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December 1, 2021 5:00 am
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Rather than getting a gift of cash this Christmas. Friends of focus can give a smarter gift. You can choose to give a gift of stock that has appreciated over the last year you get a tax deduction for the fair market value avoid tax on the appreciation of the stock and turn that savings into a gift or family. For more information on non-cash giving visit focus non-cash gift.com that's focus non-cash gift.com the Bible there is. James said he wrote the prayer of a righteous person has great power is at work and includes the prayers of many faithful parents were asking God to intercede to help their children better topic on focus on as we continue with our best of 2021 series of broadcast. Thanks for joining us I'm John Fuller and your hostess focus president Dr. Jim John a lot of moms and dads feel ill equipped or inadequate in praying for the kids but then I want to encourage you to do that you not just this morning for a lot of the walk for future spouses. They don't know yet when we hear this program earlier this year. One woman told us it was so encouraging because she had struggled to know where to start in praying for her kids and don't feel guilty about that. That's common. She said I've often believe the enemy's lies that have told me I'm powerless to affect my own children well. We want you to know that God is right there through your doubts and concerns for your children and we want to encourage you in those prayers were some great insights today indeed and Jodi Burns is a prayer warrior. She's an author, speaker and Bible teacher. She's written a number of books about the topic of prayer and recently she updated a very popular title is called praying the Scriptures for your children discover how to pray God's purpose for their lives, and we have copies of that here at the ministry. Just give us a call 800 the letter a in the word family or just check the episode notes for the link right. Let's go ahead and listen to the conversation with you on this best of 2021 episode of Focus on the Family Jodi, welcome to Focus on the Family welcome back really thank you thank you thank you got just that big treat to be that it's good to have you.
You are passionate about prayer. You've written several books about it. Over the past couple of decades you I think I defined you well as a prayer warrior let me go right to it. How does your husband Robbie feel about this taught him like Jane kind label that I'm not sure I deserve it you mean daylight may have to pray a lot yes I'm very aware of my own failings and inadequacies, and I think any parent will tell you we want God's best for our kids and so they almost any parent has the makings of a prayer warrior. Just because we want to bring our kids before the lobby asked me, not Robbie. What sometimes men and marriage were to be intimidated by prayer warrior wives like maybe I'm not doing enough.
Is the man that deep question to start because it really is. I think a lot of times men say okay will this is mom's job. You know she's the more sensitive one. The more in touch emotionally. The spiritual stuff is on her and while God may have wired us that way I would just encourage any man who is listening to take up that mantle jump and jump on and don't be intimidated about one of the reasons that we updated this book was because I heard from parents. Both moms and dads who would tell me that uniting drop in a home where people prayed.
You know he's not outside a church.
It seemed like something you leave to the clergy, the varsity Christians is a little awkward. A little unfamiliar folks would say I don't want it to be that way for my kids, you know, I want to take the mystery out of prayer.
I want them to feel free and available to approach God like you how I teach them.
So whether it's a husband saying hey honey I want to catch up to you or whether it's a mom looking at her talent and thinking wanted to feel as awkward unfamiliar as it did for me growing up, we updated the book and included a lot of material a lot of bonus material in the back that really takes all the concepts in and brings it down to a kids level like you can pray versus Hebrews 313 encourage one another daily sent an easy one, that a little child can learn and despite what help me encourage people to you that is good. Let me ask you though you weren't always in this place where prayer was good strong discipline for you speak back to the struggles you have and why this became kind of a lightbulb opportunity to say I need to learn how to pray better as many, many people listening that don't have a robust prayer life. What are the struggles that people have that you had what I think we all painfully aware right of our shortcomings would like to tell you right. We all have this sort of innate understanding that we need help from outside ourselves, and I did grow up in a home where people prayed, but I will tell you that when our children were young and I was praying for them. My prayers were kind of double I hate to say that in Hampshire God wasn't saying that I was boring and but maybe I was because it was a lot of blessed them, help them on their spelling test. Help them feel better when they're sick, all legit prayers, good prayer, no, but I just felt like I wanted something that felt fresher and more empowered and when I began looking at the Bible as sort of a launching pad for my prayers when I would see versus in there and think that's what I want for my kids.
Let me wrap my prayers in that language you know and and I tell the story a lot of times there I children used to get in the car and they would just put their feet each other space and they call on the front seat. This is the best seat and it got to where in fact our in-laws came to babysit one time Robbie and I were to go with him on a business trip. My in-laws came and the kids were get in the car and they broke out in this normal daily morning fight of that is that where his feet wereand pop-up says you know, if I were staying longer than a week we would solve this. You wouldn't you would be talking like this every morning was to get the car and our daughter. I forget how old she was at the time element is go.
She said will pop up thing you aren't staying any longer. You started out there you know I remember around that time going through my Bible and I saw Ephesians 4 verse 29 and it says let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it would benefit those who listen. I read verse and I thought, number one, God's been spying on my family.
Number two exactly what I want.
So instead of praying God help my kids talk nice. I could pray like you know no unwholesome talk. Let no unwholesome talk to my mouth and I was much better as a mom and a driver don't make me pullover you know that whole line but let it be beneficial that it would build others up great prayer, so the visits of troops in those early days. You also looks like a really good experience with a group called moms in prayer have taught you something. So what did they do.
Are they still around and went to battle your I love moms in prayer. They meet once a week for an hour to pray in their groups are based around school community so you don't have to know the other women in your group.
You just have to get the same schooling and theirs are pregnant need for an hour and the thing that I love about their strategy is that they really do ground their prayers in Scripture. So one of my favorite stories in the book is about our prayer group are moms and pregnant than we had pray just kind of as a routine prayer that we could've Ephesians 5 on verses 15 and 16 that our kids would be wise in the way they act toward outsiders that they would make the most of every opportunity we know what that looked like we do know how God would answer, but that very week one of the children in the group. Their teacher gave them an assignment to write a persuasive essay in your most the kids in the class are writing a persuasive little second-grade essay about why my mom to get a new bike or something, but this one child wrote a letter to a classmate saying here's why you should believe in Jesus.
Here's why you need to give you an second-grade and this was a kid that nobody was friends with. He was a real troublemaker.
He got left out on the playground.
All that and Hackettstown write this and then he asked the teacher the child couldn't read the letter very well.
He was struggling in school and the teacher said yeah you can read it to your friend out on the plate and that that he reads this persuasive letter with 10 reasons and you know number one I will be waiting for you and have a number two have anything you want and have a number three God loves you these different reasons. This will second-grade are laid out let this child into the kingdom of and that was I believe God's answer to our prayer that our children can make the most of every effort young man as well.
I don't know where the new believer is, but I do know the young man is grown up and he's gone off and served in the Naval Academy and he's just still loving the Lord and Joe don't ask intimidation factor you speak to that hurdle. Not everybody has that is the obstacle. But, you know, just intimidation. Does God really hear me yeah I really do my saying it correctly night. We all think we need to sounds. We thought we have to convince God like you said earlier may waiting drop in home when it was done or modeled for us but you not the day God commands us to pray right and he does it because he wants a relationship with us. He wants us in the same way like I look at things like being in a marriage, for example, imagine you're married to somebody you say I love you but you never talk about your day, you never tell your spouse you what you need. You never thanked them for what they might provide, or parent-child relationship.
You say a child just a parent can just give you your food by your schoolbooks. Get your clothes if the child is never asked for anything or everything for anything. There's not that connection and that relationships. I think God wants us to pray because he's saying not only is that the way I invented to dispense blessing in your life. But it's also the way invented for our lives to connect sure so that you can acknowledge me as the source of all these blessings and that we can have that that relationship you're dependent on me and that's great because I want to provide for you. You know, I would imagine because it's true lives life. We pray for kid salvation.
Obviously, we did that when they were younger that they would come to embrace the faith. That's probably the most common prayer for parents were some of the other things that parents that you've learned parents. That's a good question, and in fact before I wrote the book I knew what I was praying again like it be nice to each other, but I wondered what other parents were praying and I did these surveys and this was before Facebook, before SurveyMonkey before really even email site did them the old-fashioned way, where I wrote them a piece of paper and have one question and it was if you can ask God to do anything for your family, what would it be and so I would carry around my purse and give them to you if I saw you in the carpool line at the grocery store and tucked them into our Christmas cards. That year, and I got more than 100 of these things back and you can imagine to your question, what parents wanted no parents wanted that faith they wanted kids who loved God and his word, but they also wanted character traits, wisdom, compassion, kindness they wanted kids to be kept safely.
That's a big one for parents I want my child to be protected and be safe. And there were people on relationships, friendship, sibling relationships relationship with teachers, coaches, and there were a lot of parents who were taken, Longview and saying you know I actually am praying for my three euros marriage partner or for their management of money or time.
All these things, I kind of took the top 20 needs a request that I saw coming and shape them into the table of contents and I start digging around the Bible be like okay just got this and you know you know as well as I do, and I know your listeners know what the there's not a need working to face a concern will have that God hasn't already provided for and addressed in Scripture so true, and I think you know you mentioned was that one resident think that's probably outside of you know, knowing the boardwalk toward the spring of next most often prayer that I've offered for my boys that they would have with Solomon right falls from that equips us to receive all God's other good gifts it's a good one.
You have a cute story about your daughter Virginia waving leaves while telling a Bible story what yeah well you know they went around the Easter time and we needed the hosanna story and the palm branch leads. I think the wreck who believes or something in our garden but she picked them up and they are out there. See Virginia and our younger son Robbie and we were all just messing around in the yard and I overheard her telling the biblical narrative of Jesus riding on the donkey and coming in and she went through the whole thing even to the point. She said Bobby you know in the Patna Hills in his hands and nails and she had so much passion just as about a four-year-old telling this story, and she finished and she handed Robbie the leaves and you tell the story Robbie and I thought to myself as that's what we want. We want our kids to know God's word to know God stories to know that's history because I'm not getting it in our culture is not Scripture, and even today's churches. A lot of times are not teaching the Bible and pray that my kids will know and love Scripture because back to your point about wisdom choices are to be all abounding and to know which way to go in Philippians 1 we pray that you may have wisdom and depth of insights you can discern what is best to be coming up against these choices whether there four years old 14 years old or 40 years old and there and you know what to do and Scripture is what will equip them to do that.
Jody this next question really comes out of the heart from being a believer right to know the Lord at 15 years old and my football buddy on the high school football teams parents gave me my first softcover Bible and they wrote in their John 1010 a lot of their love on Bible. I was raised in a Christian home somewhat through first John second John third John finally got jumped onto but the Scriptures straightforward and in the reason I mention this is it's to me. One of the most applicable Scriptures in the world we live in today and it says the thief. Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy. But I've come that you might have life and life more abundantly.
So when you're looking at that context for our children. How do we as parents resist the devil is a good model and how do we pray something positive for children that they too may have that kind of wisdom yeah I love that first John 1010 in a different translation. Some say I've come to give you a rich and satisfying life and abundant life. It's a good one for our family, our daughter Virginia lives big and she loves that verse one time she was traveling abroad and my husband and given her the riot act about being safe and and what to do and what not to do inches with a bunch of friends and we get a picture. She sent us of herself strapped to a guy whose name was Ollie. We did 90 more than that.
Jumping out of an airplane and on her palm.
She'd written John 1010 but II love that when I feel like for our kids. They need to know that Jesus is fun that when they put their trust in him that they are going to have a rich and satisfying life. Not saying a life without problems.
He obviously never promises us that in fact those of us who follow him a long time. Sometimes that you get more hard knocks and following and then it feels like but I'm all about making Scripture making a face doable and fun for kids at the back of the book I share strategies for that one my favorites is we call it an a and you growing up in a home where he didn't know the Lord would love this. We caught the happy hope game and it's just after dinner and it's really a spin on sharing a praise report or a prayer request but you know, for kids they hear what your praise report or what your prayer request you know that can be a little intimidating and a like all great there was mom on her church platform again or if you have a friend at the dinner table like say your football buddy had invited you to his home. You might've been a little intimidated if his mom and said what your prayer request and so it might happy hope game and it's just simply tell me one thing that happened this week you're happy about. That's a praise report and tell me something that you hope this can happen. That's a prayer request and whether the kids know it or not, as the parent.
I can take those things back to my prayer Journal later and remember to pray for them and I love there's another Pete Greg. He wrote a book on how to pray and he made the point that God sometimes listens to our casual conversations and receives them as prayers and he takes out of Malachi 316 where Scripture says that those who fear the Lord talked among themselves and God listened and heard, and I love the idea that God is listening to our dinner table conversations and so when we're playing the happy hope game. He knows that as a mom, I'm listening to you say, I'm really happy that we won the football game and he knows that I'm saying thank you Lord for giving in that time of fellowship and that when you also want Astro to go the that parent who's listening right now who is struggling with their teenager's moving in a really bad direction of drugs are in the home are slightly like that and that to me is evidence of John 1010 as well. The studio destroyed part. This is the destructive path. A child can choose and it's can occur sometime in the loose change your share. How do they pray with any confidence is right now in the moment it looks hopeless. It does look hopeless and I I was that parent. We had four kids and I think anybody has more than one get even if you have one, get you know they make things wrong that happens you know it doesn't just as you have a Christian home that mean that you have these guaranteed straight and narrow kids. I would say that parent first of all, you're not alone. God knows exactly how you feel.
He's watched us make the dumbest decisions walk the wildest paths and he loves your child more than you do. You might think that your reach either physically because they're not home or even just emotionally there, sitting across the table, but they don't want to listen to you, but they never had a God's reach and so I would just encourage that parent to just keep lifting their child before the Lord, bringing his name her name, their needs and trusting that your heavenly father who loves them more than you do power than you do in our prayers.
They lay down the tracks for that's power to come through. We don't do the fixing the providing we wish we could but I love my favorite parenting prayer. When I had teenagers was out of Philippians 213, Paul says it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose and as a mom, I still felt like it was on me. I need to work in my kids so that they would will, and act they would desire and do good things that we can't write none of us can, but God can. And so I would to seek work in Virginia's heart to well and to act to line up with your good purpose. Let me ask you, in that context is a mom mom's.
This is close to their heart and I'm here someday. That's true but I'm just saying the moms are talking to my June the same thing and you are so often that fear and control can take hold of you and it's very hard to say Lord okay to give my child over to you right now and that the is followed up by certain behavior changes right, you reduce your control and make sure you trust God in certain ways, you become more faithful toward your parenting of the child and that is a processes speak to the mom who is struggling in the battle between fear and control and trusting God for the outcome. Yeah that that's such a good question and one that I wish I could say I had learned once and for all would be great if we can say that I trust you and then you know we screwed that courage to the sticking place and it's never left, but we knew all different degrees didn't embrace new degrees, new problems crop up God's faithful one. In one situation and another child or another event happens and you gotta take it right back to the drawing board. You got a really did a gentle but hard work in me, as I said to him, Lord, that went dark. Things were not going like they would in my kids lives for a season on their makings of bad choices and they were to some bad things happening that maybe weren't a result of a choice but and I'm saying, Lord, trusted you know you're a good guy. I know you love my kids. It's going on and he looked at me and he just said you know Jody you can trust me you trusted in an outcome you trusted in your agenda how you think that things should work and in your timing and he said yeah this is painful, but trust me because I see the big picture and I'm shepherding and leading, and as Romans 828 reminds us working in all things for the good of those who love me and Jody in that regard. Right at the end here and I think good take away for the parents. Listening right now would be suffering plays, rolling jobs economy that accomplishes something deep in people and it's not that we run from it. We shouldn't runs right but how to equip our children to abide in the yeah yeah while that's a big one is such a big one and I think you know we can trick ourselves into thinking that doesn't want us to suffer. But like I was just reading this morning in Philippians 1, and Paul says tell the believers is like you've been counted worthy to share in his glory and his suffering, like what you mean I should be thankful that I get to count happy to be in his suffering, but but he does use it to refine us to shape us and it's no fun and it's for a parent.
I think it's really hard to watch your child suffer. There's nothing harder, but we just can be confident that God will use all of that, the good and the bad is good purposes and I think in doing that when you can get to the place, then the Scripture says my burden is light. My yoke is easy, that's evidence of that. When you can really abide in the difficult circumstance trusting God, praying for your child. Believing in the future of the child, even if they're in the volume of easy. I don't know you might, listening to all she says. Just trust me and I would encourage someone to have their in that valley in that dark place to reach out to a friend. I really believe in the power of multiplied prayer you know says where two or more come together. I'm in the midst, and there were times in our kids growing up years when there tell the story in the Buckland son was in kindergarten and he struggled so much with self-control that I just wanted to buy a pack of cigarettes and put them out on the street corner because I'm like he's gonna wind up there anyway, so why bother trying to parent him or raise him to be godly because I give up and I had some girlfriends who came alongside me. People in my moms in prayer group and others said you know you don't have the faith right now to believe. For this you can even see the needle moving will pray for you will lift up your son will carry that burden while you and with you and I'll tell you they did that for me for over a year and and got moved.
He moved, and I will say if you met my son now is 25, you would never know that he struggled with self-control. Self-discipline with anger issues were all that it wasn't this instant answer know he was a high school athlete, a college athlete. I think sometimes that's the other thing you know that the passionate dinner that can come out his anger can also be a passion that in the hands of God can allow for victory in the sports field unites two different sites that points out what to say. Hang in there, but get yourself some friends will carry that with you for this beautiful approach and we need to be there for were not the one in the valley with one choice with those who rejoice and mourn with those in what we just skim the surface of our conversation with Judy Burke today on this best of 20, 21 Focus on the Family and will be back next time with more help in praying for your children, as well as overcoming all the technology and media bits and visit our homes and building a legacy of prayer John, this is been terrific and that we been reminded of how easy it is to get distracted from praying in our busy lives and will get in the more that tomorrow I want to encourage you to contact us or Focus on the Family if you need counseling help. As a parent will get your information and call you back and also will send you a copy of Jody's great book, praying the Scriptures for your children and if you can help us do ministry together for gift of any amount will send you the book is our way of saying thank you for being a partner Focus on the Family and on behalf of all those families that you'll touch through when you donate to families hope and all have that right now. When you support is your gift will be double) of the ministry care enough to invest in the lives of others that I just want to say thank you for partnering with us in a phone call away. Her number again 800 K in word family were stunned by the episode notes for all the links on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team here.
Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back.
As we continue the conversation with Jody and once again help you and your family thrive just like a warm fireplace when it's cold outside, the joy, the Christmas season gives comfort.
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