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What does it mean to pray for blessing in your life?

I’ve had a busy week moving my mom into my house this week, and I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes a good life because of that. She’s in great health, and she’s not really “old”; it was just time to downsize and it made financial sense for her to move in with us since Keith and I are gone so much on the road with me speaking.

So she sold her house and did the big move yesterday.

And so I’ve been thinking about what it would be like at the other end, when you realize that life is changing and you likely won’t own a house again. How do you decide if your life has been good? If your prayers have been answered?

It reminded me of this short post I wrote years ago, and I thought I’d run it today as our short Friday Marriage Moment. It may not seem that it relates to marriage, but I think it’s a message we need for all of life.

Sheila’s Marriage Moment: Be Careful of Praying for Blessing

When we pray for blessing, are we missing the boat? Life should not be about circumstances as much as it is about security in God.

Everyday I check in on my favourite lists on Twitter, and recently I saw this by a “Life Coach”:

Start by blessing yourself. “May I be safe, may I be happy, may I be healthy, may I live with ease.”

I thought this was interesting. In my women’s retreat package, “Cutting the Strings“, I actually speak AGAINST all of those things.

Too often our primary prayers are for our own health, safety, happiness and well-being. And yet that was never what Jesus prayed for his followers, and it wasn’t what Paul prayed for his spiritual children.

Maybe our whole idea of what it means to be blessed is skewed.

finding+nemo - What Does It Mean to Pray for Blessing?Sometimes it is only through adversity that we really grow. It’s like in Finding Nemo. Remember that scene, near the end of the movie, when dad Marlin is distraught because it looks like he will never be able to rescue Nemo? And Dorrie tries to cheer him up, which makes Marlin even more irritated.

“Don’t you understand?!?” he cries. “I promised him that nothing would ever happen to him!”. “Well, that’s a funny thing to promise,” replies Dorrie. “Because if nothing ever happened to him, then nothing would ever happen to him.”

I think there’s a lot of spiritual wisdom in that fish.

The point is not what happens to us in life; it’s how we respond, and whether we allow God to turn it into good.

And that’s the attitude that Paul takes. He prays that God will help the Ephesians to understand how long and high and wide and deep is the love of Christ. He prays that they may grow in wisdom and understanding. In Colossians he prays that they may bear fruit in every good work, and they may know the knowledge and wisdom and will of God.

Aren’t those things more important?

You see, if we understand how much God loves us; if we grow in understanding; if we bear fruit; if we grow in unity and love–then no matter what happens to us, we’ll be fine.

But if we concentrate our prayers on good things happening, then we not only lose out on opportunities to grow; we also leave ourselves unprepared with bad things do happen.

When we pray for blessing, do we miss the point? It's not about circumstances--it's about understanding and living in God's love.

'Instead of praying for blessing, let's pray to understand God's love. Then nothing can hurt us.'Click To Tweet

And the same goes with prayers for our children. Are you consumed for praying for their safety? Are you constantly praying that God will give them good lives? Why not pray, instead, that they may grow in wisdom and understanding? Because if they do that, and if they understand how much God loves them, they’ll be fine. They’ll soar. They’ll fly. No matter the circumstances.

When we worry about circumstances, we become slaves to this life. When we concentrate on God, we actually become free. So stop praying for your own safety and happiness and well-being, and pray for your heart. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with asking God for safety, but if this is the predominant prayer, you have a problem. Your soul is worth so much more; ask God to nourish it this weekend!


Friday Roundup on To Love, Honor and Vacuum

What’s #1 at To Love, Honor and Vacuum?

This week we look at our #1’s and #2’s!  It’s all about family/kids and thoughts about sex, check it out!

A rant about the foster care system: Why aren't babies put up for adoption earlier?#1 NEW Post on the Blog: A Rant About The Foster Care System
#1 on the Blog Overall: Top 10 Tips For Initiating Sex With Your Husband
#2 from Facebook: When Christians Make It Sound Like Sex Is Only “For Him”
#2 from Pinterest: Why Do Teenagers Rebel? Thoughts From A 19-Year-Old Who Didn’t

I’m Exhausted

Really, truly tired. Moving my mom this week was a BIG enterprise! I’m excited, though, because I think we’re going to be able to set her up really nicely and get her really organized. That’s my plan for most of today and for most of this weekend.

Then on Tuesday Keith and I are heading to Ottawa with a bunch of her nice furniture that doesn’t fit to drop off with my oldest daughter and her husband, and then we’re going to Ikea to buy some furniture for our new sitting room (we’ve turned one of the bedrooms into a sitting room for Keith and me so we can hang out in private at night without having to be in the living room). I’ve never furnished a room from scratch at all. I’ve always just mixed and matched from pieces we’ve already had. So this is exciting. But I’m also really looking forward to it being done!

My Next Project: Video for my Bible Study on 9 Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage

51ARlATfBaL. SL160  - What Does It Mean to Pray for Blessing?Are you looking for a great Bible study for your women’s small group this fall? I’ve just finished writing one for my book 9 Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage, and over the next few weeks I’m going to film some short videos to go along with the study. It will all be free to download this year!

So stay tuned. It will be ready to go by around August 20 (at least that’s the plan!).

The best way to be notified is to make sure you’re signed up for my marriage newsletter. Thanks, everybody!

Katie Turned 19 This Week

I don’t know why but it hit me hard–harder than turning 18. I think it’s because she’s been moved out for a year (though she’s home for the summer; I think it’s the free food!). I’m feeling the reality of having my kids grown up. And 19 means that I only have one more year of having a teenager.

She asked her YouTube fans to send her the WORST screenshots they could of her using her videos, and they’re pretty funny. She retweeted some of them for you to see here.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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