A Mother's Prayer!
I Chronicles 29
"I think of you wherever I go
of days gone by and times of wonder
of simple things no more to be
How I wish you were once more three.
I think of times when you were younger
Happy days, sad days and in between
Of little you upon my knee
How I wish you were once more three
I think of us and how we've been
and deep inside I begin to scream
The tears are frozen behind my eyes
No one hears my sobs and sighs
I pray the Lord for help for me
How I wish you were once more three.
Alas, I know it's now too late
To start again and clear the slate
To see again the days of yore
To try to change what's gone before
So I pray to God to let me be
As close to you as when you were three."
Being a mother is an almost impossible task!
What is a mother to do?
She Can Pray!
That's about all you can do.
So, let us talk about prayer.
Prayer for the Christian must not be -- "What I can get out of it? "
Prayer must focus upon God's greatness and grace.
In our scripture David praises God for Who He is.
"Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty:
for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord,
and thou art exalted as head above all.
Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reigneth over all; and in thine hand is power and might;
and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all."
David is acknowledging to God that he knows God's character.
He praises God for both Who He is, and for what He has done.
Everyone needs recognition for his accomplishments, but few people make the need
known quite as clearly as the little boy who said to his father:
"Let's play darts. I'll throw and you say 'Wonderful!'"
Well, God doesn't need us to tell Him how wonderful He is,
nor is it necessary for us to bargain with him or flatter Him to gain favor.
So, why do we do it?
We do it to remind ourselves how wonderful God is.
Prayer is the time for us to ask for what we need.
Mothers, are you grieved because of the way your children disobey God's Word and your instruction?
Don't despair -- ask God to make it right!
David was not afraid to approach God with his requests.
Here, he petitioned God to keep the people pure in spirit.
The Scriptures are clear in both the Old and New Testaments that we are to present our needs before God.
We have not because we ask not.
We don't deserve this privilege, and it is a privilege, and it is ours.
If we are praying and praying, and do not receive an answer, it may be because
we ourselves are not yielded to God.
Sometimes, God says, "No," even though it is not what we want to hear.
We must be yielded enough to Him to understand that answer.
In the summer of 1986, two ships collided in the Black Sea off the coast of Russia.
Hundreds of passengers died as they were hurled into the icy waters.
News of the disaster was further darkened, when an investigation revealed the cause of the accident.
It wasn't a technology problem -- like radar malfunction -- or even thick fog.
The cause was human stubbornness.
Each captain was aware of the other ship's presence nearby.
Both could have steered clear, but according to news reports, neither captain wanted to give way to the other.
Each was too proud to yield.
By the time they came to their senses, it was too late.
Are we yielded enough to God to hear His answers?
Or are we waiting until it is too late?
If we are busy asking, and are yielding to God in a repentant attitude,
we can expect something to happen!
We should have great expectations.
For instance, you can have a brighter child; it all depends on your expectations.
Before you're tempted to say, "Not true,"
let me tell you about Harvard social psychologist Robert Rosenthal's classic study.
All the children in one San Francisco grade school were given a standard IQ test
at the beginning of the school year.
The teachers were told the test could predict which students
could be expected to have a spurt of academic and intellectual improvement that year.
The researchers drew names out of a hat, and told the teachers.
Those were the children who had displayed a high potential for improvement.
Naturally, the teachers thought they had been selected because of their test performance
and began treating these children as special children.
And the most amazing thing happened -- the spurters, spurted!
Overall, the "late blooming" kids averaged four more IQ points
on the second test than did the other group of students.
However, the gains were most dramatic in the lowest grades.
First graders, whose teachers expected them to advance intellectually jumped 27.4 points,
and the second grade spurters increased on the average 16.5 points more than their peers.
One little Latin-American child, who had been classified as mentally retarded
with an IQ of 61, scored 106 after his selection as a late bloomer.
Isn't that impressive!
It reminds me of what Eliza Doolittle says in My Fair Lady,
"The difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves,
but how she is treated."
So, how a child is treated has a lot to do with how that child sees herself or himself,
and ultimately behaves.
If a child is treated as a slow learner and you don't expect much, the child shrugs her
or his shoulders and says, "Why should I try, nobody thinks I can do it anyway!"
And she or he gives up.
But if you look at that child as someone who has great potential
than she or he will ever be able to develop, you will challenge that child to do more and to be more.
So, work with that child through discouragement, and find ways to explain concepts
so the child can understand.
You won't mind investing time in the child because you know your investment is going to pay off!
And it will!
So, here is the message for parents.
Every child benefits from someone who believes in him, and the younger the child,
the more important it is to have high expectations.
You may not have an Einstein, but your child has great possibilities!
Expect the best and chances are, that's exactly what you'll get.
As parents, we often expect a lot out of our children, and indeed, the turnabout is often true as well.
Our children expect a lot out of us!
If we are going to pray with power we must expect God to hear and answer our prayers.
We must expect great things.
In 1972, NASA launched the exploratory space probe, Pioneer 10.
According to Leon Jaroff in Time, the satellite's primary mission was to reach Jupiter,
photograph the planet and its moons, and beam data to earth about Jupiter's magnetic field,
radiation belts, and atmosphere.
Scientists regarded this as a bold plan, for at that time no earth satellite had ever gone beyond Mars,
and they feared the asteroid belt would destroy the satellite before it could reach its target.
But Pioneer 10 accomplished its mission and much, much more.
Swinging past the giant planet in November 1973, Jupiter's immense gravity hurled Pioneer 10
at a higher rate of speed toward the edge of the solar system.
At one billion miles from the sun, Pioneer 10 passed Saturn.
At some two billion miles, it hurtled past Uranus; Neptune at nearly three billion miles;
Pluto at almost four billion miles.
By 1997, twenty-five years after its launch, Pioneer 10 was more than six billion miles from the sun.
And despite that immense distance,
Pioneer 10 continued to beam back radio signals to scientists on Earth.
"Perhaps most remarkable," writes Jaroff, "Those signals emanate
from an 8-watt transmitter, which radiates about as much power as a bedroom night-light,
and takes more than nine hours to reach Earth."
The Little Satellite That Could was not qualified to do what it did.
Engineers designed Pioneer 10 with a useful life of just three years.
But it kept going and going.
By simple longevity, its tiny 8-watt transmitter radio accomplished more than anyone thought possible.
So it is when we submit ourselves to serve the Lord.
God can work even through someone with 8-watt abilities.
God will not work through someone who quits.
We cannot give up.
The early church went to elaborate lengths to pray.
We must return to prayer over and over again.
Paul told Timothy in 1 Tim. 2:8: "I will therefore that men pray every where,
lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting."
Not a day goes by that we don't have something to take to God in prayer.
Especially those who are mothers!
Problems happen with the kids, whether young or old!
Pray about it!
Get down on your knees, day after day and pray.
God will hear your prayers.
"Happy Mother's Day; means more
Than have a happy day.
Within those words lie lots of things
We never get to say.
It means I love you first of all,
Then thanks for all you do.
It means you mean a lot to me,
And that I honor you.
But most of all, I guess it means
That I am thinking of
Your happiness on this, your day,
With pleasure and with love."
To all of our mothers -- we wish the greatest of God's blessings, and encourage you in prayer.
Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White
Email Dr. White at firstname.lastname@example.org