Below are Nicole's thoughts on Chapter 7 of The Power Of A Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian. Please know that what we all learn from a study is usually different. We love to hear what you have learned as well. Please leave a comment in the comment section below this post.)
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. -Matthew 5:9
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! -Psalm 133:1
Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. -Romans 15:5-6
If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. -Romans 12:18
Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. -1 Corinthians 1:10
Chapter 7, Maintaining Good Family Relationships, really showed me where my prayers are lacking. I pray for my sons to make friends, I pray for others to be nice to my kids. However, I'm forgetting about their relationship and bond with each other. The one thing that Stormie says in Chapter 7 that meant the most to me is from page 63...
One of the things the enemy of our soul likes to do is get into the middle of God-ordained relationships and cause them to misfire, miscommunicate, short-circuit, fracture, or disconnect. The more a family can be splintered apart, the weaker and more ineffectual they become and the more the enemy has control of their lives. The way to avoid this is through prayer.
Both of my sons are very fortunate to have each other. My son with autism learns so much from his twin brother. My son without autism learns so much more from his brother. It's amazing to see their bond. However, as they grow older, and even on their rough days, that bond can start to diminish. If no one is really watching, it can even dwindle away. It's my responsibility as their mom to pray over their relationship. To pray that Hunter will be more patient and understanding of his brother. To pray that Sean will feel the "twin bond" from his brother and be able to show him. I even need to pray that they will continue to help each other in other relationships as well. If your child doesn't have a sibling, it's just as important to pray over their relationships with cousins, aunts, uncles, even ourselves..their parents. I believe kids in general are more self confident when they have those strong family bonds. People they can trust. The same goes for a child with autism. We need to help them create these bonds. They may look entirely differently than we expect these bonds to look but they can be created. Here's a quick example...my husband works incredibly long hours. His time with our kids is very short. However, he has created special things to do with each of our boys to get that bonding time they need with their dad. With Hunter, he goes for a walk every morning. They find blueberries, watch the deer, walk our dog, and just go trekking through the woods. With Sean, they go outside and swing together on the swings. Just laughing and hanging out. It really doesn't matter what we do, it's just doing it and creating that bond. I've learned from this that my sons need these special moments with themselves as well. Things the two of them just do together. It's hard sometimes to keep Sean on track to do these things with Hunter. However, with lots of prayers and patience, their "twin bond" is getting stronger each day!
I lift up Sean and Hunter to you. I pray that you will help them find that special way to connect only like brothers do. I pray that Hunter will have the patience and understanding for Sean. I pray that Sean will feel at ease enough to block out all scripting and anxiety to really just be with his brother. I also pray that you will show my husband and I ways that we can increase our family bonds with each other. I pray that all of our family members will see how important is to not only connect with Sean but with Hunter as well. I pray a hedge of protection over these relationships in our family and ask that you give our family the strength we need to keep our bonds strong.