Dear Tired Moms,
I see you tired mama with folded school supply lists hanging out of your purse- the purse that’s low on cash because of the hundreds of dollars you just spent just to get your kids on the bus tomorrow.
I feel your mom guilt as you realize this summer was not exactly what you intended it to be. Guilty whispers in your ear saying, “You didn’t read enough books to them. You didn’t take that camping trip or have that conversation with your preteen that you said you would.”
I sense your worry as you let them go and wonder if they will follow the truth you have taught them or the crowds. When the conversation at lunch is seasoned with foul language and crude humor, and the boy beside your son’s locker is looking at trash on his iphone, you worry what your son will choose. Your child who struggles might get overlooked by her teacher who has 25 other students to manage. Are creepy boys checking out your freshman daughter in the hallways? We worry, don’t we?
We have all felt the pressure to send our kids off in the outfit they’re begging for, to get a post-worthy picture with a “first day of 5th grade” sign. We even feel our own kind of parent peer pressure when grades, games, and awards day come around. Our worth as a parent is not measured by all of that, but we fight it, don’t we?
We have six children, so back-to-school is not a new thing for us. We have homeschooled and we have public schooled. Our oldest graduated last year, and we have one with an IEP this year. We have girls and boys, teens and one tween. We have bought thousands of dollars in school supplies and athletic equipment over the last twelve years. We have had meetings with principals and are acquainted with both ISS and detention hall. We also have children who have received the most prestigious award on awards day. We have screwed up more times than I want to share, but I can honestly say we have been good-intentioned parents. We love our children.
One thing I would do differently
If I could go back and do one thing differently, I know exactly what that one thing would be. If I could go back and talk to my younger me, I would speak some serious wisdom to her. I would tell her the one thing that could change everything.
Battling for our Children
I’m not talking about the “please watch over my children today” prayer. I’ve been thinking about that one, and realized that God already promised to never leave them or forsake them. He’s there on the bus, in the classroom, and he sees them at practice on the field and in the gym.
I’m learning late in the game about focused, fervent prayer for my children. I have begun to pray very specific prayers over them, not stopping until I see God move in their lives. Hind sight is a powerful thing, isn’t it? I see now weaknesses in my children that I did not lift up to the Father. I am being as open and honest as I can right now, confessing to you in hopes that you may encouraged to begin a powerful journey of prayer for your children.
Battling for our children in prayer is where it’s at, moms. Our girls may not remember what they wore the first day of high school, but they will remember the first boy who hurts them. Our sons need us on our knees praying for their purity more than they need a new pair of Nikes. We all know that, but intense, purposeful prayer is work. The busyness of raising a family consumes our time and focus, pulling us away from the one thing that is most needed and most effective. Prayer.
how to Stand in the Gap
Our children need us praying on their behalf, but how? When? I want to invite you to join me in the greatest adventure ever. Standing in the gap for our kids means tapping into the power of God, joining him in his plans for them. We wring our hands when we watch them struggle, we worry and lose sleep and finally say in a defeated tone, “Well, all we can do now is pray.”
The most powerful thing we can do is pray. So, it should come before we begin pacing the floor, calling our friends and googling advice. We cannot change the hearts of our children, or protect them from the world. We can, however, be yoked together with Jesus as we parent. Our hope in parenting is Jesus. Our wisdom and strength in parenting is Jesus.
Fervently praying for our children takes time. There is no shortcut to connecting to the heart of God. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
- Choose a time. Carve out uninterrupted time whether it means waking a little early or getting alone during lunch or before bed.
- Write out your prayers in a journal, like writing a letter to God. You can go back and see how God answered.
- Ask God to give you a verse to pray over each child. He will do it. Pray that scripture over your child.
- Go in your child’s room at night while they sleep and pray over them.
- Pray consistently and persistently. Don’t give up.
You and I both know this is what we need to do. We know that new outfits and Pinterest photo ideas won’t change the hearts of our children. Our hope is in the power of God working in them and prayer is how we connect with God.
You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. James 4:2
I think what James was trying to say is that we can’t do this on our own. Our ways are futile. If we want to see God’s blessing upon our children we must stand in the gap for them. Will you join me?