No More "Fix It" Lists to God

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Scripture:  "I thank my God always, making mention of you in my prayers."  Philemon 1:4 (NASB)
Observation: My prayers. Sharing with God the joys and sorrows of life as friend to friend, is prayer at its best. Again, Paul reminds Philemon of the deep respect and gratitude the apostle feels toward him. Tactfully, Paul prepares the way for Philemon to accord Onesimus a kindly reception. There is an abundance of encouragement in the certain knowledge that a beloved and respected friend is praying for us, that this friend has full confidence in our integrity and sanctified judgment (see vs. 5–7). Such is the assurance that Paul gives Philemon. 9 The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Volume 7. 1980 (F. D. Nichol, Ed.) (379). Review and Herald Publishing Association)
Application: Do you see your child as a gift from God?  He has entrusted you with one of the greatest treasures you will ever own. Yet, do our words regard them as such? If we were to take an inventory perhaps we would be surprised at how often we speak in ways that are to the contrary.
Focusing on the negative is an easy trap to fall in to. Complaining and griping is one of Satan's tactics that all too often work. Do you often find yourself speaking negatively about your child? It is easy to make our daily prayers look more like a "fix it" list. That list becomes long as we spend prayer time asking God to "fix" our children and our spouse. We gladly hand God His "to do" list every day. Our prayers ascend to the heavenly throne and sound like this... "Lord, fix John's grumbling, make Katie quit fighting with her little sister, help Michael study harder and make better grades, and please let Susie sleep through the night. "
When was the last time that you devoted prayer time exclusively to thanking God for each member of your family?  Mention them by name and thank God for specific things about each one. And, don't forget to tell them too. Knowing that you have been a praise on someone's prayer list can be powerful. By focusing on the positives our daily "fix it" lists to God can become times of thanksgiving and praise. " Lord, thank you for John's ability to see things that need changing, thank you that little Katie can stand up for herself when she sees injustice, thank you that Michael enjoys being out in your creation, and thank you for little Susie's energy. "
A Prayer You May Say: Dear Lord, thank you for (insert your child's name). Thank You for the awesome priviledge of being his/her parent. Thank you for the gifts such as (be specific and list positives).  In the name of Jesus. Amen. 

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.