I had a light bulb moment recently.
I read a friend's blog that talked about how she prayed protection for her children and often worried/feared what might happen to them, but she was being driven to change how she prayed for them. She's a mom my age with young children and she wants to keep them safe. I could totally relate.
One of the momma's that commented on her post said that Beth Moore prayed for her daughters that God would protect them from everything but that which brings Him glory.
I loved that. It also really changed how I thought about praying for my children.
We went through a lot to get pregnant. Then I had a really high risk pregnancy - I was older and walking around town with three little bits rather than one little bit. Then we spent a month, longer for little lady, in the NICU. Plus the kids were born during the massive swine flu epidemic, during RSV season, and sweet girl contracted a dangerous infection while in NICU. Then we came home on monitors and had nearly every kind of pediatric specialist that exists on our fast dial list those first six months.
Let me tell you friends, I am already a little predisposed to dancing with fear and protectionism, but even if you were the strongest most fearless mother, that might push you over the edge.
So I know all about praying for them to be healthy and safe. And there is nothing wrong with that prayer. But what if I tweaked it? What if I prayed first for them to have a close relationship with God? What if that sometimes meant they went through hard, scary, dark seasons to learn to rely on Him and keep their faces fixed on His?
Just that thought makes me sad. Not the reliance part, the dark season part. We mothers want our children to be free of pain and suffering. But if they really went through life with absolutely no pain or hardship, who would they be? What would they know about faith? How would they understand the unfathomable love and grace and healing and restoration of their Heavenly Father?
I am still struggling with this concept. I know the Bible says there is no fear in love because perfect love drives out fear. Praying a prayer that is born out of a fearfulness could not be a prayer of love and could not be prayer that the Father would want offered up by or for His children.
So I will continue to pray over them. But I want first to pray for them to know God and to have a deep and abiding faith in the Saviour who will sustain them through the hard times and rejoice with them in the bountiful times.
Colossians 1 - For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.Genesis 18 - For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about...what he has promised him.
Genesis 50 - Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.