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It was a Hail Mary pass kind of prayer. My day started full of frustrations, difficult obstacles, and children challenging my authority at every opportunity. Disheartened, I locked myself in the bathroom, praying for energy and wisdom to return to my day job. Mom life. As I scrolled through my emails, ignoring the pounding on the door and fingers waving underneath it, I read about a new book on prayer, Talking to Jesus: A Fresh Perspective on Prayer. What a prayer wimp I was. Surely the author –a mom of grown children –could shed light on praying for children.
Lord, give me a fresh perspective on prayer and life.
The book arrived a few days later and I read it. Disappointed, I didn’t see a simple prayer model for raising perfect kids or even obedient kids. What I found was better.
Jesus in Real Life
The stories of people who came in contact with Jesus astounded me. For the first time, I imagined their conversations as prayers –just talking to Jesus. These were stories I practically had memorized, but Jeannie Blackmer added a touch of fiction, imagining the scene playing out. Each person, standing in the presence of God in the flesh, asking for healing for themselves, their families, or friends.
The leper (Matthew 8:2) prayed for healing for himself. The centurion (Matthew 8:6) prayed for someone else. The Canaanite woman (Matthew 15:22) prayed for her child.
The Canaanite woman, a mixture of several races and a true Gentile, begged for healing from Jesus for the demons her daughter faced. He didn’t answer. Ignoring the disciples’ pleas to send her away, he told her he was sent for the lost sheep of the house of the Lord.
At that moment, she saw Jesus for who he was and worshipped him.
She pleaded again for his help, relentless to rescue her daughter from her demon bondage. Jesus told her it wasn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.
Harsh? Maybe, but she was indeed a Gentile and the pagan people were no more likely than dogs to receive God’s blessings.
She acknowledged his words, yet insisting even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall beneath their masters’ table.
Jesus told her her faith was great and instantly healed her daughter.
What Healing Looks Like Today
My children, mostly the boys, resist me at every turn and discouragement swallows me like a big fish. I’d be lying if I said parenting came naturally and easy to me. With a rough month behind me and bright future before me, I think about my children’s challenges. When my late-night prayers look like desperate pleas for God to intervene, I think about the Canaanite woman.
Her dogged persistence, praying for Jesus to heal her daughter, only encourages me to continue praying for my children. Most likely, our prayers won’t be answered immediately, but when we pray, believing Jesus is who he says he is and that he will do what he says he will, he answers.
Jesus healed the leper. He answered the centurion’s prayer. He healed the Canaanite woman’s daughter.
And he can heal you, your child, and everyone else on your prayer list.
A Personal Prayer Challenge for You
Are you struggling to see God answer your prayers? Maybe you’ve been discouraged by what looks like God ignoring you so your prayers have grown stale or few and far between? Are you finding it difficult to pray through your personal challenges? Have your prayers been focused solely on self instead of others? Do you feel like a prayer wimp?
Maybe you need a fresh perspective on prayer.
A simple change of perspective can turn the biggest prayer wimp into a prayer warrior.
Have you considered prayer as simply talking to Jesus? No frou-frou words intended to impress, just heartfelt pleas for healing from illness, personal demons, and challenging mountains.
What if we prayed like these people who walked with Jesus?
What if we expanded our prayers to include others?
For the next week, I challenge you to pray for three people a day.
- Your child. If you have several, pick one, or if you don’t have a child, pray for a young person you know. Like the Canaanite woman, pray for healing from the challenges (demons) that seem to overcome them. Pray for their faith.
- Someone you know. Is there someone you know who desperately needs healing? Maybe someone at work or church, or a neighbor who seems “less than?” Like the Centurion begging for healing for his servant, you can pray for someone sick at heart.
- Yourself. Pray for yourself. The leper wasn’t afraid or ashamed to pray for himself when he asked Jesus to rid him of this visible burden of a skin disease. Maybe you’re suffering from something others can see or you’ve hidden it quite well in your heart. God sees it all. Ask him for healing today because He can cleanse you from the inside out.
Three people a day doesn’t sound so overwhelming, does it? Try setting your phone alarm for the morning and title it “Pray for 3 today.” Let it serve as a personal reminder to choose three people to pray for throughout the day –your child (or a young person you know), someone you know, and yourself. Pray believing God will answer your prayers and watch how he answers. Be sure to record your prayers in a journal or your phone notes and date them so you can see how long until he answers.
Want to buy your own copy of Talking to Jesus by Jeannie Blackmer? It’s a thin, easy-to-read, encouraging book meant to remind you prayer is simply talking to Jesus. The observation section at the end of each chapter allows for notetaking and the fill-in-the-blank prayers make praying for others easy. I enjoyed this fresh perspective on prayer and I think you will too. <3
Want to transform from a prayer wimp into a prayer warrior? Ready for a fresh perspective on prayer? Share this post on social media, tag me so I can see it, and be entered into a drawing for your own copy of Talking to Jesus. Go ahead, share away!