Editor’s Note: This article is part of the Impressed series. Be sure to follow the rest of the series HERE.
Imagine we are sitting down for coffee. Just one mom to another. I’d love to ask you the same questions I’m wrestling with.
- What comes to mind when you think of your role model for parenting?
- How do you handle situations when you feel out of control?
- What role does God play in your parenting?
- Describe your current prayer life, is there anything you’d like to change?
I wish so much that I could hear every one of your thoughts as you process through each one of these thought-provoking questions.
Truth is, parenting is hard work! Some days are easier than others, but in my experience, just when I think we’re in the ‘smooth sailing’ zone, rough waters appear out of nowhere! The question is, are our children’s lives left to chance? Or if God is real, does He really care about every detail of our children’s lives?
Are our children’s lives left to chance? Or if God is real, does He really care about every detail of our children’s lives?
Lamentations 2:19 says “Pour out your heart like water before the face of the LORD. Lift up your hands towards Him for the life of your young children.”
Eight years ago, when we were expecting our first child, a friend gave me the book The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie O’Martian. I smiled politely and placed it on the back of our bookshelf with all the intentions of it becoming our newest dust collector. A few months later we had a screaming infant in our home, who seemed to be nocturnal and thrived on the fact that he destroyed any hope of sanity that may have been remaining.
As parents, we were desperate. One late night (if you consider 3am to be “late night”), we were so overwhelmed and exhausted, I remember looking in the yellow pages (this was before we had smart phones) to see who we could call for help! Somehow we made it through that night, and the next, and the months that followed seemed like a blur and we needed help! What on earth had we signed up for?
As our family grew and we started to sleep longer than 45 minutes at a time, I decided to ask God if he had an opinion about how we raised these little cherubs? Did little stuff like “parenting” really matter to the God of the Universe? Surely He must be busy with more “important” things like global warming and world peace?
I realized that I needed to be in partnership with God and He would shoulder the heaviness of the burden and provide wisdom, power protection, and ability far beyond myself.
But this verse in Lamentations and the great book by Stormie O’Martian brought hope and vision to me as a parent about the necessity of bringing everything to the LORD!! In it, she writes, “The key is not trying to do it all by ourselves all at once, but rather turning to the expert Parent of all time.”
I identified with O’Martians confession “I had countless agonizing concerns for my son’s social, spiritual, emotional, and mental growth, but most compelling of all, I feared that something bad might happen to him.” I realized that I needed to be in partnership with God and He would “shoulder the heaviness of the burden and provide wisdom, power protection, and ability far beyond myself.” So I bought a prayer journal for each of my kids. Since I wanted the journals to last a long time, I purchased the kind with a wood cover, and engraved their names in each one.
My husband and I now have a consistent place to write out our prayers for each of our children. We don’t write in the journals every day, or every week, but we try to write whenever we encounter milestones: birthdays, first days of school, overcoming obstacles, answered prayers, big lessons learned, transitions, steps of faith, etc.
Now that our children can read, one of their favorite things to do is read the prayers their father and I have written about their lives. We intend to give this full prayer journal to each child when they move out. It will be full of prayers, praises, intercessions, pleas, questions, and thanksgiving! They will see God’s hand as evidence through trials and triumphs. Our hope is that they never forget that God has a plan for each of their lives and He is actively involved in writing their story. I don’t pray for my children’s happiness, as much as I pray that they would recognize their need for God.
I don’t pray for my children’s happiness, as much as I pray that they would recognize their need for God.
As a parent who has a tendency to worry, I identify every concern, fear, worry, or possible scenario that comes into my mind as a prompting by the Holy Spirit to pray for that particular thing. I am learning that rehearsing my troubles only results in experiencing them many times, whereas I was only meant to go through them when they actually occur. I don’t want to multiply my sufferings. The Lord transforms my fear into confident trust when I pray.
When we don’t pray, it’s like saying we have no need of anything outside of ourselves. Praying releases the power of God to work in a person’s life, and we enjoy more peace in the process!
Interested in reading The Power of a Praying Parent? Check it out HERE!
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