“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” Luke 18:1 (NIV)
There was something I came to realize pretty early in my journey as a mom that I needed to guard against: Sometimes I wanted to be completely in charge of my kids’ lives … more than even God.
I wanted to write their stories.
I wanted to set the course for their futures.
I wanted to determine what was best for them.
I wanted to prevent them from ever being hurt.
I wanted to be their provider and protector.
And I wanted to be the one to set anyone straight who messed with my kids.
Can you relate on any level? I think most moms can. We love these people God has entrusted to us more than we ever knew possible. And despite all the infant-stage sleepless nights, toddler tantrums, tween eye-rolling and teen decisions that break our hearts … they are ours. To love. To lead. To launch.
And we want to make it all good.
But then things happen — so far beyond our control we eventually have to face the reality that we aren’t God. And we can’t operate as if we are.
So, what do we do with that gap where our mom capabilities end and trusting God begins? It’s especially hard in seasons of uncertainty where everything feels scary. Every decision feels risky. And scary and risky are two words we moms don't want as part of our kids' lives.
How do we deepen our trust in God? How do we make peace with the limits of what we can and cannot protect our children from? What do we do with the risky and scary feelings that can make a mom lose sleep at best — and feel crazed with fear at worst?
We must fill that gap with the only thing that bridges the space between our limitations and our trust in God: prayer.
I know, I know. That answer can sound like such a cliché Christian answer. Typical. Too hyper-spiritual. Not the answer we want sometimes.
But prayer is the only possibility with real possibility.
That’s why I want to share some specific scriptural prayers I wrote several years ago to pray over my own children. You can easily switch out the “he” or “she” depending on whether you’re praying for a son or daughter, or use the first name of another young person in your sphere of influence.
Here are five powerful prayers to help you fight for the heart of your child:
1. Let her learn early in life that to obey You, God, is the best way to the life her heart truly desires (1 Samuel 15:22).
2. May he find comfort in Your ability, God, to reach him, hold him and rescue him (2 Samuel 22:17-18).
3. Let her find confidence in You, God, even when hard times come and she doesn’t know what to do, by keeping her eyes fixed on You (2 Chronicles 20:12).
4. May he keep himself under control and not give full vent to people and situations that anger him (Proverbs 29:11).
5. Give her a great desire to accept Your Word, God, and store up Your commands within her so her ears will turn to Your wisdom (Proverbs 2:1-2; 5).
I’ve prayed these prayers, and I’ve seen amazingly powerful things happen in the lives of my children.
I still had days when I would fret and worry.
My children still made mistakes over the years, crossing lines and giving the school principal reasons to call me. But where would we be if the power of the One who answers our prayers wasn’t in the mix of our lives?
And what might our prayers be working out for our children’s futures that we won’t see for years to come?
Moms, even when it seems you’ve prayed for years and you haven’t yet seen God’s answer … remember, God does His best work in the unseen.
And notice that even Jesus Himself speaks to the importance of praying without losing heart. In Luke 18, we read, “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up” (Luke 18:1). He gives us full permission to ask and keep asking. To knock and keep knocking.
Yes, prayer is the only possibility with real possibility. And that brings me to the place where I know I must say … “Hello, my name is Mom. Not God.”
Dear Lord, I’m so thankful for the gift of Your Word. Not only do I find the reminder to pray, but I also find words I can lift up in prayer. I’m trusting You with the hearts and lives of my children as I pray Your Word over them today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY
Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (NIV)
Do you ever struggle with wanting to be in control of your children’s lives? You aren’t alone! Loosen the grip of trying to control people and circumstances in your life by taking steps today to truly rely on God with the help of Lysa TerKeurst’s new Bible Study, Trustworthy: Overcoming Our Greatest Struggles to Trust God. Order your copy here.
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REFLECT AND RESPOND
Are there any verses you’ve already begun to pray faithfully over your child? We would love for you to share that with us here today.
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