Scanned the kitchen and living room again with a heavy sigh. Instantly I processed a handful of things that hadn’t been done. Not because I hadn’t done them, but because I had asked (or, let’s be honest- ordered) someone in my family to do them and well, they hadn’t. Another heave of the chest and frustration begins to spread from a thought in my head down to my heart. Time to pause and process.
I could pray. I should pray. And my instinct is to pray, “Make my daughter more organized” or “make my son less messy” as I gather up the pile of drawing papers left behind and trudge into the pantry to grab a broom. But I’ve discovered a new way to pray. I discovered this prayer method from studying the ancient prayers of the Jewish people: praying blessings. And it changes everything.
“Lord bless my daughter’s wonderful creativity.”
“Lord bless my son’s boundless energy and put it to use in your kingdom.”
“Lord bless my husband’s eagerness to get to work to provide for our family.”
Instead of praying against the negative and focusing on everything that drives me crazy, I thank God and ask Him to bless those differences in my family members.
After I pause, process, and pray those prayers of blessing, I am able to see the beauty in their uniqueness. I focus on being thankful for the people they are, rather than who I wish them to become. I pray from a heart of gratitude rather than frustration.
Honestly, I’m not very good at this yet. My family could probably pray, “Bless our mom’s care of our home and her to-do list” because truthfully I’m a little OCD some days. We’re all a work in progress, right?
Instead of drawing a line in the sand and shouting at my family, “This is the ideal I keep waiting for you to live up to,” I’ve decided it’s much better to stand from behind, wrap my arms around them and hold up a mirror in which we can both see at the same time. Then I whisper in their ear, “Behold the beauty and wonder of you! May the Lord bless you in all of your uniqueness! May He mold you into the person He planned for you to become before the foundation of the world!” (And at the same time I remind myself: He doesn’t need my nagging to accomplish it!)
Lord bless our prayers. Lord bless our perspective. Lord bless our hearts.