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How do we pray for our children?

October 7th, 2009

A missionary friend in Japan recently sent me this update about her son:

[My son] has gone on a Wilderness Camp with his 11th grade class…They hike and camp out in the open, in groups of 10, taking turns leading the group (with adult advisors). I had been praying for no rain, but also that if it did rain, that they would learn perseverance in difficulty, teamwork, joy in trials, etc. I guess God chose the latter, as it rained steadily all day yesterday. I even hear that a typhoon is coming! I’m still praying that it won’t rain too hard, that it might even clear up. But more than that, that they would learn to trust God and work together well. I also pray for friendships across the usual lines of “cool,” quiet, athletic, studious, race, native language, etc.

My prayers for my children tend to be the “keep them safe”-“keep them healthy” variety. I want life to go smoothly for them, no rain and no pain.

But if I really think about it, is that all I want for my children?

Like my friend, sure, I want them to have an easy life, with no typhoon please! But more importantly, as my friend said, I want my children to learn those character -building traits that sometimes only come with the typhoons of life. As I say on this site, I want my children to have compassion, integrity, and character.

When you sit down to pray for your children, imagine God asking you, “What do you really want for Me to do for your children?”

So our prayers for our children need to focus on the bigger picture. What is really going to matter in the long run?

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  1. I always pray for health, and wish it with every candle on every birthday cake. Beyond that I wish that my children won’t need too much therapy when I’m done with them!!Some days, everything I do feels like a mistake. I hope and pray that my kids grow up to be happy and positive and successful. And hopefully they won’t just remember their childhoods with a crazy mother who yelled too much.


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