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Daily Guideposts writer, Patty Kirk, shares her prayer for her loved ones to turn to God.
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. —Proverbs 22:6 (TNV)
Ever since my daughters became teenagers, with minds and desires of their own—minds that questioned every truth they’d ever been told and desires that rejected the church they’ve attended from babyhood I’ve wakened each morning with the same prayer: “Father, let them turn to You. Let them know You.”
As soon as I pray these words, though, I unpray them. “How can God make them turn to Him?” another voice in me asks. “Surely, if any aspect of faith is up to us, it’s that initial impulse to know one’s maker.” This year I attended a faculty workshop in spiritual formation. We returned repeatedly to the questions at the root of my morning prayer struggle.
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Does God make us believe, or are we on our own? Can our strategies as teachers or parents—can our prayers—inspire spiritual growth in another? I like to think of believing as work. The only work of God, in fact.
When asked what work God requires, Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent” (John 6:29, TNIV).
After the workshop, a colleague offered a devotion about Peter’s unsettling dream in which God deemed permissible all the foods forbidden in the law. “This story isn’t about food or even the law,” he told us. “It’s about Peter’s growth as a believer.” And he showed us how, in the story—before, after and even while Peter dreamed—a stranger named Cornelius was praying on Peter’s behalf. My colleague’s teaching—his prayers—grew me, and I have prayed confidently for my daughters’ spiritual development ever since.
Father, let the ones I love come to know You and love You. Thank You for hearing my prayers.