It happens more than I would like. I shift from praying for my kids and trusting God for every aspect of their lives out of my control to worrying as if I alone can do something about it. I always end up shifting back. I want to enjoy my children before they are grown. Worry kills the joy. So I shift back and pray. Prayer is guaranteed panic prevention. Prayer allows me to let go and enjoy parenting.
Some of you may be thinking there has to be another way. Prayer is so inconclusive—I can do this. I can figure out something more concrete. Let me just point out that if you are thinking this way, you are rationalizing and working up an excuse to take back control. Some of you may be thinking, Well, I really don’t pray, or I really don’t know how to pray. Let me ask you: have you ever been in an emergency situation with your child? When your child’s life is on the line, and you are rushing to the hospital with a six-inch gash oozing blood from his cracked-open head, do you not pray?! If you don’t pray, then to whom are you talking as you plead for your child’s life? Do any of these prayers sound at all familiar?
3:00 a.m … Please, Lord, please help this baby to sleep for just four hours.
104 degrees … Two degrees, Lord! Please bring the fever down even two degrees.
2:00 a.m … Where are they? Lord, please, please bring them home safely.
#15 is down on the field … Oh, Lord, help him get up! Please don’t let him be hurt.
30 points … Oh, Lord, she has studied so hard! She just needs a few more points to get into that school. Please help her concentrate.
If you don’t think you pray but find that you can relate to some of these statements, then take a chance and try it. It does take a little practice, but the more you do it, the more you will love it. And the more you pray the more you will find joy in loving your child.
If you feel you need the words–what to pray, I recommend Jodie Berndt’s books: Praying the Scriptures for Your Children and Praying the Scriptures for Your Teens. These books are on my phone, ipad, laptop and by my bed. I use them all the time! The chapters are broken into topics such as praying for your child’s relationship with their siblings and praying for your teen athlete.