Pour Out Your Heart Like Water

Recognize those words? They're from Lamentations 2:19:

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

I don't know about you, but nothing in my life has driven me to my knees quite like parenting. And it's not just the big crises either - the trips to the ER (yep, it's broken), the diagnoses (bilateral progressive hearing loss), or the calls from the principal (suspended! from first grade! - yes, really). No, it's the daily wear and tear of life, from toddler tantrums to sibling rivalry to the periodic "apology tours" around the neighborhood (you did what?) to teaching teens to drive (Lord have mercy) that drive me right to the cliffs of insanity.

Pray? Oh, you bet I pray. Prayer arrows fly like crazy around this house. (Lord Jesus, pleeeease help that child settle down!) But I wanted to do better. I wanted to pray better. Am I the only one who sometimes doubts if I'm praying the right things?

Unfortunately, while I dislike the over-generalized and cliched "we just lift up little Susie...", the flip-side was that it was all too easy to fall into the habit of praying as if I was presenting the Almighty God with a "honey-do" list.

Learning to pray Scripture for my kids has reoriented all of that. Here's what I mean. Suppose, for example, I'm concerned about the depth of my boys' faith, and about their behavior. Instead of me trying to tell God how I think He ought to handle that (because that's bound to be a recipe for success), I read Philippians 1:27:

"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 have each other's backs
  • that they will contend for the faith

I have something - many specific things - to pray. I am confident 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. (Please, Lord Jesus, help that baby to sleeeeeeep!) God hears. The Spirit intercedes. This isn't about being a slave to a formula. Oh no, this is about broadening and deepening the way we pray.


Here's what we'll do: each week, on Sunday, this blog will post a prayer prompt. You'll find a topic, a verse or two, and a sample prayer to get you going. Then you join in and pray along for the week. Sound good? And simple?
"Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Hebrews 4:16

Julie is a Christian, a wife, and a home-educating SAHM to three very enthusiastic boybarians. Trying to focus and direct their energy, attention, and exuberance can feel like herding grasshoppers (hence her blog's name). Raising the boys while keeping her (questionable) sanity is her greatest achievement. Other semi-noteworthy feats include singing Handel's Messiah, surviving a 5000+ miles-in-three-weeks family road trip, achieving a working knowledge of the offsides penalty in soccer, and nearly twenty years of keeping the fridge full and the laundry hamper empty.


Post a Comment