Parenting and Prayer

by Teresa Bell Kindred

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Now that my children are older, I like to think I’m a little wiser when it comes to parenting. However, I still make mistakes. I know there is a commercial that advertises “the toughest job you’ll ever love,” or something similar. That’s parenting! As far as I’m concerned there is no job harder than parenting and I can’t imagine doing it without my Father’s help. However, there is nothing more important or precious to our Father, and our future, than parenting.

Our youngest children (our twin boys) are seventeen now. The years of bottles, diapers, and late night rocking sessions are over. They were replaced with car keys, curfews, and eye rolling. In some ways, parenting is harder now. In other ways it is easier. I tell people that I don’t have any memory of the first few years after the twins were born. I’m exaggerating of course, but those were busy, busy years.

As the mother of five, I have always prayed for my children. As they have grown older, the amount of time I spend in prayer for them has grown as well. I pray for them throughout the day about a variety of things. I pray about their health, their choice of careers, who they date, their future spouse, and their spiritual life. In short, I pray for all their needs. We can give our children too many material things, we can let young children eat too much junk food, but we can never pray for them too much! I praise God not only for entrusting them to my care, and also for the wonders He is working in their lives.

Remember Job? He’s probably most famous for his patience and faith, but he was also a concerned and caring parent. Job 1:5 describes Job in this way: ”…Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, ‘Perhaps my children and sinned and cursed God in their hearts.’ This was Job’s regular custom.”

I am a firm believer that praying for our children is one of the most important things a parent can do and I’m not afraid or ashamed to ask others to pray for them as well. Why? Because I love them beyond measure, just like God loves us.

I have no doubt in my mind that if one of my children were standing in the middle of the road and a car was about to hit them, I would jump in front of that car and try to rescue my child. No matter how much it hurt me, no matter what the cost. And that’s exactly what God did for us. We are the child in the middle of the road and Satan is the car headed straight at us. God loved us enough to send Jesus to rescue us. Jesus loved us enough to die on the cross for our sins so we could be His brothers and sisters. Love is a great motivator. That’s why we will pray fervently for our children.

We ought to be especially concerned over “lost sheep” children. Jesus said, “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he find it? And when he find it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.” (Luke 15:4-7)

Even if none of our children fit the “lost sheep” category, we all know someone who has a child that does. Perhaps there is someone you know whose heart is aching because of a wayward child. Make a commitment to pray daily for them and for that child. Let them know you are going to God on their behalf. They need your prayers!

Time passes quickly and our children will be gone from our houses, but never from our hearts. So let’s keep them in our prayers!

“Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17)

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