August 11, 2010

A Prayerful Parent

In the middle of the night, on knees at the altar, before a meal, next to my hospital bed, and on many other occasions; my father has prayed for me. He prayed with joy and prayed in sorrow. I was present during many of his prayers and heard the words he spoke on my behalf. I don’t remember all of the prayers, but there is one phrase from them that has stuck with me over the years, one that was spoken so frequently that I can’t help but remember it.

“Give her wisdom beyond her years.”

There were times when I was younger that I actually contemplated the meaning of those words. Did it mean that as a twelve-year-old he wanted me to have the wisdom of a sixteen-year-old? Did it mean that as a twenty-five-year-old he wanted me to have the wisdom of a thirty-year old? I don’t suppose it meant that exactly. Maybe it meant something like this:

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Over the years there have been times when I made bad choices, unwise choices, choices that affected my life with permanent consequences and affected the lives of others as well. And yes, I wondered about those words that Dad had prayed and wondered if God had failed him. Had God not answered his prayer? No, I don’t think God failed my dad, but I have learned that unused wisdom is worse than no wisdom at all. To have the resources of heaven in my heart and mind and ignore them all together because I subconsciously believe I can do it my way and be okay is a little absurd at least. It has been during these moments that I have learned that God is not obligated to ordain anything that he has not initiated.

As the tables begin to turn in our lives, and my parents are needing to make important decisions about their future, decisions that they won’t be able to make themselves if too much time passes, I now find myself praying that my father’s mind will be penetrated by the Holy Spirit and that he will have wisdom in making decisions. I’m praying that he will have wisdom beyond his 83 years. The other side of that same prayer is that my siblings and I will have wisdom in knowing how to deal with the complexities of helping parents whose sun is beginning to set. Will my dad’s prayer now be fruitful as I help him make decisions for himself? Will I call on all the resources of heaven to help me? Will my father who prayerfully parented be wrapped in the wisdom of God that he has so earnestly prayed for over the years? I pray it is so.



13 comments:

  1. Oh, Stephani...what a lovely and thought provoking post. One that has blessed my heart and given me food for thought...thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Stephani,
    I read your post with tears streaming down my cheeks and a box of Kleenex next to me. Your post reminds us of the amazing job we have as parents to pray for our children....always!
    Thank you
    ~a

    ReplyDelete
  3. So much to think about here and so beautifully expressed and written. Thank you, Stephani.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for your thoughts ladies!

    Annesta~ I cried as I wrote it. It's a tough situation to deal with all that my parents are facing! I know that God will provide though.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Lots of WISDOM in this post. Your Daddy's prayers have been answered.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I agree that your father's prayers have been answered, gracious and wise Stephani.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh, oh, oh, I don't even know how to comment to such a profound entry! Yes, your Dad's prayers have definitely been answered and I pray that the Lord will enable your Dad to assist you and your siblings in the decisions you all will be making in the days ahead for he and your Mom. Blessings abundant!

    ReplyDelete
  8. My, this is such a beautiful, thoughtful post, Stephani. It is such a poignant expression of how our roles as child and parent are intertwined and then changed with the passing of time. Thank you so much for this heartfelt post.

    ReplyDelete
  9. You are blessed to have parents that prayed for you. I like that scripture you shared. I will write down in my pocket journal. God bless you.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I agree that I see that your dad's prayers ARE being answered in many ways, even as you make decisions now FOR him. It's neat how the cycle works; we pray for our kids to be wise--and one day that wisdom will come back and bless US as your father's prayer for your wisdom is now coming back to bless him.

    Thanks for sharing this piece of wisdom, Stephani. It encourages me. Praying for you as you make decisions... Love won't lead you wrong; He's the expert at giving wisdom to His children.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hey! I started an free,online Christian girls magazine called Inspired and I was wondering if you were interested in subscribing or joining the staff. Please check out our website: www.inspiredmagazine.webs.com for more info!

    Blessings,
    Maggie

    ReplyDelete
  12. What an amazing job we have been giving in praying for our children. I loved your story. Thanks for sharing it!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wisdom is a gift from God. It is a good reminder that we use it, instead of doing things our own way. I have made that mistake too many times.
    Love the lake photo at sunset. Your work is beautiful.
    Blessings,
    Janis

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for leaving a comment! I hate that I have to put moderation on, but if I don't I get bombarded with spam emails! Hate that! But love that you visited so let me know you were here!