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Good concept, bad delivery
on March 25, 2013
I appreciate the concept of this book, that parents need to intentionally enter into a life of prayer for their children, to cover their lives with that prayer and "circle" them. So, to that extent, this is a good book to remind us as that.
However, the presentation of the concept, while peppered with "You need to make sure you're praying God's will, not your will" admonitions, still came across strongly as "If you pray for it, it will happen". The stories and examples told came across as a matter of all that needed to happen for one daughter to gain self-confidence, for a son to have a miraculous healing, for the children to have good morals at school and at home, is simply for the parents to pray fervently, frequently, and earnestly.
But what I saw in all the stories was a different dynamic. While the book presented prayer as some way of making God do the things that needed to be done, instead what I heard were stories of parents who actually spent time discipling their children with prayer, reading scripture with them, modeling a life centered around God and God's purposes, and simply parents actually being parents and spending quality time discipling their children. Prayer is part of that, but not as some formulaic means to a miraculous end, but as a connection between the parents and God which leads to a changed life on the part of the parents. That changed life ends up positively influencing the children. So, yes, the prayer was answered... but not through a "magical" influence, but because God made the parents the instruments of the answer.
Don't get me wrong, I know prayer does miraculous things. I have a story in mind right now of a two-year-old little girl with a serious head injury who has made an amazing recovery. That was certainly beyond just the parents being changed. But while the praying was happening for that little girl, the parents WERE being changed by the outpouring of prayer and support by their community, including very tangible and practical activities that the community did in order to support the family. So, while the girl received what amounts to a miraculous healing, the parents and their faith community experienced a deeper appreciation for Christian community, a greater sense of peace of God being in control, and a deeper reliance on God's promises. That is what happened with that prayer.
So, while there are some good practical tips here as to ways of praying, I see them as tips more on how to incorporate prayer in with parenting to make the parents more godly parents than any formula for getting more miraculous answers to prayer.
Note: I received this book for free from Zondervan as part of a blog tour, eliciting reviews, with the understanding that the book would be reviewed honestly. I was in no way compensated for this review and all views are solely and completely my own. I was not required to offer a positive review either through the publisher or author.