Hello Friend and Fellow Life Warrior!  As I begin my devotional time this morning, I have been listing out those things that I want to remember to pray over today and it is quite a long list!  Some things are things that I need to confess and repent of; wrong attitudes or thinking that goes down the wrong path and eventually leads to wrong words and/or actions.  Other things are attitudes and perspectives that I need and hope to see developed within myself.  Many prayer requests center around the needs of family and friends, our church, jobs and also the area in which we live and our nation.  As I begin to pray, I can sense the need for praying with faith this morning, prayer that knows that we have a God who is eager to take good care of His children (each one of us!)  These are not merely “hoped for” prayer requests, but they are items which when prayed in submission to God’s will, will have results!  I recently heard a speaker on the radio comment that God responds to the prayer of faith more than the prayer of need.  God loves it when we come to Him proclaiming His goodness, His powerfulness and in expectation of seeing answers come to us.

Today, we are reading through Proverbs chapter 30 in expectation of receiving insight and wisdom for our day.

Some people curse their father and do not thank their mother.” (verse 11)

I know that we may have talked about this in a couple of previous posts, but as this thought of honoring our parents is repeated multiple times throughout the book of Proverbs, it bears looking at more than once.  Reading this verse brings to mind this morning the passage found in 2 Timothy, chapter 3: 1-5 which says,

You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!

While we may not have had parents who treated us well, the fact that they gave us life is enough reason to give thanks for them.  The need for avoiding bitterness and cynicism is enough reason to reject dwelling on their faults and/or mistreatment.  Anything good that we can think of regarding them is actually to our advantage as through doing so, we escape developing hard hearts ourselves.  I am not advocating continuing on in relationships where one is being mistreated, harmed in some way or even manipulated and controlled, whether physically or emotional.  Rather, I think that the principle here is that we need to guard our own hearts and our own attitudes and one way of doing so is through forsaking anger and criticism and instead giving thanks whenever and wherever we can see a reason for it.

While you may not have had good parents and you may have had even downright bad parents, if there were any adults who were role models in your life, who perhaps extended kindness and were generous with their time or resources, give thanks for and to them!  Gratefulness for those who have been put in our lives and who have impacted us somehow for the better can turn around a bitter heart and a critical spirit.  Focusing on the good in our lives brings a light-heartedness and a lifting of our spirits.  I have sometimes wondered why there is so much depression in our day and age and the thought has occurred to me to wonder if at times it might have something to do with our search for the perfect lives and at the same time our lack of gratitude for every good thing we have available to us.  I in no way am demeaning anyone who has experienced the devastation of a deep depression, but am merely expressing a question that has been on my mind over this situation in our day and age.

Proverbs 15:13 reminds us that “A glad heart makes a happy face; a broken heart crushes the spirit.”  I encourage you today, Friend, to choose gladness, thankfulness and a positive outlook whenever and wherever possible!

My Response Today:  Heavenly Father, I thank You for my parents, for the life that they gave me, for the good things that they taught me, for the love that they extended to me.  I thank You today for the parents all over the world who have done the best that they can to raise their children well.  I pray for those parents who have been unable to do so, for whatever reason and ask that you intervene in those situations, bringing hope and care to their children through others who are willing to come alongside of them.

Friend, I would like to remind you of the memory cards regarding the Attributes of God!  If you have not studied this subject and wish to know more about the God to whom we pray and trust in, these cards can give some insight.  While not exhaustive, they can be a good place to start or a good reminder of our all-powerful and wonderful God.  Click here or go to the “Resources” tab to download now.