Well, I wasn't going to blog about this until it actually started, or ended, whenever I had something interesting to say about it. But I learned that if I blog about it today, there's an extra free book in it for me to apparently give away? As we've already established, I will do anything for a free book, even if it's for someone else, it seems.
I first learned of the 21 Days of Prayer for Sons challenge (or whatever it might have been called over the years) a few years ago...or maybe a year ago. It's hard for me to remember stuff that I don't do all the time, maybe that's why it's taken me so long to be ready to join. I had wanted to join in before but, honestly, I probably forgot the start date or something. :D
Over the last year, while my memory hasn't been getting much better, my focus has. I know, that sounds contradictory, but that's me, a bundle of contradictions. :) I started participating in Good Morning Girls last summer and that has really helped me regain some focus. This year I joined up in our new church's 40 Days of Prayer to End Human Trafficking. And I've been using a book called Seek God for the City 2012 to go along with it. (The book is also something I picked up at church.)
So a few weeks (days? who can remember? :D) ago when I saw there was another 21 Days in the plans, this time from May 1-21, I knew I was finally ready. I'm so "with it" now that I've got it on my iPhone calendar. :)
The other reason I know I'm ready is I believe it. Not it, I'm ready, it, prayer. I was going to blog about this later but since we're on the subject of prayer right now I'll go ahead and say it...
About 2 years ago...or, really, who knows...as we've seen, I'm not good at remembering specific dates and length of time...I started praying a simple prayer with my boys each morning during Bible. It went something like this: "Lord, Help us to honor and glorify You in all we think, do, and say." Why did I start praying that? Coz I wanted something better for my boys than what was going on right then. And I knew that was what I wanted. It's hard to explain the whole situation without turning it into a novel so suffice to say I knew that we were not growing spiritually and I had no idea why. I knew it had to do with Bible reading and prayer, but I didn't know what. So this prayer "came to me." And I've prayed it every day since.
Slowly God started answering the prayer. I will be honest, I didn't like the way He answered it. In hindsight, He took me in for Cancer surgery before I knew I had Cancer. He cut things out of my life in such a painful way that I could no longer tell up from down. I was confused and in some of the greatest emotional pain I'd ever been in my life. But He just kept cutting. It took me over a year to see it for what it was, and, until yesterday, I didn't see the catalyst.
Yesterday, I was talking with the Teenager about prayer and slowly I recalled this same prayer I have prayed every morning for 2 years, and I saw that God had truly answered it. Not only had He cut out the things that were hindering our spiritual growth, He moved us to a place where we *can* grow.
Moral of the story, The Lord hears our pleas, the Lord accepts our prayers. (Ps 6:9). Not because we are some totally on-fire Christians who have it all together. I can assure you, I didn't. I was a wreck, and, quite frankly, an embarrassment to the cause of Christ. He accepts them because we are His. If we are good parents (and I know there are some bad ones which is why I qualify it) will we ignore our child's plea for water just because he's been getting into trouble all day? God doesn't either. If we are His (and we don't know if we are until we ask) He will answer. It may not be what we like, it may hurt like crazy, but it will be an answer, and it will be pretty darned awesome.
If you had told me a year ago I'd be where I am, I would have laughed. If you ask me where I'll be a year from now, I'll admit I have no idea, but it will be a good place no matter what because now I know God really is in control of everything AND He really does answer the prayers of His people, even the weak and foolish ones like me.