If you've read God Gave Us You, you've heard of Lisa T. Bergren. Wonderful children's book! Bergren's new book, Upside-Down Prayers for Parents, will be released February 19, 2013. It's a 31-day devotional that helps parents help their children - and themselves - to trust God.
I like that this devotional doesn't take me very long to read but I get a lot out of it. It's challenging to me at a Christian and a mother. It's called Upside-Down Prayers because you will be praying for things for your children that sound like stuff you wouldn't want to happen to your children. For instance:
I pray you'll know what it is to be lonely.
Wow. I don't want my kids to be lonely! But if you finish the prayer, "and find intimacy with the One who is always beside you" then it makes sense. I don't want my kids to be lonely, but if their loneliness leads them to the Lord, then be lonely children! A few other prayers you'll be praying over your children are "I pray you'll get so weary you give up - and learn that with submission comes strength" and "I pray you'll face financial hardship - and see how God is after something bigger than food and shelter." Amazing. It sounds weird to pray such hardships upon our children, but sometimes God uses those hardships to bring us to Him, to His cross, to His mercy and grace. I pray those things for my sons.
I know the hardships of loneliness, weariness, and financial hardships. I know that those specific things (and others found in the prayers of this devotional) have lead me to a deeper relationship with Christ. It's the hard things in life that have pushed me to my knees in prayer, to open my Bible and read, to pray without ceasing. I want that for my children.
At the end of each devotional, there are two questions: one for younger children, one for older children. I think I've had some good semi-conversations with Moose with these questions. At the end of the financial hardship prayer, the younger children's question is "How has God taken care of you today? What are some ways he has provided for you?" With some prompting, Moose said that God provided him with food, clothes, and our new house (perhaps a lot of prompting). Keep in mind, questions aren't his strong suit, but you get the idea. You can involve your children in your daily walk with the Lord. What a wonderful way to start to teach them the idea of their own quiet time with the Lord.
You can find Upside-Down Prayers when it releases February 19, 2013 or pre-order on Amazon for $9.99.
Disclaimer: I received this book in order to write an honest review. Others may or may not have the same experience(s) with the book and/or publisher as I've had.