... of countless ways in which
Our Creator constantly romances us.
From the “If Children Start To Dominate Your Lives” chapter of Stormie Omartian’s The Power of Prayer to Change Your Marriage:
“Lord, Help me to be balanced in my parenting. Help me to not be obsessive about my children, but rather to relinquish control over their lives to You. Help me to find the balance between focusing too much on my children and neglecting my husband, and the other extreme of neglecting my children in any way. Help me to put You first and my husband second in my life, so that my focus on our children doesn’t come between those two relationships. Wherever there are disagreements between me and my husband as to how to raise and discipline our children, help us to be able to communicate well with each other and resolve whatever conflict we have.
“Give me Your wisdom, revelation, and discernment. Give me Your strength, patience, and love. Teach me how to truly intercede for my children without trying to impose my own will when I pray. Teach me how to pray so I can lay the burden of raising them at Your feet and partner with You in training them in the way they should go. Increase my faith to believe for all the things You put on my heart to pray about for them. Lord, I know that I don’t have the ability to be the perfect parent, but You do. I release my children into Your hands and pray that You would protect and guide them. Help me not to live in fear about my children because of all the possible dangers, but to live in peace trusting that You are in control. In Jesus’ name I pray.”
You are the Creator of the Universe. The Original. The Alpha Species. The Force holding everything together and/or the Inventor of that Force. You are unfathomable to our immensely complex yet limited human minds. Your love is more fierce than a hurricane, more powerful than an atom bomb. You are absolutely complete and lacking nothing, and You see only good and wholeness in us when we’re covered with Christ. You keep us safe in the shadow of Your wings and You oversee every detail of life, shaping events to bring about just exactly the experience You want for us. You’re infinitely patient, kind, generous, faithful, joyful, steady, luxurious, gentle, and wise. You’re constantly inventing new ways to show us You love us and invite us to join You in praise and wonder.
I confess that I am still not putting You first and my husband second. I don’t even have any idea how to do that! It’s so normal to put the kids first, myself second, and You & Ian compete for third. But I’m trusting that You’ll show me how to do things differently. I also confess that I’ve not been taking great care of this incredible vehicle You’ve given me, and I’ve allowed my body to get out of shape, sore from too little movement, un-exercised and over-indulged with sweets and snacks. I also confess that I’ve not been praising You, and I’ve allowed meaningless drivel to dominate my mind by not purposely seeking out music that directs my mind toward beautiful and eternal things.
Thank You for this life. Thank You for lifting me up out of the depths of depression once again. Thank You for my adorable family and all the provisions You’ve made available to us. Thank You that You cause the sun to shine upon the righteous and the unrighteous, and that it is You who work in us both to will and to do Your good pleasure. Thank You for inviting me into a life of prayer and showing me how powerful it can be in making changes in my children’s lives and in my marriage. Thank You for opportunities to shine Your light to a dark and hungry world. Thank You for our sweet community of poor and lonely souls at the Manna Room. Thank You for Your power to melt a stony heart and make me love my husband once again. Thank You for showing me that putting the kids before him was not the right path, and providing the prayers to help me turn that habit around.
Please awaken my soul today. Remind me that I’m Your Ambassador and open my ears to hear the Holy Spirit instructing me exactly what that means and can look like in my life. Remove everything in me that’s not from You. Dissolve any blocks preventing me from knowing You completely. Please provide excellent role models for me to emulate, and training in spiritual disciplines and knowledge of eternal truths. Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit until I overflow with Your goodness. Keep my spirit in awe of Your majesty and wonder, even as I spend my day amidst the mundane and very human details of fixing shelves and working at Ben’s school. Please give me unconditional love for my husband and change my mind to find him irresistibly attractive. Also please make it crystal clear whether or not the event tonight is worth going to or better to leave off the calendar. And finally, please give me wisdom about how to lead Elsa toward becoming the fully alive, vibrant, and industrious girl You created her to be. Thank You!
In the sweet name of Emmanuel I pray, amen.