Being a mother to my four children is the most difficult yet valuable job I will ever do. It can often be frustrating and tiresome, and yet it is the most fulfilling and rewarding role. I’m sure, if you are a parent, you can understand and relate.
It can often be terrifying knowing that I am “in charge” of my four little beautiful creatures. “In charge” of educating them, instilling values, growing character, and most importantly, helping them establish a relationship and fall in love with Jesus. Motherhood is a role that drives me to my knees. I am undeserving of God’s grace, and yet He fills and covers me with it.
A few years ago I read a book called, The Power of a Praying Parent Book of Prayers by Stormie Omartian. In her book, she uses Scripture as a guide and as a weapon in praying for our children. “If we also declare the Word of God in our prayers, then we wield a powerful weapon against which no enemy can prevail” (The Power of a Praying Parent, p. 20). I remember being encouraged to pray more intentionally for each of my children. …And then I got busy with life, birthing, raising, and educating my four littles. I allowed the busyness of life to overwhelm and my prayers began feeling tired, generic, and rote. I often covered them all with a blanket prayer “Lord, be with the kids… You know what they need.” Yes He does, but do I?
So why pray?
We don’t pray for our children because God needs to be reminded of what they need. Praying specifically for each of our children allows us, as parents, to recognize and identify each of our children’s strengths, each of their weaknesses, and in doing so, to also recognize our own. It is not for God that we pray, but for ourselves.
Spending time in prayer with our Father, both speaking and listening, builds a relationship. “Prayer is not monologue, but dialogue. God’s voice in response to mine is it’s most essential part” (Andrew Murray). Building a relationship with Christ changes us instead of changing God.
We pray to confess, to hand our sins over to a God who takes them, forgives them, and throws them into the deepest of seas, never to be seen again. We pray to confess so that our hearts can be more molded, so we can be more like Christ.
Prayer is often about interceding on another’s behalf, namely, our children. “Prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge for Satan” (John Bunyan). Prayer links us to our heavenly Father. We don’t have to raise our children alone. We don’t have to be “in charge”. We can allow our God, a God who knows and loves our children even more than we do, to help us raise them. I want to raise my children for God with God.
Prayer isn’t just about asking for requests, it’s also about praising God and thanking Him. Praise and thanksgiving takes our eyes off of ourselves and our troubles and places them back on Him. Prayer creates an “attitude of gratitude” within our hearts.
Prayer often takes time. But it is our time best spent. In praying for our children we are building our relationship, not only with our children, but with Our Father. And yet, God doesn’t require us to spend hours on our knees. Often times, “The fewer the words the better the prayer” (Martin Luther). And He doesn’t require us to be on our knees with our hands folded and our eyes closed. We can pray anytime, anywhere. I find I say most of my prayers at the kitchen sink or in my bed in the wee hours of the morning.
A few years ago, I was given a binder made by Moms In Touch International. Reading through this binder made me want to get a group of moms together to pray over specific things for each of our children. But life is busy, pulling us all in different directions and it was not feasible to get a group together consistently. Again, I feel God placing it on my heart to encourage community among praying parents.
With Jesus as our Shepherd and as our Guide, I would like to create a place on Instagram, where together we can intentionally pray for our children and for each other. I realize it’s not ideal. We lose much of the intimacy we would share if we were face to face. But within what other setting can our prayers be heard across the globe? Social media has given us a gift in being able to connect with people we otherwise never would have met. My prayer is that we use this for good. My prayer is that we begin an Instagram community of parents who will pray intentionally together for our children and for each other, in the convenience of our own home and on our own time. A community where we can connect and that will support and encourage. When a community is formed, when a community is bonded, we are often held more accountable. Many of us share a common bond in our children and in our love for Jesus.
I know for myself, praying for children without direction, can often be overwhelming. Every Monday, I will try to post a certain theme, scripture, or character attribute that we can collectively pray over our children. My hope is that we can begin an Instagram community of praying parents that will help to remind and encourage each other to pray intentionally for our children. Together, let us build an Instagram community of prayer warriors, using the hashtag #prayerparents. Here, we can post requests for prayer, stories of how prayers have been answered, and/or encouragement for fellow parents. And where God takes this, where He leads us, I pray that we will follow.
My friends, there is power in prayer.
And I believe parents to be the most valiant of warriors. In what other role are we to fight the hardest, to give our all? “The battle for our children’s lives is waged on our knees. When we don’t pray, it’s like sitting on the sidelines watching our children in a war zone getting shot at from every angle. When we do pray, we’re in a battle alongside them, appropriating God’s power on their behalf” (The Power of a Praying Parent, p. 20). There is no battle I want to fight harder than for the souls of my children. “…Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord. Lift your hands toward Him for the life of your young children” (Lamentations 2:19).
I encourage you to join me this Monday. You can follow along on Instagram @kinderfarmhomeschool or you can follow under the Instagram heading on the right hand side of our blog’s homepage. I pray I meet you there…