HOW have you prayed for your children today? HAVE you prayed for your children today? At this season of parenting, I'm convinced that I can do no bigger thing than PRAY for Justin, Caleb, and Sarah! It scares me to death to think about the challenges they face on a minute by minute basis. I have one in high school who is undoubtedly exposed to more than I want to admit. My middle schooler struggles with ADD among other psychological issues in addition to being in MIDDLE SCHOOL! That's enough drama to drive a mom to her knees! And my preschool baby girl? Well I've only been raising a girl for 4 years now but I've been one for 42 years so I know some of the things she already faces. Why is it that we often see prayer as the smallest thing we could do...for anyone? Haven't you heard people say, "Well, I can't help but the least I can do is pray."? Are you kidding me, the LEAST?? Oh no, that's the best thing I can do for my children!
I've been recently reminded of this simply because it's been about the only thing I could do in some situations! It's completely unavoidable that children grow up. They eventually need to be independent, and I can't control them or everything around them. Hopefully Blake and I have done much to feed them Truth about God's faithfulness and His plan for them. Hopefully we've modeled an honest walk with God, but my older two have come to a point where they have to make some decesions for themselves. They live in worlds I cannot completely control. Oh sure, we have strict rules at home about what we watch, listen to, have access to, etc., but we've made the decesion to put them in nonchurch schools, teams, clubs, etc. We don't live in a Christian only village, so they see the real world. My friend Suzanne assures me that high school is more "real world" than I could imagine. I have a love/hate feeling about the story that her boys said, "Mom, you know high school is rated R, right?" That's life for the McKinney's...it's the decesion we've felt best for our family and our ministry. So how do I react as a mom? I'm on my knees every single morning claiming scripture and begging for God to protect them.
But I'm also asking Him to do whatever it takes to make them trust Him and feel His presence with them. Yes, I said whatever. Some days I almost choke on the word, but I mean it. I'm praying for God to use every single circumstance to drive them to a deeper knowledge of and longing for Him. I want them to have faith based in personal experience! And if that's what it takes, then my prayers are even more important!
Another reason I believe prayer is maybe the most important part of my job is that what I pray for, I'm invested in. Does that make sense? Seriously, think about that! What I take the time to pray for becomes HUGE to me. I want to know how He's answering my prayers and what's going on "behind the scenes". This motivates me to be "all up in their business" on a daily basis because I want to know how God is moving! It changes our conversations from "How was your day?" to "What did God do today?" and "Did you sense Him working?" Those are some powerful conversations!
Praying scripture for my children also keeps me in His Truth and never fails to convict me as well. How can I pray "Give Caleb Your Spirit of power, love, and sound mind...(2 Timothy 1:7)" without also realizing I need to pray that for myself as well as act on it in faith! How can I pray "Please help Justin work hard at whatever he's doing not because he is to please teachers and coaches, but because he's working for You and in Your power...(Colossians 3:23)" without realizing that I need to do the dishes or writing or even selling olive oil at the store in His power and for His glory? How can I pray for Sarah to love Jesus and spend her life serving Him if I'm not modeling that for her? This is yet one more divine way God activates and enlivens His Word in me (Hebrews 4:12)! When I'm praying for them, God's working in me too!
Here are two resources I have used for some time now to help me pray for my children.
This beautiful book is probably out of print by now because someone gave it to me when Justin was born. It is a compilation of scriptures to pray for your children catagorized into topics. I've used it for 14 1/2 years now and I'm so thankful for it!
This one is a prayer journal where I write every name and prayer request I'm praying for on a particular day of the week. There's so much to bring before Him that my ADD would kick in and I'd be chasing rabbits all day if I didn't use something like this. It was actually a suggested resource on the Living Proof Blog, and I've been so pleased with it!
What resources do you use when you pray...either for your children or others?
I'm thankful for a community of believing friends who also pray diligently for my children! You would never waste a prayer on us!