Mark Batterson, “…we may experience what they experienced.”

So, the question again is, “What is prayer and why should we do it?” Prayer is talking to our heavenly Father and we should do it–we will want to do it because it’s an active, strong, powerful and real way you can connect to His desires, His action, His plans for your children.

Oh, God! Thank you for allowing us to join with you in prayer! Wow! Talking and listening to you is a gift! As I pray my small words, help me to see them as red-hot connections to You. Help me realize that my prayers are powerful–not because I’m powerful but because they allow me to be in line with you and your power.

When was the last time you realized your prayers were REALLY connecting with the Almighty God?

AManda White Head ShotAmanda White is a stay-at-home mom of two who blogs at ohAmanda.com and is the author of Truth in the Tinsel: An Advent Experience for Little Hands. In her former life, Amanda was a Children’s Pastor — overseeing, organizing and developing ministry for kids in nursery through middle school, but now that she is a mom, her “skills” are used up on her kids!

Not signed up for the 21 Days of Prayer for Sons challenge yet? Simply subscribe to the MOB Society blog now. That way, the posts will come straight to your inbox all month long!

 

How to Participate in the 21 Days of Prayer for Sons Challenge

There are literally thousands of you signed up for the 21 Days of Prayer for Sons challenge starting October 1!

In case you’ve been wondering, here’s how it will work:

How To Participate in the 21 Days of Prayer for Sons Challenge

September 26, 29, and 30 – Days of Preparation

It’s important that we go into the challenge with our hearts right before the Lord. These three posts will cover the first three chapters of Praying for Boys. Read along in the following chapters, and come back here each day prepared to discuss what the Lord is teaching you:

September 26 Boys are a Battle Zone

September 29th What is Prayer and Why Should We Do It?

September 30th Going It Alone

October 1-30 – 21 Days of Prayer for Sons

Yes, we know there are more than 21 days in October ;) The challenge will begin on Wednesday the 1st and go every weekday through October 29th. On October 30th, we’ll host a link up for bloggers who would like to write about their experience in the challenge and share it with others.

Please read the chapter with the same title the evening before (for example, read Heart Change on September 30th and be prepared to talk about it on this site on the 1st).

The Schedule

October 1 – Heart Change

October 2 – Obedience

October 3 – Overcoming Fears

October 6 – Integrity

October 7 – Wisdom

October 8 – Pride

October 9 – Honor

October 10 – Purity

October 13 – A Servant’s Heart

October 14 – Fruit of the Spirit: Love

October 15 – Fruit of the Spirit: Joy

October 16 – Fruit of the Spirit: Peace

October 17 – Fruit of the Spirit: Patience

October 20 – Fruit of the Spirit: Kindness

October 21 – Fruit of the Spirit: Goodness

October 22 – Fruit of the Spirit: Faithfulness

October 23 – Fruit of the Spirit: Gentleness

October 24 – Fruit of the Spirit: Self-Control

October 27 – Anger

October 28 – Forgiveness

October 29 – Salvation

October 30 – Link-up

The Posts

Each day of the challenge, a member of our reader community will post their thoughts on the chapter, share a bit about how the topic of prayer has affected and/or changed their lives, and ask discussion questions designed to help you process your thoughts on each chapter. Please come to the site each day ready to chat with us!

The Prayers

At the end of each prayer chapter in Praying for Boys, there are ten prayers for that topic crafted from scripture. After reading the chapter the night before, visiting the MOB Society blog for thoughts and discussion with the community the day of, spend time throughout each day praying those ten prayers for your son.

This is the meat of the challenge. Reading the book and participating in the challenge is great! But decide now how you’ll incorporate actual prayer time for your sons into the next 21 days.

Here are some great ways to make it work.

Pick one, or come up with your own. It doesn’t matter as long as you’re praying!

1. Pray all ten prayers during your personal prayer time before your boys get up in the morning.

2. Set your alarm to pray one prayer each hour between 7AM and 5PM.

3. Pray the prayers with your family right after dinner.

4. Pray the prayers with your son(s) as a special nighttime/bedtime routine.

Bonus: If you’re feeling really adventurous, highlight the prayers that seem to speak to you, or that cover an area your son is struggling with as you move through the chapters. At the end, string them all together in one big, long personalized prayer for your son!

Any questions? Feel free to ask! And if you’re not signed up yet, simply subscribe to the MOB Society blog now. That way, the posts will come straight to your inbox all month long!