I was recently invited to speak at a women’s ministry event over praying for our children. I began my preparation thinking that I would have something to offer the listeners. However, by the end, I felt much more confident that God used my preparation to change me. My hope is that what I shared with them can be an encouragement to someone else as well. Here is part four of a five part series. You can read part one here, part two here, and three here.
We’ve covered the who, what and when of praying for our children and this blog covers the where.
Instead of where being the location of our prayers, I’m going to take a slightly different approach.
Where do we get our prayers?
I hope if nothing else that from the earlier blogs in this series you leave here with a desire to pray scripture. But there are other places I go to for ways and ideas of things to pray for my children.
One resource is: A Parents Book of Prayers. There is a prayer each day. It gives me ideas of things to pray for my kids that I hadn’t thought of before and scripture to go with each prayer. I used to keep it at my desk at work and now I like to have it on my nightstand.
The other place I love to go is to ask people who have been at this longer what they pray for their kids. Many of these have become some of my own staples. Not because their idea is new or different than scripture, but just things I hadn’t thought of to pray.
Pastor Rick always prays over our baby dedications that the heroes in our children’s lives would be Godly men and women. I pray that for my children. I pray they would have examples in their lives of people they admire who are Godly. People that will point back to Jesus rather than away from Jesus.
James 5:19-20 “My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”
I know I won’t always be the one my children look to, so when they are looking to someone else, I pray that they are Godly and will point them to Jesus.
I asked my friend, Denise, not too long ago over lunch what things she prays for her children. She said “I prayed that they would always be caught early in their sin.” My favorite part was that it wasn’t her idea. She’d been given the idea from someone else. The friend said, your kids are going to sin. Pray they get caught early so that it doesn’t continue to lead them down a road of destruction. She prayed this over her kids too and would even joke, don’t do something you shouldn’t tonight, because God is going to want to answer that prayer!
Isaiah 59:2 says “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.”
So, I pray the same thing now. I pray my kids would get caught early in sin and feel the weight of sin as a way to return them back to God early.
Another one of my favorites came from one of our young adults and her testimony. Clary shared with me about how she met a believer in college who just continually invested in her and became her friend even though Clary had no desire to know Jesus. Finally, Clary was just miserable trying all the things she thought would make her happy and knew her friend had the thing she needed, Jesus. When she was telling her friend that life was just miserable, her friend said, “I have prayed that you would be miserable. I have prayed that wherever you look, that nothing else would satisfy.”
We like the sound of that. But do we pray that for our kids? Do we pray that in comparison to a relationship with Jesus, that the rest of their life would be miserable? I’m not saying I want a miserable life for my kid. But, if their life is perfect with wealth and popularity and a big house and an easy road and there is no JESUS…parents, we must know that it is miserable in comparison to life WITH Jesus. I pray my children would not find satisfaction in sin. That they would not even find satisfaction in chasing after good things if it is without Jesus.
Psalms 107:9 “For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.”
This prayer also reminds me not to try to fix everything. Instead, I want to trust that God will be enough. To pray God will use the empty or hard moments in their lives to remind them that only he can satisfy.
Now to change directions, this will be a short point, but maybe someone else needs to hear it.
As far as the where, I want to mention where we go as in who we can go to.
For some reasons as mothers, we’ve decided that the hardest parts of parenting should be carried alone. Because if someone knew how hard of a time our child was having, they’d blame us. They’d find out we aren’t perfect parents. And our house of cards would come tumbling down. One of the sweetest places I’ve found of where to pray, is to pray with close friends.
Now yes, this doesn’t need to be posted on Facebook for the world to know our kid is having a hard time. And it’s not a time to gossip about our kids. But there is a place of humility to admit to another believer out loud that things are just hard. There is a beauty in having that friend help take your burden and carry it with you to the feet of Jesus where it belongs. Don’t struggle alone out of fear of what others will think.
Galations 6:2 says to “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
Find your safe place. We talk about much less important things with our girlfriends all the time. Share and pray with your friends for your children.