Guide My Prayers

But if we must keep trusting God for something that hasn't happened yet, it teaches us to wait patiently and confidently.

And in the same way - by our faith - the Holy Spirit helps us with our daily problems and in our praying. For we don't even know what we should pray for, nor how to pray as we should; but the Holy Spirit prays for us with such feeling that it cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows, of course, what the Spirit is saying as he pleads for us in harmony with God's own will. And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plans. Romans 8: 25-28 (TLB)

Marcy Farr lives in Texas. The pediatrician told them when they took their first child for her one-year physical, "This one's a firecracker!" Extroverted and confident, Madison has lived up to that description ever since. Her little sister, Anna, is different. If someone outside our immediate family talked to Anna when she was younger, she would lower her gaze and bury her face in her mother's neck. Concerned about Anna's shyness, Marcy asked her Bible study group to pray for her to come out of her shell. Some wise, experienced mothers counseled that Anna would eventually find her way in the world on her own terms.

Then Marcy realized that she had been praying for the wrong thing - focusing on what would make Marcy comfortable instead of what made Anna comfortable. Rather than praying for God to change Anna, Marcy should have been praying for God to change her.

When Marcy changed her prayers, her stress over Anna's shyness lifted. At the age of nine, Anna surprised everyone when she began acting and singing and continued these activities through high school. God had worked through the Holy Spirit - and her wise friends - to guide her prayers to help her let Anna be Anna.

Each child is different and each child develops at a different speed. It is easy to compare one child with another, but it is also something we should avoid doing. The same with adults - we all have different backgrounds and have developed different beliefs - so we need to try to accept each other for what we are - a child of God - and not try to make everyone act as we would.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to listen for the Holy Spirit's guidance to put our prayers on the right track. Help us to be less judgemental and more accepting of each others differences, in Jesus' name, amen.

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