Recently, Andy Stanley interviewed me at a Buckhead Church men’s event here in Atlanta. As the conversation progressed, I asked Andy what life experiences brought him to an active, meaningful faith in Jesus.
My journey began with negative disruption, a painful wakeup call saying, “Hey, your life isn’t working. You need God.” Others have experienced what I call positive disruption. They were living an okay existence, but the influence of someone they admired, or a small group they were in, or sermon or song they heard, moved them to decide they wanted more . . . to go all-in and make “this way of life” real and meaningful.
But Andy’s answer revealed a third path. Referring to a recent conversation with his father, Andy said his dad (and mom) prayed this prayer over him from birth . . .
“God, please use Andy and let him know that you have a plan for his life.”
As long as he can remember, Andy’s parents told him, “Andy, remember, God has a plan for your life!” Throughout childhood, adolescence, teenage, college, and beyond . . . “Andy, remember, God has a plan for your life!”
Notwithstanding God’s response to those prayers, the effect of continually hearing that prayer became a self-regulating factor in Andy’s decision-making. He would think, “I don’t know what God’s plan for my life is yet, but I know He has one and I don’t want to make a bad decision that would derail His plan.”
That’s about the best, most portable, pervasive, positive parental guidance I’ve ever heard!
Think about it. What if we start praying that for our children or grandchildren? What if we tell them what we believe and why we’re praying that prayer for them? Something like this . . .
“Father, I don’t know what your plan is for _______, but I know you love her and you have a plan for her life. Please give her the faith to trust you, the wisdom to know what to do in every situation, and the courage to follow your lead even when it’s hard.”
Will you join me in praying this? Consistently. Earnestly. Passionately.
Scripture: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)