There’s nothing that causes a momma’s heart to ache more and spurs a desire to fight for our kids through prayer.
It doesn’t matter how old her children become, they will always be “babes” to their momma. When they encounter various trials, it will always affect us deeply. When they hurt, our momma’s hearts throb with every beat. There’s no deeper ache.
With grown kids approaching their 30’s, we’ve experienced overwhelming joy as well as excruciating pain in their lives. Some pain was utterly devastating, stemming from events that remain too difficult to put into words. Together as a family, we’ve survived victimization, the tragic deaths of friends, gut-wrenching losses of cherished relationships, and worse. We credit our survival to fighting through prayer.
Nothing has proved more agonizing than knowing I couldn’t physically help my kids during times when they needed me most. But I have always had the ability to fight for them through prayer.
Praying for Small Children and Simple Troubles
When kids are small, their problems are often simple. Easier to solve.
Our momma’s hearts delight in helping them reach their toothbrush or providing a stool. They can’t balance a bicycle so we jog alongside, steadying the wheels until they learn. They fear of failing a test at school so we stay up with them past bedtime, helping them study. When it’s time to learn to drive a car, we send them out to learn with dad—or some other brave soul—while we hide in our closets and pray. (That’s how the driver’s training years looked in our home.)
Growing More Complicated
As our kids mature, the complexity of their problems increase. All too soon, our children’s problems begin to stem from their own decisions. Enforcing punishment breaks our hearts, but we do it because we must. Because of our love.
Occasionally our babes suffer because of the decisions of others. Their pain might involve victimization or abandonment. Unforeseen tragedies bring a life-changing level of pain. Loved ones unintentionally hurt their hearts through selfish actions. The ugliness of our fallen world becomes real in their lives.
Our hearts break along with theirs, and we often feel like we’d give our very lives to help them avoid the anguish. Instead, we fight through prayer.
The Lioness Within
I don’t believe there’s anything the heart of a mom wants more desperately than the ability to protect her children. When danger threatens to cause harm—physically, emotionally, or spiritually—the lioness inside of us comes out with teeth bared and we’re prepared to fight to the death. Our reflexes often kick in.
God’s love and sovereignty are not often our first thoughts when the unexpected happens. But soon, we revert to our go-to weapon of fervent prayer.
God’s Sovereign Love
We may never understand why the Lord allows some things, but we can find comfort in knowing that God’s purposes stem from His nature of love. He loves us, and He loves our kids with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). He knit our children together in our wombs (Psalm 139:13) and all their days were written in His book and planned before a single one of them began (Psalm 139:16).
From the depths of His love, God desires a relationship with our kids. As their moms, we desire that for them too.
Praying Away Pain
Frequently, however, we try to pray away any discomfort, pain, or sorrow that the Lord may choose to allow in their lives. While meaningful and heartfelt, these prayers can be considered empty—void of substance, power, or purpose. Please know that I pray daily for the safety and comfort of my kids, even now that they are adults. But our prayers should go to a deeper level as we seek God’s purpose in their lives.
God uses every single moment for His glory and for the good of His children. Each time our children face hardships, it brings endurance that makes them mature and complete, lacking in nothing (James 1:3-4).
Consider how our personal trials have shaped our own testimonies. Most of us have experienced profound victories that come out of the deepest pain. So too, the trials of our children are part of their own personal testimonies, used by God to strengthen them and draw them to Himself. He promises to work all things together for the good of those who love Him, those whom He called according to His purpose.
I find great peace in Isaiah 43:2 and the Holy Spirit’s reminder that we cannot avoid hardships. Neither, by the way, can our children. The Lord said, “I will be with you when you pass through the waters, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. You will not be scorched when you walk through the fire, and the flame will not burn you” (HCSB, emphasis mine).
Fight for our Kids through Prayer
When the lioness inside of us comes out to fight for our children, one of our strongest weapons we possess is a more intense posture of prayer on their behalf. Rather than praying, “spare them from pain,” we can begin to ask the Lord to strengthen them for what He’ll allow in their lives and to grow them in Christ during trials.
Let’s begin to ask for victory over the schemes of the evil one and pray that the Lord will keep our kids fully armed with spiritual armor. Let’s petition Him to use every trial they experience to further the Kingdom and to strengthen the faith of those precious offspring we hold so dear.
In the 1800’s, Phillips Brooks said it this way: “Do not pray for easy lives; pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers; pray for powers equal to your tasks.”
The Beauty of Surrender in Prayer
I have a dear friend who lost her very young daughter to an illness several decades ago. This is a mom who knows the immeasurable pain and the beauty of surrender to the Lord’s will in the lives of her children. From a place of healing, in spite of her loss, she encourages me to pray that the Lord do “whatever it takes” to draw my children to Himself. That is an extremely difficult prayer and honestly, it can be hard to imagine even uttering such words. But it’s a prayer that the Lord honors with His tender mercies.
The bottom line is this: Do we want our children free from pain and any discomfort or suffering? Or do we want our children to know the steadfast faithfulness of the God they serve? Is our hope that they’ll grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? Do we trust the Lord with the lives of our children enough to surrender every moment to Him? Do we trust Him enough to pray, “Do whatever it takes, Lord”?
One of the most comforting truths I’ve heard is that God loves our children greater than we have the capacity to love them. Accepting it brought the comfort that He will always watch over them, even when I can’t. He will use every situation in their lives for their good and for His glory. I can trust Jesus with the hearts and lives of my children knowing that He does not err, He never looks away, and His plan will not be thwarted. Come what may, I can trust that the Lord is building strong, Kingdom-minded testimonies in the lives of my children.
Such truth has transformed my prayers for them and when trials erupt, I ask for His growth and mercy through each one.
May you be strengthened today, in His Word.