Receiving & Offering Forgiveness in Parenting
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The acronym A.C.T.S. is one that many books on prayer offer to help us frame prayers. We currently use this in Sunday School to teach our kids prayer, and this is also the model we use in our All-Church Prayer Gatherings. Try praying through these four different types of prayer together as you offer up your life, your marriage and your child to Christ.
Start by praying the following slowly and reflectively, pausing after each phrase to truly acknowledge the one you are praising. “God you created us, You designed the gift of marriage, and You brought this child in to our lives. We praise You for all these blessings!” If you desire, feel free to take turns offering up additional praises to God about who He is and why you adore Him.
Consider each sharing a fear or two that you have with regard to raising this new child. Then pray the following, “Lord, you have not called us to fear, but to love. Forgive our desire to take control and the doubts that restrain our faith in you. Replace our fears with the fruit of Your Spirit. Give us love, joy, peace patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23)
Share some things that have happened in your family recently that you are thankful for. It is easy to be so caught up in survival mode that we miss some of these. After each blessing shared or at the end of your sharing join the psalmists and pray, “Give thanks for the Lord for He is good, His love endures forever.” (Psalm 118:1)
This is your time to share prayer requests with one another. Rather than laying out all the things you want to change in other people or in your current circumstances, though, consider sharing requests about things you would like to see change in you. How would you like God to transform you to be a better follower of Christ, a more loving spouse or a more grace-filled parent?