Stop and pray.

God is the one who changes hearts. So why don’t we ask Him to do it more? Am I the only one who has talked and lectured and disciplined while totally forgetting to go before the throne of the One who can actually turn a disobedient, rebellious heart into a humble, submissive one?

Maybe you’re smarter than I am. But if you’re not, try this today:

When a child needs discipline — when he disobeys or bickers with a sibling or complains or lies — stop and pray before you do anything else. It doesn’t have to be a long prayer. “Lord, give me wisdom,” will do. Or “Lord, thank you for this opportunity to point my child to You. Help me to be patient and loving.”

It may be a quick whisper for help as you step into a situation, or it may mean sitting down with the child and asking God to help you both as you unravel what just happened between him and the person who is crying on the other side of the room.

But pray. Watch what happens. See if your own heart changes as you lean on God to accomplish what you cannot do. And see if your child’s attitude changes as he responds to the Holy Spirit’s work in his heart.

“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16, NKJV).

But pray.


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  1. Thank you so much for this…..wish I would have looked at it 3 hours ago, but now I am posting your post on my bathroom mirror (with my memory verses) to help me remember to do this!

  2. One of the best posts ever!

  3. Thanks for the encouragement to remember to pray. I am amazed at what an instant heart change I can have when I simply pray “please help Lord”. It is almost like a fresh wind of clarity. I can think again, instead of just responding with my emotions. It is so much better to instruct, admonish, and discipline in a greater dependence on him. Thanks Pam.

  4. I’ve started doing this, sometimes even out loud in front of my children, and it changes everything! 🙂 Thank you!