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Upside-Down Prayers for Parents: Thirty-One Daring Devotions for Entrusting Your Child--and Yourself--to God Paperback – February 19, 2013
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Praise for Upside-Down Prayers for Parents
“Reading Lisa’s book was a flashback to my own mothering years because my husband and I often carried similar petitions to our Father in heaven. We prayed our children would get caught in every lie every time. We asked God to allow them small fender-bender accidents as teens to temper their indestructible, immortal view of their lives. And when they experienced inevitable rejection, loneliness, and discouragement, we attempted to teach them that God wanted to use those hard experiences for their good. And they heard us speak these prayers, so when the answers came they knew Who was in control. Upside-Down Prayers for Parents will dispel the happily-ever-after deception that pervades our culture and will replace it with a solid bedrock view of God whose goal is our holiness, not our happiness—a foundational truth for everyday parenting. I plan to give Lisa’s book to all my married children.”
—Barbara Rainey, cofounder of FamilyLife Today and coauthor of Growing a Spiritually Strong Family
“Lisa Bergren offers wise counsel, clear direction, and brilliant insights into how to pray in a way that shapes your child’s character. Every mom needs this book! It will become a resource you will refer to often during your child’s formative years and beyond.”
—Robin Jones Gunn, author of the Christy Miller series and Praying for Your Future Husband
“Lisa T. Bergren has crafted the perfect practical guide to enable parents to express the desires of their hearts, wrap them tightly in relevant Scripture, and send them soaring heavenward. The impact on their children—and quiet confidence they’ll experience themselves—will reap sweet spiritual rewards for generations to come. If you’ve ever longed to trust God and entrust your kids to Him, this book is for you!”
— Karen Ehman, Proverbs 31 Ministries director of speakers and author of six books, including LET. IT. GO.: How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith
“Lisa’s upside-down prayers require a whole new level of faith and trust in Jesus. Reading this book and praying these prayers made me realize how tightly I was holding on to my children—and how much I needed to release them to God. These are exactly the prayers I’ve always wanted to pray for my children but could never find the words myself!”
—Erin Mohring, author of HomeWithTheBoys.net
“I love this book! These prayers confirm what I’ve learned in my twenty-three years as a mom: that sometimes it’s the hard moments that bring about the heart-transformation in our kids. These are prayers to wrestle through—and find God in the midst of them. Highly recommended!”
—Tricia Goyer, author of Blue Like Play Dough: The Shape of Motherhood in the Grip of God
“This is the perfect book for parents who want God’s best for their children even when it’s the difficult, more costly choice. Dive into this book and surrender your kids to Him. This book isn’t a must read; it’s a must do!”
—Nicole O’Dell, author of the Hot Buttons series for parents
“Lisa T. Bergren describes this book as ‘not a sweet and gentle devotional.’ She’s right. The prayers she asks us to offer on behalf of our kids are scary, raw, and honest. They demand our bravery. That’s how I know they’re good. And that’s why I’ll be praying these prayers along with her.”
—Micha Boyett, author of Mama:Monk blog
“After reading these words and praying these prayers for thirty-one days, your heart can’t help but be turned inside out. This book showed me the prayers I’ve always wanted to pray for my kids but just didn’t know it. Health and favor merely scratch the surface of what I want for my kids; reliance on God, warrior faith, and deep assurance of God’s love is what I really desire. Lisa T. Bergren leads us into examining our hearts so we can position our lives and prayers on the true blessing, redemption, power, and plans God has for our lives and the lives of our children.”
—Amanda White, founder of ohAmanda.com and author of Truth in the Tinsel: An Advent Experience for Little Hands
About the Author
Lisa T. Bergren is the author of more than forty books, with nearly two million copies sold. Her work includes children’s books, historical and contemporary fiction, women’s nonfiction, and gift books. A freelance writer and editor, Lisa lives in Colorado. She and her husband, Tim, are the parents of three children.
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The daily devotions are quick and it comes with questions for younger children and older children. The questions have not worked for my 3 year old but maybe when his a little bit older.
Praying something like that seems a bit, well, upside-down. But that's the point. As parents, we tend to want to pray all goodness and blessing into our children's lives. And we should! But if we truly trust God enough to give our kids up to Him (they are really His, after all), then we should find freedom instead of fear in these types of prayers.
As the author reminds us, it is usually in times of trouble, challenge and heartache that we grow --- in character and in faith. It's never easy to watch our children struggle or deal with the consequences of their mistakes or sin, but oftentimes it's only then that they will learn a necessary lesson or experience a breakthrough in their Christian walk. As parents, we need to focus on the outcome instead of the circumstance itself.
In this book of 31 devotions, you'll find titles that may initially make you cringe or resist, such as: "I pray you'll lose a job --- and know that your Provider has not forgotten you." "I pray your beliefs will be challenged --- and the roots of your faith will be strengthened." "I pray you'll experience unanswered prayers --- and develop deeper, wider trust." "I pray you'll watch a friendship fade --- and discover the value of heart-friends who go the distance."
Each devotion begins with a scripture on which the reflection is based and ends with a prayer to recite. There is also a "Making it Personal" question, with space to journal your own answer. For example, the devotion "I pray you'll know fear --- and find courage in living with God beside you" asks the question, "What do you fear most, right now? What if it came to pass? How do you think God might step in, before, during, or afterward?"
Finally, each devotion ends with a suggestion on how to make that particular prayer relevant for your own kids, both for young and older children. In the devotion "I pray you'll suffer loss --- and witness how your Creator can use all things for good," the Making it Relevant question for younger children is: How does God comfort us when we're sad? And for older children: Why do you think God allows good people to suffer and struggle? These are questions that wonderfully open the door to discussion.
Bergren introduces us to a beautiful, if difficult, way to pray for our children. UPSIDE-DOWN PRAYERS FOR PARENTS is a guide to be read and utilized many times over, as parents entrust their kids to the One who created them. Of course, one of the greatest things moms and dads can do is model this type of prayer themselves, and use their own shortcomings, difficulties and challenges as life lessons for their kids.
Keep this book on your nightstand. Refer to it often. As the author states in the introduction, "The topics (explored) touch on truths we want our children to learn sooner rather than later, truths that offer the security of knowing they will always be loved and will never be alone."
That statement is as right side up as you can get.
Reviewed by Lynda Lee Schab
This book is a 31 day devotional. Each day begins with a prayer and Scripture. Lisa then gives a devotional from her heart in which she shares her own struggles as well as a personal application for the parent. The day ends with a heartfelt prayer and thought provoking questions for ourselves and to ask our children. What parent does not want good things, blessings, joy, peace and more for their kids? But to find all that our children must learn a life of discipline, self control, obedience, and total surrender to their Heavenly Father. If they learn these lessons, they will be well equipped to accomplish much for the Kingdom.
Some may consider this book on the controversial side. Why would you pray for your child to fail, be lonely, get caught doing wrong? Because these prayers lead the way to what all of us need to learn - a life of total dependence on God. As Lisa shares these prayers she prays, she is asking God to take her children to a deeper relationship with their Heavenly Father. It may be a little frightening to pray this way - but also a challenge to our own spiritual dependence on God. Do we trust Him completely with our lives and the lives of our children? I would definitely recommend this book! You may not agree with all that is in it, but there is alot of good to glean from its pages. Personally this book spoke to me about the way I pray for my children. I enjoyed reading it, and it has challenged me spiritually as well as taking my prayers for my children to a much deeper level.
*I received this book from Waterbrook for the purpose of review. I am not required to give a positive review.*
This book is filled with ideas of ways to pray for your kids beyond the usual blessings. Prayers for unanswered prayers to lead to trusting in God, prayers for failure on things that don't matter and prayers to know what it is to be lonely so that one can be intimate with God.
This is such a unique idea for a book, especially a parenting book. I can even see praying for these same things for myself! These counter intuitive prayers really get you thinking about how to develop a deeper faith and relationship with God and praying for that same experience for your kids.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion here is entirely my own.
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