I am going to be really, really honest here. I’ve been a mom for seven plus years now…and aside from praying for my babies during pregnancy and for myself and them during labor and delivery, praying for my children (or my husband even for that matter) was never anything that I thought much about.
In truth, prayer in general is a new thing for me…and I’m still working on improving in this vitally important aspect of my spiritual walk.
I’m convinced that there could have probably been a lot of aspects of my life (both before children and since) that might have been a whole lot different if I had surrendered myself to prayer. Hard times with my husband, hard times with my family, hard times with Noah when he was an itty bitty baby and having all kind of trouble with things like colic…I wonder now if life might now have been just a teeny bit easier if I had prayed more and complained less.
My greatest fear as a mother is that my children will turn into the very thing that I adamantly don’t want them to be. I don’t mean in terms of career or worldly success or anything like that. I mean in terms of eternity and the Kingdom of God. I fear with my whole heart that I will miss the mark and my children will miss the mark when it comes to eternity. Every time that I raise my voice…every time that I am rude to someone or unkind to someone…every time my children hear me gossip or talk negatively about someone…every time they hear my husband and I in a heated discussion and ask if we are fighting because we aren’t using nice words…I worry.
If I learned nothing else after the terrible-horrible-no good-very bad-year that was 2015, it is that prayer is our lifeline. Period. It is the only thing that keeps me sane. It is the only thing that keeps my head in the game and keeps my eyes on what I’m working for…and I’m not working for a new Apple device or a fancy new handbag (though if anyone wants to buy me a fancy handbag, I have my heart set on a Kate Spade…just saying). What I’m working for is the eternal kingdom and raising kingdom kids along the way. There is no worse punishment in this life than losing a child and not knowing if you will see them again on the other side of eternity.
I know there are very heated debates on childhood innocence and the age in which age doesn’t matter and when it does and all of that. I’m not getting into that debate because “better safe than sorry.” I don’t want to risk the eternity of my children on something like that. And the fact of the matter is,, quite frankly, the enemy is after our children.
Satan knows the parts of their character-both their strengths and their weaknesses-where he can worm in and try stunting their growth, their potential, and their confidence (pg. 81).
I see this playing out already in the life of our oldest son. Noah is like his daddy in almost every way. Unfortunately, he seems to have gained my need for approval. He thrives off of positive reinforcement and when he feels like he isn’t measuring up to what we expect…or more than likely what he expects for himself…he is very critical. The enemy, being the enemy that he is, is using that very thing in his life to bring him down. It’s a very distinct plan to target both my son and our family. While I try to see it in a positive light (telling myself, “Surely if the enemy is working this hard to attack a seven-year old little boy, then he must have a bright future ahead of him!”), it outrages me to see my son, so young and vulnerable, under attack.
In the last year, I have seen a difference in our lives. My husband’s grandmother passed away in September 2014 and I could physically, emotionally ,and spiritually tell the difference in our lives when her daily prayers for us ceased. There is something to be said about becoming a prayer warrior. There is something to be taken so seriously about laying down your to-do list, putting off a task that you know needs doing or leaving that load of laundry to sit for just a bit longer while you hit your knees and battle it out in the heavenly realms for your children.
If I am not praying-I mean really praying specific, intentional, directional prayers-for my children…then who is? No one else on this planet may ever think enough about my boys to pray for them. No one else may ever know them the way that I do and know what they struggle with and what their weaknesses are. And as their mother, no one else may notice the attacks that come upon them even when we credit it to something like stubbornness and defiance.
An enemy is after your children, I’m telling you. Believe it. Know it. But most important, DEAL WITH IT- by tunneling deep into your prayer closet and fighting back with every parental and spiritual weapon at your disposal (pg. 82).
Not to scare you…not to freak you out…not to make you panic…
But an enemy is after our children. THE enemy is after our children.
It’s time to hit our knees and pray it out as hard and as intentionally as we can. Day after day after day. Because if you aren’t praying for them, will anyone else?