This piece, Do You Pray for Your Child? How to Start, has taken me longer to write than any other blog post I have written. It wasn’t until I wrote about the moment I first realized how the life of my child was inextricably connected with so many other children of the world that the piece felt ready to send to Building Faith.
I find that different styles of prayer help me to stay connected with God, especially when life seems chaotic. The “prayer” section of the blog has several pieces about my prayer practice, including the story of the inspiration for this blog:
Holy God, I pray for all the children in our church, in our community and each and every one around the world. Whether I know them or not, this generation includes future leaders, teachers, caretakers, spouses and friends for my children and their peers. [Bless our children, Lord, bless each one…] May our church be place where ALL children are accepted and loved for who they are, reflecting our commitment to welcome without exception. [every daughter, Lord, every son, regardless of gender] Shelter them from abuse, injury and hunger so that they may grow, unharmed, into the adults they are meant to be. [Keep them safe, O Lord, in Thy care…]
Lord, may your presence be known as they navigate tests, friendships, relationships, technology, difficult choices and busy schedules. [Make them wise, O Lord…] In times of war, in times of peace, when they are in crisis, depressed, struggling, addicted, bullied, abused and hurt; may they know Your unconditional love [make them strong…]. Let Your love grow inside them so that they develop compassion and a desire to serve and care for others [Free to love, O Lord, free to care…]. Amen.
I would love to hear the stories of how Bless Each One readers pray for their children.
This is lovely, Christine. I pray for my children daily, but appreciate having new words to include. I find that a big part of praying for my kids is praying for myself as a parent. A friend once said, and this has really stuck with me, that we don’t pray to change our kids — we pray to be the best parent to the children we have, just the way they are. So I pray for patience, gentleness, humor, acceptance, and humility as a parent. I am almost 45, and I can still recall hurtful things that my father said when I was a child, or even just his looks of exasperation or annoyance in response to the things I said or did. So I pray that I can respond to my own children’s needs in ways that will affirm and love them and encourage their curiosity and trust.
I love your statement about praying to be the best parent to the children we have. You and I are the same age and I, too, can recall those hurtful memories that sting well into adulthood. I pray with you that we can encourage, affirm and love our beautiful children just as they are. Peace, C
Thank you for reading. I am glad it spoke to you.
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Thank you, Christine.
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