A few months ago, Molly asked Randy to make some color copies she needed for a language arts project.
My girl doesn’t talk much about her schoolwork, and this was the first we had heard about the assignment. It turns out that she and her classmates were researching social issues, and she had very innocently selected a topic that we felt she should learn about at home (rather than by Googling it herself at school).
Initially, we weren’t sure how to respond because we’d never come up against something like this with either of our girls. But a few days later, a quick email to the teacher resulted in a better understanding of the assignment and a new, more appropriate topic for Molly.
This situation prompted me to pay closer attention to what my usually self-motivated daughter is doing at school. It also reminds me of some important petitions I frequently offer to God on behalf of both Lilly and Molly.
• First, I pray that things in their lives that need to come to light WILL come to light.
Time and again, God has answered this request in ways that are often quite noticeable. Occasionally He reveals something that has been purposefully hidden, like a sin issue that is brewing just under the surface. More often, though, He simply illuminates a scenario that we need to know about—through a question that we suddenly think to ask, random flip through a novel left laying around or a bit of information that comes out in a conversation.
For example, Molly’s language arts project easily could have come and gone without us ever catching wind of it, but it didn’t. I’m so thankful for that.
I don’t think this prayer should be held over a child’s head as some kind of parental fear tactic. But I do often remind my girls that I pray this way, and that God is faithful to answer.
• Second, I pray that friendships that aren’t good for my daughters will simply go away.
This has happened more than a few times, although I usually only recognize it in retrospect. Once, a friend who didn’t seem to be a good influence on one of my daughters literally moved away in the middle of the school year (although that’s not usually how it works).
These potentially questionable friendships sometimes just fade away as class schedules or interests change; other times, a painful break occurs. We can’t shield our kids from this kind of hurt, but we can help them through it. And we can also pray the converse—that God will bring good friends into their lives who will encourage them and appreciate them for who they are.
• Finally, I pray that God will guard my girls’ hearts.
Proverbs 4:23 says, “Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.” This is an important concept to teach children, but it’s also difficult to carry out—especially when you’re in the throes of adolescence and your heart is fickle, insecure and immature.
That’s how mine was at that age, anyway, which is why I’ve been asking God to do this for my girls with greater urgency since Lilly started high school a couple of years ago. I love my children and want what’s best for them, but I can’t be everywhere they are or know everything about them.
Their Heavenly Father, though? He made them, knows them and loves them far better than I ever could. He’s not just my shield, fortress, protector and stronghold—He’s theirs too.
That’s how I can pray these three prayers (plus many more) and trust that He will answer–in His way and in His time. Not because I’m such a great parent (because frequently I’m not), but because He is.
So I’d love to know … If you’re a grandparent, parent, aunt or big sister, what important requests do you regularly bring to God about the children in your life?
♥ LoisI love my children and want what’s best for them, but I can’t be everywhere they are or know everything about them. Click To Tweet