8.29.2015

Prayer for School-Aged Kids

It is no secret that I am PASSIONATE about praying for my girls. When I was pregnant I was compelled to pray over spiritual and physical health for my babies, thus writing PrayerWithPurpose: 90 Days of Prayer for Your Unborn Child and then when they were born to continue praying over them with PrayerWithPurpose: Passionate Prayers for Children. However, as I have entered and been entrenched in this new season of "Public Elementary School" for the past four years, I have struggled with "control" and how to pray for my girls. I want to pray for total protection, but I want to pray for the Lord to sharpen them and refine them- allow them to experience things that will turn them to Him. I want them to be confident and independent, but I want to shelter them from the craziness of the world. As the years pass, the amount of control we have over our children (who they are friends with, their influences, what they eat, their interests, their hobbies.....) drastically declines. I will admit, I do have "control issues", I am an event planner for crying out loud, so this decline in control sometimes has me FREAKING OUT (by the grace of God he continues to free me from my "issues" and gives me freedom in faith and trust- He is a MUCH better planner than I am!). I'll give you an example, we met one of my oldest daughter's (3rd Grade) new friends and her mother for ice cream last week. This child proceeded to pull out her personal cell phone, pull up Kim Kardashian's show and encouraged my precious/sheltered/non-TV watching daughter to check it out with her. When I approached them, I asked what they are watching and she looks at me like I am NUTS and says "don't you watch Kim Kardashian?" If I am honest, my first internal response to this sort of thing is always- "well, we are never playing with THAT child! I cannot trust what happens when I am not there!" There is obviously some level of parental intervention that needed to happen, but the reality is this, my child is with that child for 6.5 hours in a day Monday-Friday and she is with me 5-6 hours in a day- most of which is spent doing homework, going to an activity, eating or getting ready for school. I have to give the Lord opportunities to refine her and to teach her to depend more on Him than she does on me. I also have to give her the opportunity to be light in a dark world. So, I have struggled with what this looks like, to slowly release my "control" and yet protect them from dangerous or unhealthy situations. It boils down to daily discernment from the Holy Spirit. There are times when I just know a sleepover is a bad idea, and times when I give in to a safe situation and let the girls experience childhood. I must not let fear drive my decisions, I have to let the Lord LEAD! 
This brings me to my quiet time today! My absolute favorite thing after I drop my girls off at school is to take the first hour (or 2 in today's case) to go somewhere (not home- there are too many distractions there) and drink coffee, read my Bible and listen to worship music. It is literally LIFE to me! Anyway, I am reading/journaling through the book of John right now and I came to John 17:15-17 and it rocked my world! [Side note, it absolutely thrills me that I can study the same book (The Bible) for nearly 30 years and it still rocks my world every.single.day! That is "alive and active" friends!] Here is what the verse says  (background, Jesus is praying for his disciples before he is handed over to be crucified) 
"My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth."

I always have my BibleGateway App with me when I am reading my Bible, I love to look at different translations and commentaries and I love The Message version of verse 16- it says "They are no more defined by the world, Than I am defined by the world". As I prayed this over my girls today, I was in tears because it said what I have been longing to articulate- they are His kids, He ALONE can protect them from the evil one. No amount of sheltering on my part is going to protect them in this world, God alone is their protection, their truth, their light. 
My prayer is that this world is so shocking to them that they long for purity. I pray that their spirits would be so unsettled around evil that God alone is their peace. I pray that they are so secure in who God made them to be that they turn to God alone for identity and strength. I pray that the screams and pressures of this world would be silenced by the name of Jesus on their lips. I pray that when hard times come (and they will according to John 16:33 "“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." ) they will know that God is their shelter, He is their go-to, He is who they run to, He is their light, He is their shield, He is their strength- and that they are not defined by this world- they are daughters of the King. .
As I continue to walk through this journey of motherhood, this is my war cry...because sisters, we are at war with this world and it's desire to have a hold on our children. We need to raise a generation of warriors for the Lord, because they will not have the luxury of being "casual Christians", I believe that our Children will have to be absolutely unwavering to survive in this world. God ALONE can protect them from the evil one, while they are still in this world and not locked in our box. As I was reading John 14:30b Jesus says "for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me." Praise God we are one with Christ Jesus and we can also say, He has NO HOLD ON ME or my family. I pray that you will join me in this prayer. Ephesians 6:12 NLT says, "for we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." This is not a "mommy war" it is a battle for our kids against this world! Let's do this! 

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