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Imagine sitting across from two of your kids as they describe waking up, floating in a river hours after having been struck by lightning and blown out of their kayaks.
Edie Melson lived that nightmare.
Motivation to Pray
Edie and her husband have raised three boys.
Boys get blown out of kayaks.
They say, “Hey y’all! Watch this!”
Boys are motivation to pray.
I’ll never forget when my son and his friends started their own Fight Club.
They pummeled each other for fun until we parents complained about the broken bones and outlawed it.
I’ve got other stories, but fortunately, none involve our son getting thunder bolted out of a kayak.
Edie and I talked about her journey to becoming a prayer warrior and writing her latest prayer book, While My Child is Away: My Prayers for When We Are Apart.
Her story will encourage and inspire you.
I wanted to share my story to empower other people.
I write books on prayer now, but prayer for me didn’t come easily.
I thought I was really bad at it. I felt inadequate, like my prayers weren’t powerful enough to affect anything.
But I knew I had to pray.
The biggest thing was the desperation.
My kids needed prayer, and I couldn’t do anything but pray.
At that point, I didn’t realize that prayer was the best thing—the strongest thing—I could do.
I looked for books on prayers, but they were formal. And they weren’t my emotions.
One morning I called out to God in my quiet time.
The disciples asked You to teach them how to pray. Do it for me, too.
Everywhere I turned for the next six months, information just showed up. Scriptures would appear on billboards.
God finally got through to me that prayer wasn’t about the formality, the words, or the ways. It wasn’t legalistic.
A huge weight fell off my shoulders. I can do this!
But I still felt awkward.
I began going through Psalms, inserting my children’s names in Scripture.
I began to write them out because I’m easily distracted.
This process of journaling and praying scripture for my children revolutionized my prayer life.
When I finally clued into the fact that the power in prayer didn’t rest in me or my words, it rested in God, the whole world opened to me.
All these prayers that were in me, waiting to come out in just the right way, started flowing because I finally got that it didn’t have to be perfect.
We want our prayers to matter the most with our kids.
Without realizing where the power in prayer comes from, we can dam up our prayers ourselves.
God wants us to be free and able to come to Him without feeling stressed.
The Surprise Blessing of Desperation
Desperation isn’t fun, but it’s a great teacher. It reaches us when logic and reason can’t.
God used desperation to clue me into the power of prayer, too.
With my kids far away, the only real power I still had to impact them was prayer.
Like Edie, I felt a desperate loss of control.
My desperation led to the surprise blessing of peace.
Peace comes whenever we let go of the need to control and choose to trust in and rely on God instead.
Fully trust in and rely on Him.
God knows all our kids’ needs, and He’s always good and faithful to work exactly as He knows best for their good and His glory.
And He knows how to move us from desperation to peace.
One helpful tool is Edie Melson’s While My Child is Away.
Edie Melson is the mother of three grown boys and the author of several books, including While My Soldier Serves: Prayers for Those With Loved Ones in the Military. A sought-after writing instructor, Edie serves as the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, as well as a popular faculty member at numerous others. Connect with her on her blog The Write Conversation at www.EdieMelson.com, Twitter, and Facebook. Edie and her husband live in Simpsonville, South Carolina.