Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Upside-Down Prayers for Parents: A Review

I recently read an advance review copy of Upside-Down Prayers for Parents: 31 Daring Devotions for Entrusting Your Child--and Yourself--to God by Lisa T. Bergren (you may by familiar with her popular children's books, including God Gave Us You).
This book contains 31 short chapters, each consisting of a scripture passage, a meditation, a prayer, a question to help you process the reading, with space for journaling, and questions to help you talk to your kids about the issue discussed in the chapter.  Each chapter is just a few pages, and it's a quick read.  Ms. Bergren's style is down to earth and relatable.
The premise of the book boils down to this: as Christians, we know that God uses trials and temptations in our lives to draw us closer.  We know that after having survived a tough time in our life we emerge stronger on the other side.  So why play it safe in our prayers for ourselves and our children?  Why not, instead of always praying for provision and protection, pray for those trials?  Why not pray that we will learn and grow and draw closer to God?  Why not pray that our children will make small mistakes while they are still under our protection and learn from them, so that they don't end up making bigger mistakes later on that are not so easy to recover from? 
As a mother, it is difficult, close to impossible, to pray that my children would experience adversity, so I found this book to be thought provoking and challenging.  The book is an incredible tool for gaining perspective when I or my children find ourselves in the midst of hardship, to remember that God can and will redeem even the worst of situations and if we just cling to God good will come.  I will keep this devotional close in the years to come to help remind myself of this truth as difficulties arise.
The life of a Christ-follower is counter-intuitive in so many ways.  Gods ways just don't make sense to people who are told to always look out for number one or that strength always wins.  But as Christians, we are called to shrug off the conventions of this world and lean into God's strength, God's ways.  Upside-Down Prayers for Parents helps us to do just that.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review.
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