I Just Have To Pray
I remember the days of raising my kids, pointing them to Jesus. Telling Bible stories, singing Jesus songs, going to church, practicing Awanas' verses. Every little puzzle piece, trying to build a foundation of faith.
Now, as adults, they stand alone before God. Decisions they make and the consequences those hold, are theirs alone. I can encourage them from the sidelines of their lives, I can say, “I love you and I am for you,” but I cannot give them directions or interrupt their issues.
Let me be honest here: I hate that. I never lost my motherly intuition to protect my kids.
So, how do I continue ministering to my adult children when I have retired from the cruise director of their lives?
The only answer available also answers the question: what is the most powerful action I can take in my children’s lives?
That’s it. That’s all.
I need to pray, pray, pray.
Simple instruction, yet oh, so difficult. Just one simple action: prayer. But simple does not mean the same thing as easy. Limiting myself to prayer is difficult. I must humbly remove myself from the driver’s seat and give ALL directing to the Director. I pray and trust. He moves.
I have always prayed for my kids, but as they have grown and moved on to lives of their own, my prayers have changed.
Here are five prayers I consistently pray for my adult children. (I pray these specifically for my believing adult children. Next week I will list prayers for adult kids who are unbelieving or not walking with the Lord.)
Thanksgiving multiplies the power behind every following petition. Every. Single. Time. I sit down to pray for my adult kids, thanksgiving gets the ball rolling.
Adult children have the annoying habit of doing their own thing. They pursue interests that worry us and make choices that confound us. Thanking God for every goofy or wonderful thing they are doing, places my trust in the Lord’s work despite what I currently observe.
While I might not be able to express gratefulness for specific actions, I am still commanded to give thanks. So, in light of - or in spite of - what is occurring, I pray thanksgiving.
I can ALWAYS thank the Lord for this human I birthed decades before, and for what He has planned. (WARNING: despite what I may think, I have no idea of the Divine’s plans for my kids, and very likely they differ from my rosy dreams.)
2. Excellent companions and advisors
As our adult children live their lives, companions powerfully influence them. I ask the Lord to provide, and if necessary impose, godly people in my child’s life.
When my kids take new jobs or move to different cities, I ask the Lord to provide Christian friends who speak truth.
I ask the Lord to surround my kids with godly work companions, roommates, bosses, and neighbors who will call them to love Jesus more.
And then romance: I am always praying for their hearts and the Lord to build godly relationships. If married, for their family to be Kingdom builders. If unmarried, that the Lord would direct their hearts to His best.
3. Love what God loves and hate what God hates
Sometimes I hear old TV series my kids are watching on Netflix and I cringe. Some I know, because I watched years ago, and now realize the sinful images they imprinted on my mind. Some I just know by reputation. What would have been a sleazy NC-17 movie when I was growing up, now receives rave reviews and enjoys avid fans. (Yes, I am talking about Game of Thrones among others.)
My adult kids don’t want to hear my lectures on why they shouldn’t watch these shows- they know exactly what I think. Instead of nagging I ask the Lord to give them a burning love for what He loves, and a solid hate for what He hates.
This applies beyond TV and media, of course. But I do think the current young adult generation is assaulted with sex and violence to a degree beyond anything I experienced at that age. Pornography is constantly available and easily accessible. I ask the Lord to give them the same visceral reaction that He has. To see it as vile and not as pleasurable. To experience the grief in their own hearts that it causes in His.
4. My kids would be planted in thriving churches that build their faith.
A spirit-led, Bible-preaching church will nurture my kids' walk with Jesus. I pray they find fellowships where they will be filled, as well as fill others.
I've observed my own friends' love for Jesus grow lukewarm as they quit pursuing Christian friends. I ask the Lord to help my kids embrace gathering with Christian community and that they would be enriched by those relationships.
5. God would have His way in my kids’ lives and they would follow His plan
Beware. This is a scary prayer.
I ask the Lord to call each of my kids to build His Kingdom in some way, but I realize this can mean earthly sorrow. As a Mom, this tough prayer requires faith that the Father loves my kids more than me. And if through the filter of that love and in His will He calls them to tough places, I can trust His way for their life.
God’s way for Daniel was an evening with lions. His way for Hosea was marriage to a harlot. For Sarah in the Old Testament, and Elizabeth in the New Testament, His way was barrenness for most of their lives. Jeremiah was called by God to prophesy to people who would hate and persecute him.
But I desire for Jesus to have His way more than ANYTHING in my kids. To His glory. For His Kingdom. Even if it doesn't look like how I dreamed their lives would turn out. This is a prayer for God's WAY, not mine.
These five petitions aren't one time prayers. I cry out over and over- planting good seed in my kids' futures, season after season.
Have you been praying for your adult kids? Great. Awesome job.
Now, go do it again. And again. I am going to go get busy too. We must never stop.
Get Some Praying Help
Instead of worrying over my adult kids, I learned, slowly and painfully, to PRAY instead.
How about you? Do you need some help moving from worry to prayer? YOU are who I wrote Unceasing: A Parent's Guide To Conquer Worry And Pray With Power for. The book is available on Amazon in both ebook and print formats.
Pick up a copy today and let me know what you think! My desire is to empower parents to pray and to help this generation of kids to be COVERED in prayer.
Our kids need our prayer - no matter how old they are.
Let's be Prayer Warrior Mamas!