“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
This past Sunday I enjoyed a fantastic Mother’s Day. Projects, drawings, and notes filled with “I love Yous” from my two older boys were personal favorites. I mean, what Mom wouldn’t love those?! As I reflected on being a Mom, it occurred to me that while having the opportunity to be a Mama to 3 amazing little guys is without question one of the greatest blessings in my life, it is also the role I probably struggle with the most. If I’m honest, I would have to say there have been many days when I have felt like a complete failure as a parent. Perhaps you can relate.
On the first night of a recent graduate class, my classmates and I were asked to give a short personal introduction. I explained that I am a former active duty army officer turned stay-at-home mom. When I finished my introduction, my teacher smiled and asked, “What is harder, being an army officer or stay-at-home mom?” Without hesitation I said being a stay-at-home mom is much more difficult! My classmates laughed when I shared that getting 3 little boys through checkout at my local supercenter is far more arduous than anything I was asked to do in the Army!
Don’t get me wrong. The Army was incredibly demanding and I grew as a person in unexplainable ways. However, there is a huge difference between being pushed to your limits trying new and challenging experiences verses wiping noses and doing laundry – every.single.day.
Perhaps there is no greater reminder of my shortcomings as a mom than on marathon grocery shopping trips with all 3 of my little guys in tow. I’m guessing many of you can empathize.
On one occasion last summer I distinctly remember how inadequate I felt on such a shopping excursion. My two older guys, then 5 and 6, grabbed wrapping paper rolls and started using them as ninja swords – the obvious thing to do with them I suppose. Meanwhile, my youngest began trying to crawl out of the cart. He wanted me to hold him and feed him a snack while I tried to grab items off the shelf and push the cart. I mean who wouldn’t?!
As the chaos ensued around me, wiping sweat from my forehead, I knew my hopes for earning the Mother of the Year Award were growing slimmer by the minute. My mind began to drift back to when I was training to commission in the Army; a time when I actually had some clue about what I was doing. Memories of wading waste deep in a swamp and trying to catch a few minutes of sleep in the dirt with a 40-pound rucksack strapped to my back only to be startled awake by simulated training explosives didn’t seem so bad after all!
What I have come to realize through parenting situations such as the one above, is that being a perfect parent is an elusive goal no one can reach. However, while that goal is unattainable, we can strive to be something far better – not a perfect parent, but a praying parent.
May we never forget the truth of James 5:16b, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
Without question, the greatest gift we can give our kids, and the greatest legacy we can leave is to be a parent who prays consistently.
So what should we be praying for as parents?
First, we can pray that God would empower us to be godly examples.
We can ask God to equip us to be Spirit-filled parents who unfailingly lead our children with love, wisdom, discernment, and encouragement. We should pray that God would enable us to be godly examples who consistently point our sons and daughters to Him and His truth.
Second, we can pray specific prayers for our children.
When it comes to praying for our children, no matter their age, no prayer is off limits. Pray for their salvation. Pray for the choices and friends they will make. Pray for their future or current spouses. Pray they will glorify God with their lives. Pray for favor from God and man. We can pray daily for our kids with power and precision.
As it has been said, history belongs to those who pray. I could not agree more. I am certain that my life would not be what it is today if it were not for the prayers of my Mom, my Grandma, and even my Great-Grandma. I am a product of their prayers! Perhaps one day our kids will be able to say the same!
What specifically do you feel led to pray about for your kids today?
Don’t put it off, begin praying each and every day for God’s help in your role as a parent and for your children. Give it all to God and see His power at work!