Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Fruit

Be alert when you pray for your children.

I snuggled in my favorite chair, slipper-shod and robed. My Bible and journal lay on my lap, and I closed my eyes, tipping my head back, content, as I began to pray over the day. And for my children.

Lest you think that is all there is to it, I will tell you that on the sixteenth of this month, I prayed for my children to "make every effort to do what leads to peace." Quietly came, Beloved, would that you would make every effort for the same... And so I found my mind captured that day. Desire peace. Cultivate peace. Be at peace. I strove (failing often) to create peace within and without, but I began to see the seeds of that effort planted in my children.

On the twenty-second, I prayed that He would "teach my children the secret of being content in every situation." Quietly came, Beloved, lead them, even as I teach the secret to you... And so my eyes were captured- it is all gift. Broken water heaters, upset tummies, mind-numbing allergies. How to walk? The secret is still being learned, but fruit blossoms begin to grow.

On the twenty-ninth, I asked that "my children would be committed to prayer, and not faint, lose heart or give up." Again, quietly...Beloved. And so that day, minute by minute, prayers were whispered (and sometimes thrown!) heavenward. Later, tousled blond leaned over difficult new words... laugh. Enough. Tough. I leaned close, breathing prayers into his ears, encouraging him to do the same. And we tried again. Ripening...

Early morning hours now find me alert. My heart cry turns inward- what I want so very much for them must first be lived in me. What today, Lord? What must I learn to teach?

O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying,
"This is the way; walk in it."
(Isaiah 30:19-21)
I find myself peeking ahead, to see where He will have me tomorrow. The thirty-first... praying that my children would fearlessly make known the mystery of the Gospel... Oh, let it begin in me.

(click on image to enlarge or to print and use for your own quiet time of praying over)

35 fellow travelers shared:

Maxine said...

What a wonderful calendar! May there indeed be fruit from it. Bless your sweet family.

Dana said...

It is so often I am not content with the attitudes or actions of my children. This is such a clear word (and conviction) to my own heart of where the focus and proper attitudes and actions must be modeled for them to even know how to become Godly. Thank You for sharing! I needed this!

Quinne said...

Hi Elise :) It is an enormous challenge to realize that what they learn of the Father is not what we say, but it is what they see of Him in our lives. Thanks so much for this precious journal entry - and for the calendar :) Love, Q

Andrea said...

Elise--you are a treasure!!
That song "Mama Prays" is playing and I'm reading this post and well, I'm cryin' too. :)
love you.

Mindy said...

Great post. Sounds like God is teaching us some similar things! I just wrote a similar post earlier today!!

Grafted Branch@Restoring the Years said...

I'm so thankful you posted that calendar; I've seen it before, but can't remember from where? Nevermind...I'm glad to have it again. :)

Elise said...

Oh, yes- I forgot to mention that the calendar I have does not have any names on it- I don't know who created it!

A friend in my Bible study passed it on to all of us, and I am grateful.

Stacy said...

Elise,

Thank you! I'm so excited to print out that calendar, post it up (or in my journal), and *pray*.

Thank you for such a wonderful resource. I'm anxious to see not only how He changes my children's hearts through these prayers but how He'll change mine as well.

(((Love you)))
~Stacy

jen said...

How wonderful! May I share this with my friends?

Brandy said...

I love this! I need structure so this is perfect for me. I love your blog!:)

Tami Boesiger said...

Amen, Elise. Let it begin with me, indeed.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this, Elise. I tremble when I think of it, for I am ever aware that my children will best learn from what I AM, rather than what I say...I pray too often (yet one of my most fervent and earnest prayers) that God would fill in the gaps...Have you read "The Power of a Praying Parent" by Stormie Omartian? I haven't read it all, but what I have read is EXCELLENT. She has a chapter in there titled "Destroying an Inheritance of Family Bondage." It hits the nail on the head of what you are talking about and goes deeper. Definitely worth picking up. Love you,

Karly

Deb said...

Elise, this calendar sounds like the same verses on the 31 Days of Praying for my Children download from the Revive our Hearts website by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. (www.reviveourhearts.com -check under downloads although it's not in calendar form there)

I referenced this site back in November (http://girottifamily.typepad.com/mountain_musings/2007/11/30-days-hath-no.html) when I was doing 31 Days of Praying for my friend husband, children, etc. It is excellent, and I plan to start again tomorrow (Feb 1) on a month of praying for a special friend for Valentine's month.

I actually like your calendar form much better than just seeing it written down because it's a good visual. Thank you for posting this idea! Great post!

Christine said...

That's wonderful! Fruit is produced side by side- ours is not always as ripe as we'd like it to be in teaching our children, is it?

Beverly said...

This is an excellent resource, and I am hurrying to print it out so that I can start today.

May we see fruit in ourselves, and in our children. May we shine as bright lights for their little hearts to see and understand.

thank you, friend.

Jessica said...

How amazing! My mom just sent me this exact same list that she pulled out of "Pray" magazine. It was written by Bob Hostetler and is called 31 Biblical Virtues to pray for our children.
I love the calendar format and have just printed it out to put in my bible and use:)
Thanks so much for your transparency and honesty.
God Bless,
Jessica

Anonymous said...

What a great calendar! It is so true that we must first bear the fruit for our children to see. Wow,an incredible responsibility. :0) How wonderful that we don't have to do it alone but that the Holy Spirit is able to guide and change us. I have to print up that calendar for myself to use also. I'm currently enjoying a book about praying for one's children as part of my quiet time.

Erna said...

By the way that last comment was from Erna (previously of Sweet Serenity). . . it got sent before I could type my name. :0)

Ness said...

Elise, this entry has touched my heart this morning as this has been a very frustrating week. Thank you for always sharing the message He has for you to give to us through your blog. You have a servant's heart.

Between the Trees said...

Thank you from me too!! Great resource.

Blessings,
Melissa

Mrs. "M" said...

Thanks for this Elise. I just finished printing it out. I look forward to using it.

Rachel said...

Elise, this post was such a blessing to me. Incredibly so. Thank you.

~~Rachel
www.nothinggold.net

Kari & Kijsa said...

A wonderful and inspiring calendar...with the best message for our children- Thank you!

blessings,
kari & kijsa

Linda said...

What a beautiful, insightful post Elise. We have an empty nest now, but I made one of those "discoveries" much like yours the other day. The things I wish changed in those around me are the things the Lord uses to work some changes in my own life. As I respond to the urgings of the Spirit and allow Him to change my heart - somehow everything else changes too.
Thank you for this.

Beka said...

This is wonderful... can I use it to pray for my sweetheart? I think I will.

Friend, your children are *so* blessed!

Leigh said...

What a blessing! I love this calendar!

Chris @ Come to the Table said...

Elise,
Thanks for sharing the calendar. I love to find a new tool that provides specific direction in my prayers to use in praying for my children.

Your words are beautiful and always so refreshing.

Blessings to you!

Jessica said...

elise,
rich. wonderful.
food for my spirit today.

thank you..

love
jess

Me said...

thank you for this... Melissa

Laura said...

Thank you so much for this, Elise. I've printed my own copy.

Mrs Wibbs said...

I love this, what wisdom and richness here... I just don't know if I'd be able to do this prayer-plan justice! I am so moved by your expression of such tangible answers to prayer. God is good and faithful, and has you in the palm of His hand. Looking forward to many more such testimonies of how God is moving as you pray for your kids.
Much love

:..Rebekah..: said...

*peaceful sigh*
Your blog is so encouraging, and it is such an inspiration and blessing to me. Thanks for your example, friend.

Treasure Seeker said...

what a beautiful site and entry!
you are fulfilling your calling well - mom and writer!

thanks for sharing!

jess said...

This is wonderful! I printed out this calendar. I was wondering where it came from? Is it out of a book? Thanks so much for sharing.

jess said...

oops I just realized that there is a comment above that answers my question...no need to post if you don't want to.

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