It doesn’t matter what age or stage my kids have been at, I have always had concerns for them. I learned early on that in no way did I have complete control over the outcome of their lives. From the time they were tiny babies I was uttering earnest prayers for them. Early on, I just wanted sleep and safety. I prayed they would just learn to sleep, but if they were sleeping too soundly I’d pray they were ok!
As they grew and developed my prayers changed, but it was and has remained a constant desire of mine to bring my concerns to the Lord. I first need to recognize what it is my heart desires for them. I need to recognize what areas of their life they need to grow and mature in. Each child is so different with their own unique strengths and weaknesses.
It has been so good for me to write out my prayers for them. It not only helps me clarify the actual need as I write it down, I can look back 6 months or maybe 2 years from now and see how God has worked. This is so encouraging to see that He hears and answers my prayers, even if it is in a way that I had not anticipated or thought of. I recognize His ways are so much greater than my own!
I haven’t always been faithful in regularly praying for my kids, but I have consistently come back to it and try to implement it into my life on a regular basis. I’ve learned you only fail if you give up. If you get back to something that’s important, you are a success!
Here is what I do for my kids. You may have other methods, please feel free to share! I usually get a 3×5 card and write their name and date down. Then I write whatever needs and concerns for them I can think of. For example, one of my children loses his temper quickly over what seems to be a small and insignificant matter. I pray for peace, patience and self-control for him. As time has gone on, I’ve realized that it involves matters that make him feel less of a person, so I’ve begun praying also that he would understand who he is in Christ and not get drawn into the lies Satan throws at him.
For another child who is extremely self-motivated and driven, I’ve recognized that his self worth can come from man’s approval and praise. So I also pray that he finds his true self worth in who he is in Christ and not strive for perfomance based acceptance.
There are big things and little things. I believe anything that is of a concern to me can be brought before the Lord. He loves our children more than we do. He knows what’s best for them. He knows our hearts. Sometimes we may not know how to pray, but just allowing God to work in their lives and seeking His guidance and help for them, the Holy Spirit will be at work and offer the words we can’t seem to find.
After writing down my requests, they are usually in my mind as I think of them and pray for them periodically. There are times when I take the cards out and pray for them while I’m having my quiet time in the mornings, or maybe while I’m riding the stationary bike. I might be consistent for a period of time, and then sort of forget about the cards. Something will spur me back on to get back to it, and as I look through what I wrote in the past, I see how God has been faithfully working in their lives, even despite my inconsistency. I praise God for His mercy, kindness and love. I have once again written out my prayers for them as the year 2020 begins. I’m excited to see what He will do in their lives this year!