Note: Plenty of parents have questions about why, or how, we should pray for our children. If you’ve been around this blog for awhile, you know that’s a topic we love, and I was honored this week to share some thoughts about prayer over at Club31Women, a site dedicated to encouraging mothers, strengthening marriages, and helping us build healthy homes. Here’s that post…
Why Prayer for Our Children is Our Most Powerful Parenting Tool
“I know God loves my kids,” the young father said, “and I trust Him to work in their lives. So I don’t see why I need to do it.”
The man was talking about praying for his children. And I’d heard his logic before: If God is all-powerful, and if He loves us, then why should we pray? Doesn’t He know what’s best? Won’t He just do it?
I’ve been writing and speaking about prayer for 25 years, and I meet plenty of moms and dads like this guy—folks who love God and want His best for their families, but say that prayer is not a big part of their parenting journey.
“I prayed, but nothing happened,” one mother told me. “I’m not convinced that prayer works.”
“I know God answers prayer,” said another, “but I don’t want to be clogging the lines with my children’s issues when someone with cancer or a marriage breakdown or something really big might be trying to get through.”
Perhaps the hesitation I hear most of all—the thing that keeps parents from praying—is that we don’t really know how. “I didn’t grow up in a home where people prayed,” a precious mom in my own church confided. “It feels awkward and unfamiliar to me. But I don’t want it to be that way for my kids. What can I do?”
What can I do?
I am by no means a prayer expert. Or a parenting one. But having raised—and prayed for—four kids who are now in their young adult years, I am convinced that prayer is the single most powerful thing we can do for our children. Not only that, but it’s what opens the door to freedom from worry and fear in our lives.
Think about it with me for a sec.
There will be times when we don’t really know what’s best for our kids (or when they won’t listen to us, when we do). And even if we do know what we want—healthy friendships, strong character traits, safety and protection—we can feel like our influence, or our ability to provide blessings like these, is woefully limited. And that can leave us feeling anxious, afraid, or ill-equipped.
Which is where prayer comes in. “Don’t worry about anything,” the Bible commands, “but pray about everything. Tell God your needs and thank him for what he has done.”
Pray. About. Everything.
That’s a command that pops up over and over again in the pages of Scripture; clearly, God wants us to talk to Him about stuff! Not only is prayer the power by which His blessings come into our lives, but it’s also a way to acknowledge God as the Source of these gifts. And prayer is a sign that we’re actually in a relationship. (After all, we confide in people we know and love, right? Why should it be any different with God?)
In Part 2 of this post, I’ll share a few strategies to equip us to pray, tips that can breathe fresh power and life into our convos with God. For now, though, let’s be honest about how we regard prayer…
Want to keep reading? Click here to head over to Club31Women and read the rest of the post.
Want some specific strategies that can breath fresh power and life into your prayers? Stay tuned for Part 2, which will show up next week.
Just want to pray? Alrighty then. Here we go:
When I feel burdened or overwhelmed on behalf of my children, help me exchange fear for trust. Teach me not to worry about anything, but to pray about everything, telling You what I need and thanking You for what You have done. (Philippians 4:6)
P.S. I’ve loved getting to know the team of writers at Club31Women. And since today is actually National Authors Day (a little tidbit I picked up from my in-the-know pal Peyton over at AndOneMarketing), I hope you’ll check out what some of these gals have to offer:
Lisa Jacobson just released 100 Words of Affirmation Your Husband Needs to Hear. (And yes, there is a companion volume you can buy for your man. 😊)
Katie Westenberg blogs about how we can take God at his word and “choose brave” in life, both in the gut-wrenching times and our routine daily decisions. Her book, I Choose Brave, is available now for preorder.
And Sara Hagerty (you’ve met her in this space before, when I told you about The Best Book on the Beach) is all about helping us “scoot a little nearer” to God. Get ready to savor Sara’s exquisite writing – and to encounter God in new ways – when Adore drops in March.
Those are just three of the women I’ve grown to admire; the site also features posts from folks who write about cooking, organizing (yes please!), and understanding some of theology’s thorniest topics. Check ’em out when you can.
And given the whole “Author’s Day” thing (who makes this stuff up?), I was just thinking that we could stop for a second, since it’s November, and GIVE THANKS to the Author of Life. I don’t know about you, but I’m glad He is still writing my story! 🙂