Pondering Prayer

Most moms pray for their kids. I do. Every day… sometimes many moments of a day are spent petitioning the Lord, interceding for my children… or begging Him for wisdom, insight and discernment regarding so and so about such and such. Sometimes my prayers are flung like arrows – short, quick pleas fired desperately upward, often in crisis moments… Sometimes they are intense times of intercession where the Lord has impressed upon my heart a particular passage linked to a particular child and I pray Scripture over and for my child… Sometimes my husband and I pray together as we work together parenting the crew God has gifted to us…  or often a friend and I bow our hearts before the Almighty on behalf of our children, united by the Spirit. One certainty: my daily survival as a wife, mom, missionary, teacher, and person depends on prayer. The more I walk the road of this life, the more I find that I need to…  I desire to… pray more:   more continuously, more “Scripture –ally,” more ardently.

My prayers have changed as my children have grown.  Maybe that seems obvious; after all, children grow and mature. Their weaknesses, strengths and needs change. But my prayers haven’t changed for that reason, and as I’ve reflected on this, I must say that the realization astonishes me. When I became a parent, I often prayed for temporal and obvious things usually related to safety, protection from all the big and little “owies” of life and good health… I still pray for those things, but they are no longer the focus when I pray for my children. Rather than primarily centering my attention on those – the scary things that tend to jump immediately to my mind when I worry about what bad might happen to these little people I love so much – the Holy Spirit has begun interceding, guiding my intercessions, and sometimes He leads me to pray hard things for my children.

I’d like to share a few morsels from my menu for prayer. It is neither a recipe to be followed, nor a list of items to cross off (in fact, this is the first time I’ve actually penned any of this in black and white). I prefer to think of it as a selection of things that have been branded onto my heart, things that I’m led to pray repeatedly and fairly frequently for some or for all of my children. As I spend more time quiet before the Lord, in that silence I am learning the Spirit wants to intercede, leading my wandering, helter-skelter prayer paths… directing and guiding petitions so that instead of simply praying God’s Word back to Him or praying through a list I’ve scratched out in my finite thinking, I allow Him to plot His points for prayer, bringing yet another area of my life into submission to the Lord.  I pray that

·         when my children sin, they get caught… and that there are consequences that leave a lasting impression.

·         they learn, first to recognize and then to abhor any appearance of deceitfulness or pride, in themselves.

·         my children experience loneliness so that they begin to learn that Jesus is the One and Only best friend.

·         they have courage to walk differently from their peers if those peers are not following Jesus.

·         they have courage to walk difficult paths with their peers who are seeking to please the Lord.

·         God shows them clearly where they are weak so that then, they can see Him prove Himself strong.

·         they are content with this missionary life, thanking God continually for how He has chosen to use our family.

·         if someday God trusts any one of my children with suffering for His name’s sake, they will recognize the privilege that has been entrusted to them.

·         At tender ages, they trust God with and thank Him for their moments of pain (I’ve learned not to pray that the Lord spares them from the sting, either). Those moments will come – and the stakes only get higher as they get older.

Do you find your prayers for your children changing with time? How? What does the Lord lead you to pray, specifically, for your children?

(Post by: Richelle)


3 Responses to “Pondering Prayer”

  1. 1 Liz K November 18, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Wow! Great thoughts! My women’s Bible Study group is about prayer this year. And instead of doing a whole lot of talking about prayer, we are simply praying together. It’s a great journey to be on with these ladies. I am going to print this off and bring it next week. Thanks!

  2. 2 Kara November 21, 2010 at 7:45 am

    Thank you for these examples, and the reminders. Our six-year-old has had a hard time at Russian kindergarten, and I’m constantly praying for God to make it a nurturing place for him to thrive. But last week my son was excited after school and said, “God answered my prayer!” I am so glad that the hard time is causing him to actually pray on his own initiative for the first time! And it was a good reminder that hard situations are just what our kids need to learn to trust God.

  3. 3 Shilo November 23, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    Again, touched and challenged. Thanks, Richelle.

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