Growing humans is so much harder than growing plants.
I mean seriously, I can't use miracle grow on them and magically get the fruits of the Spirit.
Most of the time when I feel overwhelmed at parenting, it's because I fail to remember that I am called to plant and water my children, but it’s God who gives growth (1 Corinthians 3:7).
It doesn’t matter how hard I work at growing character in my children,
only God can ordain that.
As their very human parent, I have limited vision and resources. I want the best for them, but I am weak. I want my children to have purpose and walk worthy of their calling, but I know from my own experience that purpose is often birthed out of pain. Only God is strong enough to carry them into their purpose. Only He can weigh eternal value. He has perfect perspective and vision that isn’t limited by time. My plans for them are short-sighted at best. In His hands sufferings produce endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope that does not put them to shame, but instead is an avenue for God to pour His love into their hearts.
Our most important participation in the parenting job that God has given us is prayer. Prayer isn’t limited by time or distance, or anything under heaven. Prayers are eternal. They enter into the throne room of God and wait for Him to pour out his power and promise on them in His perfect timing. When we pray for our children we are eternally banking promises and blessings for their lives. God gives us the amazing gift of participation in prayer, and with it the assurance that our prayers can't go wrong. Prayer isn't tainted by our human limitations.
Prayer is the only thing we can do for those we love that isn’t tainted by our limitations.
Do you ever struggle with what to pray for?
Are you afraid of praying for the wrong thing?
My prayers for my children aren’t hindered by my human nature because the Holy Spirit intercepts my prayers and intercedes for me. In Romans 8:26 we are promised that, “…the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words”. God knew we wouldn't know what to pray for and He provided even for that. When I have nothing more to offer than a groan, God provides.
When I am unsure what to pray for, it doesn't matter because God is never unsure. He takes our imperfect prayers and lovingly perfects them. Verse 27 goes on to tell us that, “the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God”. The Holy Spirit takes our heart's cry and makes it music to God's ears. We are free to be imperfect and to be incredibly loved and effective at the same time.
When we don't know what to pray over our terrible two's or our teenagers, we just need to pray. Practice it. Praying God's word is like planting them in rich soil. I want my children’s roots to be nourished with my offerings of prayer. God's word is the best way to nourish them, water them with it.
Father, teach my children to trust you from the bottom of their hearts, and not go through life trying to figure things out on their own. Let them listen for your voice in everything they do and everywhere they go. Make me faithful to love them and grow them with my prayers.