Tuesday, May 30, 2023

a prayer for my kids

Dear God,

This world is crazier by the minute. It seems like every day there are new reports of all the ways people are turning away from You and against everything You have declared as good. It isn’t surprising—You warned us about just how bad things would get as the return of Christ draws closer. You told us about the selfishness, about how easily offended people would be, about betrayal and lawlessness and a lack of love for people.

But like so many, I’ve been caught off guard by this being the world I’m preparing to send my kids out into. It’s so much different than the world I knew at their age, and in so many ways I feel completely inadequate when it comes to preparing them. They are facing so many challenges I never even thought possible. They are growing up in a world that calls evil good, truth a lie, love hate, and mutilation affirmation. They are told that the only way to be loving is to go along with someone’s confusion and delusion. “Boy” and “girl” are just meaningless words. Being white in the United States makes you an oppressor by default. “Love” can be defined however you want—unless, of course, you want to use the biblical definition that says love has to be in line with God.

It’s so easy for me to be overwhelmed because it seems like such an impossible task to raise kids who will be able to stand against the unimaginable pressures of such an ungodly world. But God, I know Your promises are true. I know You have determined where and when my kids should live. I know that You have had plans for their lives since the beginning of time—that they “are the product of His hand, heaven’s poetry etched on lives, created in the Anointed, Jesus, to accomplish the good works God arranged long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10) I know that I’m not enough to prepare them for what’s ahead of them—but You are. You’ve known what they would face since You knit them together (Psalm 139:13-16), and You know exactly what challenges and struggles and victories and tears are necessary to refine their souls.

God, I pray You will draw my kids to You. I pray You will make their hearts desperate for You alone and that You will praise them up to be mighty warriors for You. Please give them the strength to stand when those around them crumble. Give them the integrity to do what’s right no matter the consequence. Give them Your wisdom so they can discern Your will for their lives, then the courage to go against this world in order to follow You.

I wish my kids could face a future full of daisies and butterflies, a future with easy decisions and nothing but peace and happiness. The reality, though, is that life on this earth is hard. My kids have tears and pain and trials ahead of them, probably things I can’t even begin to imagine. In the midst of the bad, though, I hope they will see You. It’s been in my hardest times that I look back and can see You at work on me. My prayer is that my kids will be wiser than I am and will learn the hard lessons without the hard times—that it won’t take a 2x4 to get it through their skulls—but if they are anything like their mother… well, I pray You will pull them through the hard lessons without too much damage done!

Asking You to make my kids warriors for You is hard. Warriors have to be trained; a warrior in the spiritual battle has to learn to fight against the schemes of a desperate enemy, one who wants nothing more than to see them fall. And just like that physical training requires sacrifice and discomfort, spiritual training requires the same. And that spiritual training? It carries much higher risks. But I know You love my kids more than I ever could. You know them better than I ever could. You’ll train them better than I ever could. So I ask You to give me the strength, perseverance, and wisdom to love my kids and to train them to the best of my ability—and then to let them go and to trust them to You.

Isaiah 43:1-3a
Eternal One: Remember who created you, O Jacob?
        Who shaped you, O Israel?
    See, you have nothing to fear. I, who made you, will take you back.
        I have chosen you, named you as My own.
    When you face stormy seas I will be there with you with endurance and calm;
        you will not be engulfed in raging rivers.
    If it seems like you’re walking through fire with flames licking at your limbs,
        keep going; you won’t be burned.
    Because I, the Eternal One, am your God.
        I am the Holy One of Israel, and I will save you.

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