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Gods' Instructions to a parent about their prayer for their child
By Eddie Smith
There is no magical prayer, or magical form of prayer that God always answers affirmatively.
“What about the prayer of Jabez?” some might ask.
Well, think about it. If Jabez' prayer were a prayer with a guaranteed answer, Jesus would have instructed his disciples saying, “Pray the prayer that Jabez prayed.”
Instead, he taught them to pray, “Our Father, who art in heaven…”
Further, if God had to answer our prayers, he would cease to be God. We would be gods, and he would be reduced to focusing on us, receiving our instructions, and serving up what we order.
Sadly, if you listen to some people pray, that seems to be what they expect! Let me be the first
One day I was praying one of those oft repeated parental prayers for one of our sons. I don't remember my exact words, but they were something like, “Oh God, fix my son. He's into this,
and into that. He needs this, and he needs that. God, how long must I pray before you move in
With that the Holy Spirit abruptly interrupted me. He said,
“Eddie, that's not prayer. You're slandering me.”
Shocked and befuddled, I said, “Slandering you, Lord? What do you mean, I'm slandering you?
You know I'd never do that.”
God continued, “Alright, allow me to interpret what you just prayed. First, you obviously think that you know your son's needs, and although I created him, I don't.
Secondly, it sounds as if you feel that you love your son, but I don't.
Finally, you seem to be suggesting that if you were me, you'd already have done something,
and I haven't. Doesn't that about cover it?”
I had to admit that he was right. After all, he's God! But I was at a loss as to what I should pray. So, I waited.
After an uncomfortable moment or two I heard prayer coming from my heart to his. It was unlike any I'd ever prayed before. It sounded like this.
“Father, I thank you for loving me and for hearing my prayers. I praise you for the plan and
purpose you have for my son--for you wrote the days of his life in your book before he was
I'm grateful to know that your plans are perfect, and your purposes never change. Thank you for assuring me in Philippians 1:6 that what you have begun in his life you will finish.
Thank you for changing his schedule, and bringing people into his life that he never expected
to meet. Thank you for reminding him of things Alice and I have taught him since he was a small child…”
From that moment Alice and I began praying a new way for our children.
Six months later our son called Alice and said,“Mother, I know you and Dad have prayed for me all my life. But you've changed the way you pray for me haven't you?”
She said, “Yes, Son, we have.”
He continued, “It's been about six months hasn't it?”
She acknowledged that it had been exactly six months. “But how do you know that?” she asked.
“Mother until six months ago, I've felt confused in my mind and condemned in my heart. But for the past six months I've felt clear minded and drawn to God.”
Since then, we've watched God at work in our son's life, drawing him ever so slowly to himself.
Thank God, I'm not the only one who God's ever interrupted while they were praying. God interrupted Joshua when he was praying for Israel, after their defeat at Ai.
Joshua was face down on the ground, covered in sack cloth and ashes. At least I hadn't gone
God said to Joshua, “It's not time to pray. It's time for you to get up and clean house. You folks have hidden forbidden things among your stuff. Your army will never win another battle until you find and rid yourselves of those defiled things.”
(See Joshua 7.)
God also interrupted Moses and the Children of Israel at the Red Sea where they were trapped by Pharaoh and the world's greatest army. You might say they were “caught between the devil and the deep blue sea”; or as we say in Texas, “between a rock and a hard place.”
They cried out (actually whined) to God about their circumstance. God's response? He said, “Folks, This is no time to pray. Moses, raise the rod and split the sea.” And he did! Since he interrupted Joshua and Moses, I didn't feel too badly when he interrupted me. (See Genesis 14.)
In my new book, How to Be Heard in Heaven: Moving from Needs Centered to God Centered Praying, I don't promise to teach you how to get what you want from God. But I do hope that by the time you finish reading the book you will know how to be heard in heaven. Why?
Because prayers that are never heard will never be answered!
By "prayer coach", Eddie Smith, from his soon-to-be-released book, How To Be Heard in
Heaven.Pre-order this new book at www.PrayerBookstore.com
Eddie and his wife Alice offer a free 52-week school of prayer at: www.TeachMeToPray.com
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