Tuesday, February 1, 2011
“…persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer” –Romans 12:12
How often do we pray for our kids, I mean really pray? It’s seemingly a given that we would “pray without ceasing.” You would think that we would soak in prayer our most prized possession, our kids. But too often we don't. And what we model for our kids is a parent that worries without ceasing, frets without ceasing and annoys without ceasing. Be a parent that prays and let that pervade all that you are. Trust me, it will spill over into your everyday life and your kids will notice the difference.
The message at church today was about faith. It was a reminder to us all that God is in the business of producing faith in our lives. So we prepare and in essence “brace” for the trials that God brings along. We “consider it all joy when we encounter various trials.” But what about when our kids encounter those “various trials?” We’re okay walking through the trials ourselves, but it seems more difficult when our kids are struggling. We want to fix it for them instead of realizing that their faith needs to be increased as well.
As we were leaving church, an older couple that I deeply respect commented that they needed to hear the message on faith. “We are having difficulty with one of our adult kids,” they said, “and we realize that the best thing we can do for them is pray for them.”
“The best thing we can do is pray for them.” I wonder how many of us parents really believe that’s the best thing we can do? The problem is that we’re not really convinced that prayer makes that much of a difference. We are convinced that meeting with the coach or having the teacher conference will fix things, but we struggle shaking the feeling that prayer won’t fix the situation.
We fail to realize and remember that, “the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16). When we pray first, we’re acknowledging that God calls the shots and that God is truly in control. When we pray first, we’re submitting to His plan and letting Him have His way. When we pray first, we’re admitting that the plan that we have for our kids may not be the best plan.
My kids are adults now, but as I think back on their victories and defeats, I’m reminded that the tough times they encountered taught them (and me) more than the victories. When they didn't win first place, they learned that doing their best with their talent was enough. When they didn't make an A, they learned that B’s are okay too. When friends left them out, they learned that God is their best friend.
When I’m a parent that prays, I’m able to let go of the hyper control of my kids and let them be kids, mistakes and all. And kids tend to model the peace and contentment that a praying parent possesses.
So be a parent that prays. Turn off the car radio and pray for the details of the day for your child. Pray on the way to school with your kids. Pray for the classes, pray for the practice in the afternoon. Pray that the day will make a difference in your child’s character, not for the day to be easy.
And remember that the best thing you can do is pray for them.
By Eric Joseph Staples ©