A Praying Life: Discussion #4
- Can you remember the last time (or a recent time) when you felt truly helpless? Write down what you can remember of the situation, and your reactions and responses (thoughts, words, and actions) during the situation.
- On what level, and in what ways (if any), did you interact with God as the situation unfolded?
- What did God do to help you (whether or not you asked Him to)?
- Did you thank God in the end?
Note: I bet your story would encourage someone else. Care to share with us? Hit the “comment” link to do so!
While (or after) you read the chapter:
- Miller shares an insight that he doesn’t pray sometimes because he’s confident that he can do life without praying. Can you relate? (Be as specific as you can: where do you fail to pray and try to “do life” on your own?)
- In what homeschooling challenges do you feel most helpless? Why?
- What kinds of homeschooling challenges do you pray most ardently about? Why?
- Does Miller’s correlation between Christian maturity and helplessness and prayer on pages 56-57 resonate with you? Where do you place yourself currently in that spectrum? What would happen next that would indicate growth? (Care to share with us? Hit the “comment” link above!)
- “Mature Christians are keenly aware that they can’t raise their kids. It’s a no-brainer. Even if they are perfect parents, they still can’t get inside their kids’ hearts” (58). True or false? How does this work–specifically–in your home? (You don’t have to share, but do take the time to reflect and journal your answer!)
On this last one, I’d like to take time to share a few thoughts. I actually have walked this spectrum out and can say that Miller is right on in his analysis, as far as it applies to me. I did a lot of parenting out of my own strength during my busiest, most active homeschooling years, and looking back I realize how wrong-headed I was. I think that it’s a combination of Scott’s truly great parenting and God’s amazing, infinitely merciful grace that I didn’t ruin my kids!
Lately–like, in the last five years–I’ve really been growing in learning to listen and pray as I “counsel” my kids. I put those quotation marks in because I’ve realized with more and more powerful clarity that *I* never help! The best I can do is to pray silently while I draw them out so that they have/take the time to listen to themselves talk and the Holy Spirit convict. Since adopting this mode of relating to my adult children, I’ve seen that things I share (which are few, and proffered with far more gentleness, respect, and true humility of mind) are far more helpful than they ever were.
Part of this humility comes from focusing on my own heart issues. Because I have active quiet times where I allow the Spirit to show me both my sins and the joy of the Lord’s amazing love for me, I have something “fresh perked” to share and the ability to relate to them when they’re “trapped in sin” (Galatians 6:2). Basically, when my kids come to me for counsel, or are just sharing about their lives, instead of jumping right in there to “fix them,” I’ve learned to simply take a seat and watch God work in my kids’ hearts as I pray for them, love them, and listen to them process aloud. It’s a beautiful thing! I wish that I’d had this perspective when my kids were younger–but God knows best and can restore all that my sins have eaten up!
Would you like to share some insight related to this reading? Please do! Use the “comment” link above.
Below are links that will help you navigate the discussions easier. (You can also use the Archives section of this blog.)
Discussion #3 for this book.
Discussion #5 for this book.