Sunday, August 28, 2016

Prayers for Brave
Early on Madelyn was my spunky girl that always spoke her mind.
She believed and then she said it, rather announced it.  I will never forget when she was a two year old leaning across the breakfast table telling her sister and I, "Satan is the Father of Lies!"
Emphatically. I remember nodding at her serious deep blue toddler eyes.
"You're right," I chuckled.
Then there was the winter she decided to dash the dreams of her cousins and her friends by insisting to them that Santa wasn't real.
She had lots of reasons.
"You know that a man that fat can't climb down a chimney." She said looking up out of her eyes and nodding her head seriously. "No one would fly around the whole world in one night."

She's always been very vocal about her opinions and beliefs.

As a four year old Madelyn decided she was brave enough to sing with her dad.  She has always loved to sing songs and she does have a sweet voice.
After just turning four Madelyn sang her first duet with her daddy.
I remember the way she softly sang into her microphone, but then ended the song strongly by herself.
She was brave.  Bold for one so little.
Madelyn's first time

She didn't do a repeat performance.  We switched churches and I never could quite convince her to sing for a new congregation.  She listened to songs and quickly knew them.  Singing them with passion at home or in the back of the car as we drove a long.

Almost three years have passed and this summer seemed to be a season of bravery for my oldest girls.
Both girls decided to be baptized after attending Vacation Bible School.  They both accepted Christ when they were four, totally initiated on their own. We knew they were serious. No doubts there.

Madelyn decided to go ahead with it first (of course), but about six weeks later our oldest followed.
Their daddy treasured those moments.  He got the privilege of baptizing his daughters as followers and now sisters in Christ.

I pray different prayers for my kids.  I have tried to pray blessings or mantras for my kids that seem to  fit their unique personality and gifts.
For my oldest girl I have prayed Psalm 90:17
"May the favor of the Lord our God rest on Meredith; establish the work of her hands for her- yes, establish the work of her hands."
(of course I insert their names)
For Madelyn I have prayed this prayer many times,
"May this be true of Madelyn. May Madelyn be able to say...
'I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; before the 'gods' I will sing your praise.  I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name...When I called you answered me; you greatly emboldened me.'" (Psalm 138)
Of course we all pray many different prayers over the course of our children's lives, but I have been drawn to a few different passages to pray over them individually.

Madelyn  decided to take the stage with her dad again.  Sing one of her favorite songs.
Ironically the song was, "You Make Me Brave" by Bethel Music.
 I smiled when she sang out the chorus,

As Your love, in wave after wave
Crashes over me, crashes over me
For You are for us
You are not against us
Champion of Heaven
You made a way for all to enter in

You make me brave

You call me out beyond the shore into the waves

You make me brave

You make me brave

No fear can hinder now the promises you made

I know my Madelyn is brave.  She always has been.  That's something I've never been.  Ever.  But I know God wants to build that character within me.I've asked God to build it within Madelyn, to grow what already seems to be a core part of her character. I want her to always speak what she really thinks and not back down  

After reading Praying Circles Around your Children by Mark Batterson I was inspired to pick a few specific passages to pray.  
Batterson writes, 
"Prayer is your highest privilege as a parent. There is nothing you can do that will have a higher return on investment.  In fact, the dividends are eternal.  Prayer turns ordinary parents into prophets who shape the destinies of their children, grandchildren, and every generation that follows...Our prayers never die.They live on in the lives of those we prayed for. " 
He goes on to suggest picking out a mantra or a prayer for your children's specific life.  A theme if you will.  He speaks of praying specific words for His daughter, "Those framed words started to frame her.  She started to see herself in the light of her God-ordained identity and destiny."  
I finished this book inspired to thoughtfully pray for people in a deeper and more powerful way letting scripture play a significant part.

What do you pray for your kids?  Do you see specific prayers come true in the lives of your kids?
Do you pray these prayers with them? (Batterson suggests you do so regularly to make them central to the lives of your kids)
Did someone pray for things in your life?  Things you know came true, that you are walking living proof of.
I know its true of my dad's prayers. I've seen so many of them directly answered in the life of my family and in my personal life.

I've always seen glimmers of Madelyn's strong and brave heart and it keeps growing.  Expanding. I'm going to keep asking God for more of it.  For more courage for her.  That He would greatly embolden her.  Hearing her soft voice strongly sing out the lyrics of that song felt like gentle, steady answers...

Madelyn led the way this summer...

Meredith shortly after
Having daddy baptize them is so special 
"You Make Me Brave"

One of our favorite family songs..

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