Note: This is a guest post by my friend, Mark LaMaster. Mark is a dad, author, coach, and speaker, whose passion is to help good parents become GREAT Parents by equipping and encouraging them to develop deeper relationships with their children through intentionality, engagement, and ceremony.
My father-in-law, Virgil, could fix anything! From the simple to complex, he surveyed the scene, pondered the problem, and then reached into his toolbox and pulled out the perfect tool to fix the problem.
Envision Mary Poppins reaching into her carpet bag and pulling out a hat stand, a lampstand, and, of course, a tape measure. Click here to take a trip down memory lane.
My toolbox, however, is a hodge-podge of hand-me-down tools and tools I have bought for specific “projects” I have attempted. I fully admit that I am not a handyman. If the instructions say it will take two hours to complete the project, it will take me 4-6 hours.
Even though I am not a handyman and may not have the best tools or the right tools to fix things around my house, I am resourceful. I know who to call when I need help with our cars, our furnace, and our gutters.
Is parenting so different? Our parenting toolboxes are filled with a hodge-podge of tools our parents handed down to us. Our parenting toolboxes are also filled with tools that we have learned through parenting experiences with our own children. They may also be filled with ideas or techniques we have learned through parenting books, friends’ suggestions, or professional counselors.
But doesn’t it always feel like there is something missing from your parenting toolbox? For the longest time, years in fact, I felt like something was missing from mine. But, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.
I read as many parenting books as I could get my hands on but still couldn’t find the answer I was looking for.
Then, it hit me. The one tool that I was missing from my parenting toolbox was…PRAYER. As I was scanning parenting books on Amazon, I ran across, “The Power of a Praying Parent,” by Stormie Omartian. I devoured the book and knew I had found the one tool that was missing from my parenting toolbox after reading this passage:
The battle for our children’s lives is waged on our knees. When we don’t pray, it’s like sitting on the sidelines watching our children in a war zone getting shot at from every angle. When we do pray, we’re in the battle alongside them, appropriating God’s power on their behalf. If we also declare the Word of God in our prayers, then we wield a powerful weapon against which no enemy can prevail.
I was focused on praying for my kids and wanted more. I ran across this article from Kat Lee, How to Pray for Your Children, and was even more determined to pray for my kids on a daily basis. Soon, I was creating a prayer journal for both my wife and I, based in part on Lisa Whelchel’s book, The Busy Mom’s Guide to Prayer. Not only was I praying for my kids, but I was now praying for my wife, my friends, my community, and myself.
As parents, God has already given us all of the right tools for our parenting toolbox, we just need to, in some cases, open up our toolbox, find the right tool, dust it off, and use it. The apostle Paul reminds us to, “Pray continually.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
You are the exact one to raise your child. God gave this child to you in His infinite wisdom, grace, and mercy to bless your life. You are forever changed. You are abundantly blessed.
So, instead of hopping into your car and heading to Home Depot to find what’s missing from your Parenting Toolbox; open it, locate prayer, dust it off a bit, bow your head, and pray!
It’s a great week to start praying again—The National Day of Prayer is Thursday, May 5!
About Mark LaMaster
Mark and his wife are registered nurses and have two beautiful children. Mark describes himself as a K-Love Listenin’, Dave Ramsey recommendin’, Bulletproof Coffee Drinkin’, Nebraska Football followin’, Jeep Wrangler drivin’, high handicap golfin’, God-fearing father, husband, and son who wants to share his failures and successes to help you become the parent, spouse, and family member you want to be! You can check out his book, Friday Night Lights for Fathers and Sons, as well as a free companion resource here.
Father’s Day is coming soon. Mark’s book, Friday Night Lights for Fathers and Sons, makes a great gift for the dad in your life. While there, you can read a quick excerpt of this timely, practical book and then leave a review. Authors love to get reader reviews! Also, hop on over to his blog for more great content.
Capture the extra-ordinary in the ordinary today,