Below are Jessica's thoughts on Chapter 8 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.)
Social skills and peer relationships are often at the forefront of importance to all children, especially our children with autism. Many of our children participate in social skills classes and developing relationship skills are often a big part of their individual teaching programs. Often many children with autism have a deep hunger for close, meaningful and reciprocal relationships but certain obstacles, such as anxiety and language disorders present a formidable obstacle for them. I feel that my son Matthew, who has autism, reaches out constantly to adults for social interaction but is fearful when peers approach him. He will often watch first, for a long time, and then if he is feeling well, well-regulated, etc. he will eventually join in on a simple activity. It is very rare for him to respond to a peer-initiated invitation to play. There are those seemingly few and far between times, those golden, miraculous moments where he responds with happiness that give me great hope that one day he will overcome the obstacles that hold him back. I thank God for those moments.
This chapter helps me with the time that passes between these miraculous moments. It reminds me of the tremendous power that is made available to me in prayer. We have alot to pray for in this area, but our God is able to go above and beyond what we could even conceive of in the natural. That is why instead of me laboring to find the perfect playmate for my son, I need to surrender this area fully and trust God so that He can provide exactly and perfectly what Matthew needs.
I thank You for the tremendous power that you make available to us as parents to pray over our children. We surrender our children's needs in the area of socializing and making friends completely to You. I pray that Your hand will guide and encourage each child to develop and heal where it is needed. In Your name, Jesus, I pray that no obstacle will be able to keep our children from the relationships they crave with other children. I pray that our children, and the friends you choose for them to be filled with and led by the Holy Spirit. I pray for their relationships to include sweet fellowship with You and governed by the values and morals that God teaches us in His word. I ask all of this in Jesus' name.