There it was. Spelled out in big bold loopy black letters. My own handwriting, sure enough.
"Pray more. Say less."
God had given me this Word one week ago today. I had prayed the words out loud. I had begged God to help me live those words. Pray more, Jill. Say less, Jill.
A few days later I knew exactly the purpose of His Words to me that dark and early morning snuggled on my couch nursing a hot mug of coffee.
Knee deep in a conversation with one of my children, I felt the urge to speak out my thoughts on a particular dilemma they were facing.
I quietly prayed for Him to give me words...He didn't.
He reminded me to pray instead of say.
Let me tell you...it was the hardest two minutes of my life. Holding back words. Holding back my opinion on the situation.
I felt peace. I knew I was to say less. I knew I was to pray more.
As a mom of teenagers, I do find that talking less and praying more reaps better fruit.
When my babies were small, talking, talking, teaching and more teaching with my words was important.
However, as they grow up, I see the discipline and the reward of a quieter life through prayer over them.
It is not easy some days though! Sometimes I just want to tell them ALL OF MY THOUGHTS whether they want to hear them or not!
I go back to the words of Samuel....some of my very favorite words in scripture.
"Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening." 1 Samuel 3:10
Often, I say these words to The Lord. I desire to listen, instead of talk all of the time.
I want to do the same to my people. Listen more. Talk less. Pray more.
As a communicator, it does take much discipline. I love stories. I love to talk. I love to share. I love to offer advice.
However, I am seeing the greater fruit in listening. In quieting my mouth and going to prayer instead.
Through the years I have written out particular scriptures to pray over my children. I recently did this again to help me in my prayer time. To use His Words instead of mine when praying over them.
I will share some of them in hopes of encouraging you in your own motherhood journey. Many times, I just don't know how to pray for a certain situation my kids are facing. I don't have the words because my heart is overwhelmed for them.
God's Word does all of this for us! His Words are Truth. His Words are Peace. His Words are Wisdom.
Here are a few I have been praying over my teenagers...
For He knows the plans He has for my children, declares The Lord...plans to prosper them and not to harm them , plans to give them a hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Lord, help them to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:18
The Lord Himself watches over my children! The Lord stands beside them as their protective shade. The sun will not harm them by day, nor the moon at night. Psalm 121:5-6
Lord, Don't let my children be selfish, not trying to impress others. Let them be humble, thinking of others better than themselves. Let them not look out only for their own interests, but take an interest in others, too. Phil 2:3-4
For God has not given my children a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 1 Timothy 1:7
Let my children rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything let them give thanks to You! For this is God's will for them in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
The Lord will perfect that concerns my children...Psalm 138:8 (my favorite one to pray right now!)
Lord, teach my kids to number their days, that they may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12
May the Lord bless them and keep them; may the Lord make His face shine upon them and be gracious to them. May the Lord turn His face toward them and give them peace. Numbers 6:24-26
The Lord is my children's Shepherd, He is all that they need. Psalm 23:1
Lord, may my children be successful everywhere they go; and may an entire generation of godly people be blessed through them. Psalm 112:1-2
Oh, Lord, contend with those who contend with my children. Fight against those who fight with them. Psalm 35:1 (I probably recite this one in my sleep!)
Greater is He who is in my children, than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4
Let the fear of The Lord teach them wisdom, humility precedes honor. Proverbs 15:38
Lord, let them always pray and never give up! Luke 18:1
Establish the work of their hands, Lord. Psalm 90:17
Lord, let my children give their burdens to You and You will take care of them. You will not permit the godly to slip and fall. Psalm 55:22
Father, give my children a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God! Psalm 40:3
Help my children to guard their hearts, Lord, for it determines the course of their life. Proverbs 4:23
Lord, let my children avoid all perverse talk, staying away from corrupt speech. Help them to look straight ahead and fix their eyes on what lies before them. Proverbs 4:24-25
Surround my children with godly friendships, Father. Iron sharpens iron. Proverbs 27:17
Father God, when things are hard and there seems to be no possible way, let them remember that You are The Lord their God, and you opened a way through the waters, making a dry path through the sea. You will do the same for them! Isaiah 43:16
Lord, let my children be still and know that You are God. Psalm 46:10
May my children live by faith and not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7
Whether my children turn to the left or to the right, let will hear God's Voice saying..
"this is the way --walk in it. " Isaiah 30:21
I feel peace just typing these w ords of Truth out here. I trust Him with my children. I will let Him have His way with their hearts. His way is better!
My job is to pray.
My friend Kelli recently gave me the most sobering and holy advice...
She told me that she often prays for God to do whatever it takes to draw her children's hearts to His.
That is a hard prayer to pray. But goodness gracious...what trust it shows to pray this prayer!
We can trust Him with our children. No matter how old they are...they belong to Him and He desires their hearts!
It is so hard to remember this when they are struggling and suffering. However, we must keep this perspective at all times. He uses the hard times to strengthen their faith and to draw them to His loving embrace.
I never want to get in the way of this. I want to step back, quiet my mouth, and pray.
saying less and praying more,