Upside-Down Prayers for Parents: Thirty-One Daring Devotions for Entrusting Your Child-and Yourself-to God
Parents want their children to live godly lives. They want their children to be happy and to make a difference in the world. They can't do it alone. As parents, we need to pray for our children.
In her book, Upside-Down Prayers for Parents, Lisa T. Bergren offers 31 devotions that parents can use to lift up their children to God.
Each day is consistent in its format with the previous day. It begins with an "I pray...." statement and related scripture. The next part of each day is a short personal story that relates to the topic and then a specific prayer. The daily devotions end with a section called Making it Personal where parents can gain or reflect on their personal experience and then a Making it Relevant section which helps children relate to an experience as well. There are questions for both older children and younger children.
I like the fact that the devotions are short and consistent. I also like that there is both a place where the parent and children can become active in the devotion and reflect. The blank writing space is also convenient. I think this would be an excellent devotion for parents who have a desire to pray for their children and help them to strengthen their children's relationship with God and to help the parent be more intentional on praying for their children.
I received a free copy of this book from WaterBrook Press for the purpose of an honest review as part of their blogger book review program.
July 25, 2013
Challenging and Thought Provoking
Upside-Down Prayers for Parents by Lisa T. Bergren is a 31 day devotional about entrusting your children and yourself to God. Normally parents pray for protection, success, and an easy road for their kids, but this book challenges you to look deeper and pray for the things that matter most in this life. Here are a few of the chapter titles:
I pray you'll get caught doing things wrong
and find the good and true path.
I pray you'll fail in things that don't matter
and learn to seek what matters to God.
I pray you'll have to forgive someone who doesn't deserve it
and find the peace that forgiveness brings.
I pray you'll have to wait
and learn the value of patience.
I pray your beliefs will be challenged
and the roots of your faith will be strengthened.
I pray you'll be confronted by your shortcomings
and recognize you need a savior.
None of these things are fun, but they all produce fruit in the Christian walk and help to make us more like our Savior. This devotional not only focuses on praying for your children, but also for yourself. It's a very challenging and thought provoking read and I would recommend it to all parents. Click here to read chapter one.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
March 25, 2013
Get ready to challenge your prayer life!
As a Christian parent, I pray for my children every day, many times several times through the day as I think about them. However, what I have prayed over my children for over twenty years may not be exactly what I should have been asking God for. I pray for their safety, to make wise choices, to be a light for Him....all good things. But Lisa Bergren in Upside-Down Prayers for Parents challenges me to pray in a way that may go against the norm. For example, day 1 challenges me to pray that my child will get caught doing wrong and that they will find the right path. How convicting! As a parent, I would typically pray that my child would make the wise and right choices but we're all sinners and make poor choices. How much more valuable it would be to my child if he/she were to get caught doing wrong, rather than thinking they got by with something, and then turn to God for direction on the path they should have taken. How about day 16: I pray you will lose a job and know that your Provider has not forgotten you. Seem a bit harsh? What comfort and security to know that all is in God's hands and that job you think is there forever is only for the moment. God, as Provider, is the only way we can feel secure in knowing all our needs will be met and that His ways of providing may differ from what we think we need. Or day 24: I pray your beliefs will be challenged and the roots of your faith will be strengthened. What growth is experienced when we must defend what we believe!
Upside-Down Prayers for Parents was written as a 31 day devotional for parents. Each "chapter" begins with a short scripture followed by a few pages of text, to make the prayer Ms. Bergren is encouraging you to pray seem a bit more understandable as she conveys her thoughts and personal experiences and stories. Each day also leaves the reader to ponder a fairly thought provoking question and then suggests questions that promote discussion between you and your child whether young, teens, or young adults. Each entry is simple to read but it may just change the way you think about your prayer life for your child.
Some of these things are just hard to pray for. I think, for me, rather than praying my child will lose a job, suffer loss, face financial hardships, and take crazy risks, I will focus more on praying for what could be gained from those circumstances and let God take care of how that happens. I have spent most of my adult life trying to protect my children from such things and perhaps that isn't what I should do but God is going to have to work on me a bit to pray hardships on my children.
Good book and quite thought provoking but get ready for some reading that may challenge how you have prayed for your children!
I did receive this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way obligated to leave a positive review.
March 14, 2013
Thought-provoking, but worded wrong
Lisa T. Bergren is a well-known author of many books. I have enjoyed her children's books, so decided to choose this new one she wrote for parents.
The book includes 31 devotions to help parents entrust their children to GodÃ¢ÂÂs love and care, in way that you would not normally expect. Each devotion has a Scripture verse, thoughts from the author about a specific area parents need to pray about for their children, a suggested prayer, and an area to answer a question or reflect on what you have learned. It also includes a discussion starter to use with your children such as, in devotion #11 which speaks about loneliness and finding intimacy with the Lord, Ã¢ÂÂHave you ever been lonely?Ã¢ÂÂ and Ã¢ÂÂHow do you see God around you?Ã¢ÂÂ
The devotions are good and thought-provoking. They are not too long and give good insights to various ways we need to have a deeper trust in the Lord. However, on a scale of 1-5 (5 being excellent), I would only give this book a 3. The reason is because I donÃ¢ÂÂt care for the way the book words its introductory titles/prayers (at the beginning of each chapter). For example:
I pray youÃ¢ÂÂll get caught doing things wrong...
I pray youÃ¢ÂÂll fail in things that donÃ¢ÂÂt matter...
I pray youÃ¢ÂÂll get lost...
I pray youÃ¢ÂÂll experience unanswered prayers...
I pray youÃ¢ÂÂll know fear...
While I understand where the author is coming from, I donÃ¢ÂÂt agree with praying for my children (or anyone) to have Ã¢ÂÂbadÃ¢ÂÂ things happen to them. It is a fact that things WILL happen to them without our need to specifically pray for them that way. So, instead, I would say:
WHEN you do things wrong, I pray you will get caught.
WHEN you fail...
WHEN you get lost...
I would not say to forego this book all-together, as it does have a lot of good thoughts. But, just wanted to mention this one area I didnÃ¢ÂÂt agree with. If anything, it wouldn't hurt to pick it up just for the conversation starters to have with your children.
NOTE: I received this book free of charge from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.
February 14, 2013