Praying for our Children

I still remember the first time I received that one “favorite” comment-from-a-stranger about parenting. At the time, my husband was deployed and we had only one child (my most difficult one to parent to date). Sitting in the car before entering a store, my oldest and I shared a sanctifying moment. Soon after this, as we walked through the check-out line, the cashier looked at my strong-willed child and cooed, “What a well-behaved little girl! You sure got lucky!” My mouth fell open. I wanted to shake the lady in defense. Luck? Did she know the hours of steadfast discipling this child required, along with all the consistency and blood, sweat and tears? I held my thoughts in, smiling superficially while tousling my toddler’s honey-colored curls.

I am a few years further down the line now. With three kids in tow and another one on the way, I’ve realized more than ever that parenting is 100% hard work. Sure, one child may be more easy-going than another. But each is a sinner, in great need of the same grace I am freely offered in Christ. Of course, living in a house full of sinners requires more than a bout of good luck. Rearing children to “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8) requires 100% grace from an Almighty God.
When I think about the kind of woman and mother I want to be, the top two qualities I wish to possess are wisdom and prayerfulness. I long to be a woman full of discernment and truth, to better lead my children as well as the people I come into contact with. Even more, I long to be a woman who is constantly on her knees, humbling myself in private and public before my Creator, seeking His face above all.

The more children we are given, and the deeper we dive into parenting are kids who are growing, the more I ache for time alone to pray earnestly for my family. When I sense myself taking one step forward, I seem to inevitably slip into two steps backward. The more I seem to depend on my own strength, the more my prayers seem to become repetitive and unfocused, rather than putting “trivial” things aside in order to glean from the Word. When many distractions abound, I often find myself wondering, What exactly am I praying for, with my children [or family, church, etc.]?

Over the last few months, a few resources have proved incredibly helpful as I struggle to grow in these areas. One of them is Praying for the Next Generation, by Sally Michael. The pages of this simple little pamphlet are loaded with guides on praying scripturally for the next generation. There are twelve topics around prayer, with multiple verses and passages surrounding each. In these pages, the author urges readers to pray through God’s Word for the next generation. This pamphlet has increased my desire, confidence and focus when I pray. With room to add notes, additional passages and personal prayers, it has helped me not only pray for my own children, but over each of the CLKids classrooms, and all the little lives pouring through those doors each Sunday morning.

It isn’t necessary to be in the throes of parenting to glean help from Michael’s little book. Our CLC members each serve in CLKids, and we have all covenanted to pray for one another in our growth toward holiness. Remembering this, we would each do well to not only recall the adults we have covenanted with, but the children in our church. In their homes and in the classrooms upstairs, these children will soon come face to face with the call to follow Christ and become His disciples. How better can we care for them than to pray for them earnestly? It would be the greatest act of love.

Here are a few other rich resources I have also found helpful for cultivating a prayerful life:

  • A Praying Life, by Paul Miller
  • Prayers of an Excellent Wife, by Andrew Case (along the same lines as Praying for the Next Generation, as all the prayers in this book are based on and taken from Scripture)
  • The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions, by Arthur Bennett

Jenny Fugler

Posted on: April 24, 2017 - 9:00AM

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