There have been times in my parenting journey (which includes our homeschooling) that I have not known what to do. It may have been a behaviour issue that I was bamboozled by, it may have been an academic need I did not know how to provide for, it may have been a social dilemma I didn’t have the answer for – each area of our life has provided times where I simply didn’t know what to do next.
Who do you turn to when you don't know what to do? God? Friends? Internet.
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Prayer is the Only Thing to Do

In these types of situations, and I am sure you’ve all had them, the only thing to do is pray.

Prayer is something that I want to learn more about and yet I am not sure the effectiveness of our prayer is dependent on how much we know about the topic! Jesus was scathing about the way the Pharisees prayed – they prayed to draw attention to themselves, and they thought the holiness of their words would earn them brownie points in heaven. Jesus had a different attitude. He prayed in solitude – he withdrew from the crowd and he prayed. Admittedly he did teach us the Lord’s Prayer, and yet behind each line there is an attitude of dependency on God. I think that is what prayer is all about –dependency on God.

Never are we more dependent then when we don’t know what to do!

There are three types of prayer that I know are in my life:

  • Arrow prayers
  • Time of prayer
  • Abiding prayers

Arrow Prayers
Colin Buchanan – who has been a favourite singer/entertainer in our family for many years – introduced this phrase to me (though I think it is as old as the early church)

You can tell the Lord that you love Him anytime
You can tell the Lord that you need Him anytime
Thank Him for His love and care
Shoot Him up an arrow prayer
You can tell the Lord that you love Him anytime
(from Follow the Saviour, Colin Buchanan)

Arrow prayers are those quick thoughts we send to God. Like the song says it may be a call for help, or it may be a reflection on His blessings.

Time of Prayer
God promises us: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 (KJV)

I need to set aside time in my day, not just at those crisis times, but day in and day out to spend time in prayer. To wait upon the Lord. I am reminded that it is a relationship that God is interested in and a relationship can only develop when we spend time together. A relationship can only develop when we talk and listen to each other, when we get to know each others thoughts and feelings. Prayer is simply communicating with God – talking and listening.

Abiding Prayers
I read a book, Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence, when I was a teenager and this message touched my heart then but has never been so necessary than as a mother. His message is about being in continual conversation with God. It reminds me of the word abide: to remain, not to depart, to continue. To abide has reference to time – it is to always be. To live there.

There have been times in my life that I have struggled to find time (make time) to read the Bible and yet when I live in God’s presence, when I am continually aware of Him in my life, when I choose to live with Him then I am abiding and my conversation is abiding prayers – continual conversation. This doesn’t give me an excuse not to read His word but it is a facet of my relationship with Him that continues regardless of the circumstances around me. Actually the thing that stops this continual conversation is my heart attitude – do I really want to listen to Him talking back!!

Jesus said his house was supposed to be a place of prayer and yet they had made it into a den for thieves. Though Jesus was talking about his physical temple in Jerusalem there is a message there for us today. Jesus lives in our heart, in our life, and the caution is – is our life a place of prayer or have we allowed other things to fill our life, to distract, to rob us of a life of prayer? We need to clean out our heart and fill it with prayer – continual conversation with Jesus.

Never is there a time more necessary to do this when we are faced with a situation where we don’t know what to do. First thing – get the prayer channel tuned in!

Rejoicing in hope
Patient in tribulation
Continuing steadfastly in payer
Romans 12:12 (NKJV)

Further Reading:

Three things for parents to pray for; regardless of what is happening in your family life you will want to ask God for these three things.
Three things for parents to pray for; regardless of what is happening in your family life you will want to ask God for these three things. Includes bonus download (printable poster)
To glorify God is to acknowledge who he is, and give him honour. I want to live my daily life as a woman giving honour to my God.
To glorify God is to acknowledge who he is, and give him honour. I want to live my daily life as a woman giving honour to my God.
Being intentional doesn't mean you won't be surprised by your kids behaviour. Sometimes you'll miss something and that is okay.
Being intentional doesn’t mean you won’t be surprised by your kids behaviour. Sometimes you’ll miss something and that is okay.

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Who do you turn to when you don't know what to do?  God? Friends? Internet.

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