The Lord has been teaching me much about praying for others....it is something I know I should be doing, but sometimes my prayers end up pretty general - you know the kind..."God, please bless So-and-So in whatever is going on in their life today." The Lord has been showing me how important it is to pray specifically for people. Naturally, my own family gets to be the "guinea pigs" when it comes to the Lord's lessons in my life!
The Lord has been encouraging me to be specific in my prayers. There are certain character qualities I want to be evident in the lives of my children, but if I don't pray for those things specifically, how will they be there? Then the thought comes to mind, that the very things I want for my children must be evident in my life first - whew!
So how exactly should I be praying for others? Find out their needs and pray for that area exactly. If I want to see cheerfulness in my children, I need to pray for it in their lives, then practice it in mine! Cheerfulness is sometimes a struggle - especially when you don't feel good - it's easy to be whiny! I have noticed that my children are a perfect reflection of me - scary, isn't it?!
I have also noticed that on the days when I go through my quiet time "with a lick and a promise" that those are the hardest days to get through! I recently observed one of my students, and as I was thinking about it, the Lord reminded me to pray - pray for the exact areas in that student's life that need improvement - and keep on praying until the Lord answers!
In our family, we recently started putting Psalm 119:164 into practice. "Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments." One of my favorite movies is "Pollyanna." I recently read the two books that the movie came from....and we laugh about Pollyanna's "everlasting gladness," when really we can take a lesson from her. Her "Glad Game" really was just another way of looking for things to be thankful for...and when we are thankful, we are glad!
I pray that you have a wonderfully glad and thankful day today!