I learned pretty quickly into this parenting thing that I can’t do it.
I like order. I like plans. I like things to turn out the way I want them to turn out. That means that I want my children to be perfect and do exactly what I want them to do, when I want them to do it. I expect them to breeze through school and life and faith because I am the perfect mom and am doing everything right. Right?
Oh, how naive I was when beginning this parenting thing!
Guess what? These little people have this thing called “free will” and they exert it. Strongly. At all times. And their will often does not line up with my will for them. It is in those moments that I want to beat my head (or their’s) up against the wall.
So, if I can’t do this parenting thing, that must mean that there is help, right? Absolutely! God, the giver of these little lives into our hands, is right there, ready and willing to help us bring them up in the way they should go. He has told us that if we lack wisdom, we should ask. That is why prayer is the most necessary part of parenting. We can ask for AND RECEIVE the wisdom that we need to raise these children. But often, we don’t have any idea where to begin when praying for our kids.
When my kids were young, I found a book called The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian (link below). This short and easy to use guide-book to praying for my children has been an amazing resource for me over the years. I even have a friend who typed out all the prayers and inserted my children’s names into them, so I could have a neat little notebook of pre-printed prayers to use. These 30 prayers have been prayed over my children multiple times in their lives. Do I use them every day? No. But I do pull them out when I can, and work through them, sometimes as a part of my devotional time of an evening. These prayers cover a myriad of topics that we don’t always think about praying for our children.
As much as I would like to have concentrated time every single day to go through those prayers, I have two kids and a life, so often my prayers instead are short bursts throughout the day as I think of my kids and specific things they are going through. Right now things like an infection in Ty’s tongue, Ty’s struggles with talking too much in class, and Anne’s fears about re-breaking her thumb when she gets cleared for sports without having to wear her brace, are at the forefront in my daily prayers for my kids. These prayers are often just quick shots to the Lord as I think of them throughout the day.
In addition, I am also participating in 21-Days of Prayer for Boys (see MOB society link below) during the month of October. Ty turns 11 in just a few days, so what a wonderful birthday gift to him for me to participate in an intentional month of praying for him, as a boy. I don’t really know how to parent a boy. I was the oldest of three girls and had three nieces and a daughter before Ty was the first boy to join our immediate and extended family. Boys are different from girls. No, boys are WAY different from girls. Remember this nursery rhyme?
Snips and snails, and puppy dogs tails,
That’s what little boys are made of.
Sugar and spice and all things nice,
That’s what little girls are made of.
I think they left out running (never walking), jumping (onto and off of everything), dirt, grime, sticky, unending energy, messy, hard-headed, strong-willed, and bottomless pits to the boys’ section!
I wasn’t prepared for such a difference between boys and girls, and so Ty often gets those cry out to God prayers of, “Help me, Lord, to know how to parent this boy!” That is why this 21-Days of Prayer for Boys is going to be so good for me! I get to hear from other moms of boys and know that we are all praying together for our sons for the specific areas for which boys need prayer.
There are many resources we have to go to when we don’t quite know how to pray for our children, which is good, because we can’t do this parenting thing without it. Prayer is what gets to the heart of the matter. Prayer is what gives us strength in our moments of weakness as parents. Prayer is our front line of defense for our children.
How are you praying for your children today? Let’s share some prayer requests in the comments so that we can also pray with one another for our kids!
Resources on praying for your children: