Monday, September 26, 2011

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1

Below are Nicole's thoughts on Chapter 30 of The Power of A Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian.  Please know that what we all learn from a study is usually different.  We encourage you to share what you've learned from this study in the comments section below this post.

I've come to realize that one of the main things our children will take with them when they leave our realm of influence is their faith.  -Stormie Omartian page 198

Merriam Webster online dictionary for kids defines faith as a belief and trust in and loyalty to God.  Stormie teaches us that the most important thing our children will learn from us and our examples is their faith.  What are we teaching our children about faith?  How strong is our faith?

Stormie writes on page 197...
Kids without faith have a harder time in life.  Kids without faith have no positive motivation, no sense of purpose, and no hope for being any different than they are.  Kids without faith sit in front of the TV hour after hour, day after day, month after month.  Kids without faith roam the streets looking for trouble and usually find it.  Kids without faith hang around with other kids without  faith, and that's the main problem with kids who are in trouble today.

Stormie writes on page 199...
Children who have faith have distinctly different characteristics from those who don't.  They are more confident, more motivated, happier, more positive about the future, and more giving of themselves.  A person of faith is filled with God's love and looks for opportunities to share that love with others.  

Now how in the world do we teach our children with autism about faith?  The first thing we need to do is pray.  Prayer will be the best thing.  Pray that God will show us how to teach our children about faith.  Pray that we will lead by example.  Pray that as we read from our Bibles to our children that he is doing amazing work inside of them.

Ever since my children were born we have always said prayers at night with them.  I have twin sons who are now 9.  One of my sons, Sean, has autism.  When they were about 3, it was very easy to pray with Hunter.  He would thank God for all of his toys, family members and stuffed animals.  When we prayed with Sean, we were worried that he wasn't getting it.  Did he really know who God is?  We would pray each night with him as well.  Sean would say one word requests so we never really knew what he was thinking and learning.  Then, one night it was prayer time.  For some reason I paused before I started praying.  At that moment I heard the following...

Now my lay me down sleep
Pray Lord my soul keep
Angels watch me through night
Wake me wiff a morning light.

Our Father who art in Heaven
Hallowed be thy Name
Thy Kingdom come
Thy Will be done
On Earth as it in Heaven
Give us our daily bread
Forgive us our trespasses 
As we forgive our trespassers
Lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from Evil
For thine is the kingdom, power, glory
forever and ever

Dear God,
Thank you for mommy, daddy, Hunter, Aunt Tanya, Uncle Kevin, Drew, Nana, Pappy, Uncle El, Aunt Beff, Gramma and Grampa.

What was so awesome about that moment is is a little boy struggling to be able to say "Can I have a cup of juice?"  Yet, he could recite his version of The Lord's Prayer, his nightly prayer and his thank you prayer.  He was getting it.  His faith is there.  Over the years, we continued to do children devotions with him and his brother.  Sure, Hunter would sit right beside me and ask questions and even answer questions.  Yes, Sean may spent most of his time running around his room looking for something to play with but here's the thing, he was hearing it.  This will only strengthen his faith.  Now that Sean is older, he listens better and answers questions.   His faith is growing and that's what we want.

We want our children to know that they have no limitations in this life.  No matter what kind of diagnosis they have.  Stormie shares on page 198 about children without faith..."All they see are their own limitations and the failings and struggles of the adults around them, and so they give up.  But it's even more than that, because sensing our limitations doesn't necessarily mean we don't have faith.  It's feeling that God has limitations that indicates a lack of faith.  And if children don't have faith in the only thing that is secure, unchanging, and all-powerful, how can they believe in themselves and their future, which they know is insecure, unstable, and powerless?"

I'm sure we can all agree that we all want our kids to be a kid with faith.  Let's pray...

Dear Lord,
What an amazing study!  Thank you so much for putting this book on our hearts.  Thank you for teaching us how to pray over our children and even where we need to pray over others as well.  Faith is such an amazing thing when you find it.  Please help us teach our children about the faith they can have in you.  Show us what we need to do to help them.  Teach our children in ways that only you can.
In Your Name We Pray,

Bibles Verses from Chapter 30
Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.  -Hebrews 11:6

Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.  -Mark 11:24

If you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, "Move from here to there," and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.  -Matthew 17:20

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.  For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord, he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.  -James 1:6-8

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.  -Galatians 6:9-10

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