You remember Samson? He has a weird story, don’t you think? He was set apart as a baby to serve God. Then, he killed hundreds of people, lived with ungodly women, had his hair cut off and then God still used him to kill Israel’s enemies with his own death. It’s just a weird, weird story. Like, is there an actual part we’re supposed to emulate?
I was reading Praying for Boys by Brooke McGlothlin today and she told a part of Samson’s story I didn’t really know. Remember, Samson’s birth was announced by an angel to his parents (whoa! Hello Jesus and John the Baptist!) and when Samson’s mom tells her husband all the things she’s supposed to do (not cut his hair, not drink wine, etc.) the dad prays, “O Lord, please let the man of God whom you sent come again to us and teach us what we are to do with the child who will be born.”
Isn’t that like the prayer you’ve prayed a million times, “O LORD! Tell me what to do about this child!” It’s almost a hilarious request because every parent in the universe has prayed it! I’ve prayed it a million times!
Of course, Samson was a judge and delivered Israel from their enemies. My son might not do something like that. But I love what Brooke says, “We are raising men to be warriors for God’s kingdom, and I think God expects us to ask Him–no, beg Him–to help us know how to do it well.”
Warriors for God’s Kingdom. Not a boy who’s too cool, too old, too tough and too hip for the things of God. A warrior who dispels the image of a typical American boy and fights to bring honor to the Lord. Whew. Isn’t that what we want? And the only way we can lead our boys to this calling is with God’s help! We can only do it by prayer!
This is why I am in love with this new Praying for Boys book. Brooke has not only laid out why we need prayer, but how to do it. There are 21 chapters filled with Scripture prayers for your son. This is the one I read today:
That Luke 6:45 got me. I don’t want my little boy to know how to act, the words to say and the things to do. I want his actions to be an overflow of what God is doing in his own little heart!
Then, the reflection question at the end of the chapter got me again: Jesus called the Pharisees “whitewashed tombs” (Matthew 23:27) because they only cared about how they appeared on the outside, and not about cleaning up their hearts. How does this apply to the way we need to raise our sons?
Ick. How convicting. Am I a pharisaical parent?
Do I care more about having a perfect son in front of others? Am I more concerned with Asa’s loud voice and silly words than with his heart? Am I a whitewashed tomb raising another tomb full of dead man’s bones?!
Y’all. We have got to pray for our sons. And our daughters. And when we do, He’ll do even more. I believe He’ll change us, too. Brooke said as she began this prayer journey (and ultimately this book),
“Praying keeps me in the right place with God. Keeping my mind focused on the fact that He is God and I am not helps me put all of life in perspective, and it changes the way I live my days. Ultimately, spending time talking to God brings me closer to Him, and helps me know Him better. There’s no better way to be a better mom than to get to know God better, and listen to Him as He directs our paths. As we change, our families will change too.”
Grab this book, friends. If you’re a mom of boys, get Praying For Boys. You’ll need these Scripture prayers at your fingertips for years to come. If you’re a mom to girls, I still think the direction and instruction in this book are so worth it. This is the perfect book for a prayer group, MOPS group or just a bunch of mamas who want to see God move in the life of their sons.
I’m a member of the Praying for Boys Launch Team. But I’d tell you about this book anyway because I love anyone that helps me pray for my kids–and Brooke is one of my faves.