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Posted by on Aug 10, 2012 in Inspirational | 0 comments

Comfort Prayers: Why Your Prayers May Not Be Effective

Comfort Prayers: Why Your Prayers May Not Be Effective

Being from South Carolina I’m very familiar with the idea of “comfort food”.  It’s the rich stuff that makes you feel good on the inside.  Now that I’ve been away from home for over a decade, comfort food has even richer meaning.  On the odd occasion that I enjoy fried chicken, with biscuits and gravy, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, green been casserole and a big glass of sweet tea, it takes me home.  I feel more comfortable, like putting on an old pair of jeans that fit just right.

That feeling may be a great goal for the end of a good meal, but it’s not a great goal for the end of your prayers.  “Comfort Prayers” are the prayers we pray asking God to take us back to some place in time where everything feels comfortable.  There are some reasons why “comfort prayers” don’t work:

1.) God doesn’t want you to move backwards.  He wants you to move forward into the unknown.  Yes, His plans are good.  But they aren’t to take you back to your past, no matter how good you’ve convinced yourself it was.

2.) You’re not supposed to be in control.  “Comfort prayers” are usually an ask for God to bring things back to the place where “you can handle it”.  But God doesn’t want you to just handle it.  He doesn’t mind you feeling uncomfortable enough to have to rely on a relationship with Him!

3.) They’re not Scriptural.  Almost every reference to prayer in the New Testament involves an agreement with Heaven or praying “in the name of Jesus”.  “Comfort prayers” are completely centered on our own interests with no consideration for the will and purpose of God.

I have been guilty of praying “comfort prayers”…a lot.  Even when I think I’m praying God’s will I catch myself praying He’ll do it in a specific way that I understand, a way that puts me back in control.  For instance, when I have a need I often pray for more money.  Having more money puts me in control.  I understand how that works.  But God has a million ways to meet that need.  I have to choose to trust God to meet the need the way He decides to do it.

Forget about being comfortable.  A life of faith means being outside your comfort zone.  Actually…instead of completely forgetting about comfort, learn to be comfortable trusting in God when you’re not in control.  Ask yourself, is this prayer an attempt to put me back in control or an attempt to agree with God?

How about you?  Have you ever caught yourself praying “comfort prayers”?  How do you turn them into effective prayers?

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Posted by on Aug 6, 2012 in Generational | 0 comments

What to do after your kids leave the house – 5 Ideas to Help

What to do after your kids leave the house – 5 Ideas to Help

 

I remember the first week on my own.  It was the summer before my sophomore year at The George Washington University.  Freshman year was sheltered.  We were forced to stay on campus.  We had roommates, rules, RAs; this summer was different.  I was living by myself.  My parents helped me move in to my small efficiency, stayed for a couple of days, and then they were gone.  I haven’t lived at my parents’ home since that day.

I’m no expert on parenting young adults.  My kids are just out of diapers!  My expertise is in being a young adult.  I know what I need from my parents and I’ve taken time to separate what I think I need from what I actually need.  That summer before my sophomore year was one of the scariest experiences of my life.  But my parents were able to help me use the experience to grow and develop into an adult.

Here are 5 ideas for helping your child develop after they leave the house:

1.) Support their Interests: Your child is different from you.  Affirm the parts of them that you don’t understand.  They shouldn’t feel they have to be exactly like you to have your approval.

2.) Tell Them What You Tell Your Friends: When I go home, I sometimes run into my parents’ friends at various places about town.  I hear from them about all the AMAZING things I’m doing with my life.   They have heard about things from my parents that I didn’t even know my parents knew about…some of them I didn’t even know about!

3.) Say ‘I Love You’: This was not spoken in my family growing up as much as it was implied.  We’ve grown past that now and we let each other know how we feel.  Life is too short to go one day questioning.  Be clear.  Say “I Love You!”

4.) Let Yourself Be Impressed: It seems during adolescence that parents feel the need to flip a switch from constant affirmation to “ego-checking”.  Don’t be your child’s worst critic.  Be impressed when they’re impressive and let someone else pick it apart.

5.) Pray: Even if you don’t have physical access to your child, you have spiritual access.  I believe parents have special prayer rights over their children.  God hears your prayers and will work to bring your blessing to your child.

Parents – How have you helped your child develop after they left the house?

Young Adults – What’s been helpful/unhelpful that your parents have done?

 

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