Praying is a part of any Christian’s life – to pray is the idea of communicating with God. A conversation with God: sometimes calm, sometimes intense, sometimes informative, sometimes inquiring. We need to see prayer as a conversation with God who knows us, loves us, and has promised to talk back!
Being a parent is a big responsibility – we are responsible for these little people, they are dependent on us in so many ways. And though they don’t come with a manual, we do have a God who has promised to be with us in all that we do – and that includes parenting.
I am often challenged with the idea – who do I run to when things are hard? Do I run to Google, looking for answers? Do I phone my mum or my friend, looking for empathy? Or do I shoot up an arrow prayer to my heavenly father who is the beginning of all peace and wisdom?
Four verses that remind me to pray
These four verses aren’t written to parents specifically but I believe they fit the context, the situations and the needs that parents have.
Romans 12:12 Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder (The Message)
Or – Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer (ESV)
Ephesians 6:18 Prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out. (The Message)
Or – Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints (ESV)
Phil 4:6 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. (The Message)
Or – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God (ESV)
Just reading those verses, even as I typed them out, has stirred my heart to trust God: to talk to him and depend on him in my family situations. I have shared the two different interpretations, because sometimes reading the same words over and over (especially if you have been a Christian for a long time) makes us skip over verses instead of letting them sink into our heart and change what we think, believe, or act.
3 things for parents to pray for
There are three things that parents should pray about – that is three things that they should talk to God about:
1—Discernment: Continually ask God – What is going on in my kid’s heart? God knows.
2—Wisdom: Continually ask God for wisdom, to know how to help each child understand truth and choose God. Wisdom is a practical application of God’s truths – so asking God for wisdom isn’t just asking for information – it is asking for a practical plan of action as well.
3—Humility: Continually ask God to put a finger on our own life, on our own heart, so that we can be a true and faithful disciple of Christ (and an example to our kids)
There are so many different prayer list, or prompts for parents to pray – in fact, we need to be careful that we don’t approach God with these lists and systematically, work through them – the danger is that they start to become like a recipe book and we expect a consistent outcome – great kids (great as defined by our own understanding and expectations). God isn’t a fairy godmother – he doesn’t promise to make everything right, he doesn’t promise to take away the bad stuff – but he does promise to give us wisdom, he does promise to strengthen us for the task at hand, he does promise to never leave us or forsake us.