I just wanted to pop on here really quick and post a book recommendation for any mommies, new or old, who may read my blog: The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian.Well, I guess it's for all parents, but I'm a mommy, so I think of it as being for mommies. Either way, though, I HIGHLY recommend this! Justin found this for me at a yard sale several months ago, and I've been using it as part of my daily quiet time ever since. It has 30 chapters, each of which focus on a specific area of prayer for your child, so it is designed to be used as a daily prayer guide that takes a month to complete. The prayers are so valuable to me, though, that once I finish it, I just start right back at chapter 1 the next day. Each chapter has a 4-5 page discussion where the author talks about her experiences with her children in that area and how prayer made a difference, then she has a sample prayer, followed by about 5 Scripture verses "Weapons of Warfare" relating to the topic.
There are several things I like about this. Most importantly, it helps me to remember that Elias is in God's hands, and everything that happens to him is ordained by God. In fact, that's what Chapter 2 is about - "Releasing My Child Into God's Hands." It reaffirms my trust in God, recognizing that if there's anything I want to happen (or NOT happen) in Elias' life, it's God that has the power to make it happen (or NOT happen). There are some chapters that are more applicable than other right now, and as he grows, they will change. I may start just focusing on whatever chapter is most pertinent at the time, and the author says in the foreword that she really just intends this to be a starting place as parents learn how to specifically pray for their own children as individuals.
But the other thing that I like so much about this is that it helps me to vocalize the deepest longings that I have for Elias. The first time I went through this book, I cried just about every day as I was praying the prayers, because I so deeply wanted those things for my son. I love that it was written by a mother who wrote this out of her own experiences as she prayed her way through the childhoods of her children, who were teenagers at the time she wrote it. Some of the most meaningful chapters to me right now are: Chapter 2 "Releasing My Child Into God's Hands," Chapter 3 "Securing Protection from Harm," Chapter 4 "Feeling Loved and Accepted," Chapter 5 "Establishing an Eternal Future," Chapter 9 "Developing a Hunger for the Things of God," and Chapter 10 "Being the Person God Created."
On a side note, I also recommend The Power of a Praying Wife by the same author. (She has a whole series of books along this same vein.) When we lived in Waco, our lifegroup studied these books - the women did the Wife book and the men did the Husband book - and this book has also been so valuable to me as a wife and to our marriage. I also do a chapter from this book each morning, and I can definitely see God working in our marriage and home.
I love being able to start each day lifting up to the Father my deepest longings for my husband and child. They are in His hands, and my prayers may enable Him to work in their lives in a deeper way. May it be so!