I have been a mama for almost three years now, and have been a christian for nearly 24 years. As a christian, prayer has been a big part of my life but never has it been a tool I’ve used more than I do now that I’m a parent (especially in these recent toddler days). Some days, I pray we all survive the day. I’m still learning and growing in my prayer life, but parenting has really strengthened it. Sometimes, when its been a long day and your toddler won’t listen for the thousandth time, all you can do is pray.
As my son gets older, and my newest little one has joined us, I want to be more intentional with what I am praying over my children. As I see character traits and personalities forming, I pray. Instead of praying for what I want them to eventually be, I pray that God will use who they already are; that I will be able to encourage, nurture, and grow the person He has created them to be. With a strong-willed toddler, its so hard to balance the line of encouraging independence and also keeping him in line. I don’t want to squelch his determination, but I still need to teach him rules and boundaries. Enter prayer.
I don’t have a manual on parenting, but I do have the ability to think and talk to our creator about how to best handle and teach my boys, and my heart grows and changes perspective each time I pray. We want so much for our children, for them to be good people, to be leaders, to be disciplined, encouragers, generous, and God-loving, etc. While thinking about what we want for our kids in life, our first thought is probably that they would be safe, and protected, not facing hardships or harm. I recently attended a women’s conference with Jennie Allen, and she casually said something about praying for our kids that has stuck with me. If we pray for a comfortable and safe life for our kids, how will they grow and how will they develop faith? Faith and growth happens in the uncomfortable. WOW. Since then, I’ve prayed that my boys will have strong faith, and that they will be able to handle whatever happens in life to grow that faith. My mama heart is sometimes scared of what that may be, but I’ve got faith! What I’m learning is to pray for God to equip me to be what they need, so they can learn to be all of those things and that I’ll be there to help guide them through the “faith-growing” times. If we don’t pray for our children, who will? Pray on, mamas!