“But I don’t understand what you mean by “hearing” God!”
Isn’t that a question we have heard many times in life? From ourselves or from others? Just last week my friend and I were talking about her struggles with her young teenage daughter. As they have been navigating the waters of teenage independence, emotions, and hormones the topic of hearing God has been central to many of their conversations. Her daughter feels confused and angry right now. Life isn’t making a whole lot of sense for her and, to her, hearing God just doesn’t seem a doable thing!
So how do we explain that to our children? I know there are lots of books and ideas out there. There really are some great ways to describe what hearing God means. Ultimately though, any amount of talk and teaching remains only one component of our children recognizing the voice of God. The other component rests in the prayers we petition on behalf of our children.
As a parent of both typical and special needs children, I have experienced the unique difference in my concerns and thus in my prayers. I could say there is a certain sense of desperation, but I don’t believe that is the complete truth. It may start that way and there are times when desperation is the key emotion. However, I believe that as parents of special needs children, our petitions become a true representation of Hebrews 11:1. “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.”(NLT). There is much we may never see, but we will surrender our power to the only One Who can do the things that surpass our understanding.
When I pray for my daughter’s ablity to hear God, it is a conscious act of surrendering my desire to know her thoughts and feelings. I can’t even begin to explain how deeply I desire to cuddle next to her in her pretty pink bed and tell her all about Jesus and His great big love for her. I want to giggle as we read stories together and talk…talk about which friends encouraged her that day and which may have hurt her feelings. Maybe she would tell me the things that bring her joy and maybe she would heap her emotions onto my mama-sized shoulders that were built to bear her burdens. Maybe it would give me the opportunity to explain that Jesus is the only One Who will ever be able to love her perfectly and that it doesn’t matter what so-and-so thinks because He made her marvelously and beautifully. (You can read my prayer about an identity in Christ here!)
But there is a truth…
And it stinks.
When I have my weak moments, I find myself in the position of asking Him why I’m the one now not hearing God…
Our reality is that I cannot have those kinds of conversations with my daughter. She has yet to find or use words to describe what happens inside her heart. Her emotions, behaviors, and communication barriers keep us living on the surface…
But I pray.
I pray that she is hearing God. I pray that she feels His spirit within her. I pray that in spite of the barriers, she grows in her connection to Him. And I believe that this is happening even though I cannot see it.
I also believe that she has a very beautiful and unique relationship with Jesus that is far beyond anything I can imagine in my simple mind.
I believe it’s powerful.
And I believe it is exactly what she needs right now.
Dear Heavenly Father,
As I reflect upon our day, I thank You for the evidence of Your presence. I see You in those precious moments where there is a sparkle in an eye, a breakthrough in a conversation, or unexpected actions. I see You in the moments of beauty You set before us.
I thank You, Lord, as well for the moments You make Your presence known to me in a personal nature…in the whispers I hear in my soul that give me direction, wisdom, peace, and comfort. But, Lord, at the same time that I thank You for that gift You have set in me, I want to pray boldly for that same presence in ____________(child’s name). You know our story so much better than even I, and You know the behaviors, emotions, and health impairments that hinder communication for my child. Lord, for whatever reasons, I am not able to have the conversations with my child to ensure my mama’s heart that _____________ (child’s name) is seeing, feeling, and hearing You in his/her life. So, Lord, I know that Your word is true and I believe You will personally go with _________ (child’s name) and will give him/her rest–everything will be fine for him/her.”(Exodus 33:14)
I boldly pray for a clarity of mind in ________________ (child’s name) that allows him/her to set aside all that hinders him/her so that he/she can clearly see You, feel You, and hear You in his/her everyday life and know that You are there to direct his/her every step (Psalm 32:8)
When Your presence breaks through, I know that all things are possible.(Matthew 19:26) Your guiding love and wisdom will prevail over any trauma once lived, any diagnoses given, and any ill-conceived story once spoken over my child. (Psalm 32:8) With You, ____________(child’s name) will live a life not beleaguered by the ugly of this world, but rather by the joy and peace set forth in Your Name.
I know that Your goodness will follow him/her. (Psalm 23:6)
I pray this in the Name of Jesus. Amen
Blessings and smiles,