I’ve spent much of my adult life practicing the spiritual discipline of prayer. But I didn’t always do it well.
When my children were younger, I prayed the usual prayers for them. Lord, keep them safe. Help them make wise choices. Lead them to become a follower of Jesus. My petitions were very routine and predictable. My kids were young, and honestly, I didn’t know exactly how to pray for them. So I didn’t pray risky, bold prayers on their behalf. I was just trying to survive motherhood.
Praying for them was easy when life was easy. However, kids grow up and challenges advance beyond spilled cereal or a missing homework assignment. Girlfriends, social pressures, and events such as choosing a college stretched my patience and drove me to my knees.
I began to pray more regularly for my sons. But in doing so, I made the critical mistake of pushing my agenda on God. Yes, I was consistent in my prayer; I just wasn’t biblical.
Perhaps you’ve pushed your personal agenda as well. Do you pray for specific things in the lives of your children that you aren’t sure are even God’s will for them? Lord, let him get into “this” college. End the relationship with “this” girlfriend. Don’t let him choose “that” career. The list of seemingly good prayers goes on and on for me. If I’m honest, I’ll admit I want God’s will for my kids as long as it’s my will.
I was recently reminded of a scripture that has reset the focus for praying for my sons. In 1 John 5:14 we read, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”
Do you see what I see? The instruction of scripture is to ask according to His will. I don’t always know what God’s will is for them. I’ve not heard an audible voice telling me which college my son should attend or what his next career move should be. (Although I do believe at times, we are shown those things with absolute certainty.) My only confidence is this: God’s will is good and always right.
It’s amazing how much stress I released when I changed my selfish prayers to simply praying for God’s will to be done in the lives of my children. The subject of my prayers is no different. I still pray for the same things, but I am learning to pray—boldly and with confidence—the Word of God for them.
For example, as I’m praying for godly friendships for them, I don’t just pray God, don’t let my son be friends with “him.” I pray Proverbs 13:20, which says, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.” Lord, let my son walk with the wise so he will grow in wisdom. Keep him from friendships that may cause him to suffer harm.
Praying God’s Word comes with a promise—He hears us. What mother doesn’t want her prayers to be heard by the Almighty?
Arise Ministries offers an online Bible study on the subject of prayer called “Unshaken.” We invite you to explore a practical four-step approach to standing on a firm foundation of prayer in a shaky world.
YOU can be a praying mom—and pray with confidence that God hears your heart.
About Kim Heinecke
Kim Heinecke wants to live in a world where children listen to the advice of their mothers without question. As a former single mom she’s been encouraging women using her life experiences in parenting, growing in the Word of God and everything in between. When she’s not negotiating with a teenager or wrestling a pre-schooler, you can find her camping in the family RV or pretending to understand sports with her husband and four sons. Read more from Kim at www.TheMomExperiment.com.