If you are not praying consistently for your children, you need to start today.
Believe me, I understand how daunting this can feel.
In fact, I used to feel utterly overwhelmed about praying for my kids because:
- Sheer numbers. There are so many of them (four to be exact). It makes me start to sweat. Kidding not kidding.
- Practicality. I love each of them so much that if I really prayed for everything I thought they needed, then I might never get to stop to take a breath. Not a good place for a busy mama to be!
Praying for my kids felt OVERWHELMING to say the least.
So you know what I did instead?
I just didn’t pray.
I avoided it altogether.
I guess I just didn’t have the brain-space to stop and figure out how to do this well so I just opted not to do it at all.
Well, I guess I did offer up some super quick, sufficiently vague, overly generalized prayers for each of them at times, but you know the crazy thing about that?
It made me feel guilty.
So I just quit doing it again.
And the cycle would repeat itself.
Ridiculous I know, but true nonetheless.
And I can promise you:
I am not the only mom out there doing a poor job of praying for her kids and feeling guilty about it.
We’re making it harder than it has to be. While I believe that having a strategic prayer strategy like Priscilla Shirer teaches us in Fervent is extremely important and effective, I also know that you have to start somewhere.
Let me simplify it for all of us with a one sentence prayer:
God, may my kids see You clearly today.
Release that breath you’ve been holding, just waiting for another person to put yet another parenting burden on you.
Let go of the guilt and the fear that your lack of discipline and attention to your prayer life is going to screw your kids up forever.
Take a breath and rest in this:
As followers of Christ, we know that…
- God loves us.
But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
- God is fighting for us.
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. Exodus 14:14
- God is working all things out for our good and His glory.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
If your child is already a believer, then all of that is true for them as well. So a prayer for them to see God clearly in their day will only serve to deepen their faith as they see their prayers answered, or God’s hand working in specific situations where only He can, or even in His goodness and beauty as they take in His creation. I believe that if we could all truly SEE GOD, then it would change the trajectory of our days- it would absolutely change our perspective and in turn, it would change the decisions (big and small) that we make daily.
If your child is not yet a believer, then this prayer is still perfect for them. To be able to see God clearly, in the midst of our chaotic culture today, is a real gift. And I believe it truly comes from the Holy Spirit. As distracted and numb as you may feel at times (as a grown-up and mature Christian), I can assure you that your non-believing children feel this way as well, except they don’t have the same filter and godly perspective with which to view their circumstances.
OR if you AND your children are not yet followers of Christ, then this is actually the PERFECT PRAYER for you as well. I believe God will honor and answer this prayer- He does not intentionally hide from us when we seek Him. But Satan wants to do everything he can to make us blind to God’s presence and goodness in our lives. Ask God to reveal Himself to you each day and I believe He will show up in the kindest and most surprising ways. You certainly have nothing to lose in asking!
You will seek me and find me when you seek me will all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13
I have begun to pray this prayer every day for each of my kids. I try to pray aloud with them each day on the way to school (of course this happens in between the yelling, shoving, last minute studying, “shut up’s”, and cries of dismay over forgotten lunch boxes because you know… real life). I also try to pray it at different (quieter) times throughout the day as I think about it.
You know what’s amazing?
I’ve started praying this same prayer for myself as well and it has made such a difference. God continues to answer this daily prayer of mine in the most unique ways.
His answers to this prayer have had a profound impact on my relationship with Him. They have grown my faith, deepened my intimacy with Him, heightened my awareness of His hand in my life and completely shifted my perspective. I am simply able to see Him more clearly and it makes all the difference.
Oh, how I want the same for each of my children.