As parents, there are often times we feel out of control, overwhelmed or crushed. We see these precious little people wandering around, and our hearts want to burst with the love we have for them. Yet we find ourselves tearing our hair out when they won't cooperate, listen, obey or be kind.
We have visions of their future where they will have to make choices about who to play with at recess, whether or not to laugh at the kid being picked on, where to hang out after school, what friends to have, what sports to play, whether or not to put on their seatbelt the first time they drive alone. They will have to decide how to behave in class, how to treat their friends and what to say the first time someone offers them a joint (yes, most likely, this will happen sometime in their life). And they will have to decide what to do with a man named Jesus.
Then our minds move on to what they don't have control of. What had the driver in front of them on the freeway been drinking? Will someone make them the kid on the playground being picked on? Will someone try to take advantage of them, lie to them, manipulate them or abuse them?
I don't say these things to try to scare anyone. Or even to try to persuade anyone. I am simply saying that, in light of all that is possible in the world, we are pretty small. We are pretty weak. We are pretty powerless. And yet, we have a very powerful God. A God that not only says we can trust him with our children, but with our worries, our fears and our very lives. He says, "Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you." (Jeremiah 29:12) and "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28) and "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6,7). As we lay down our worries, fears and anxieties about our childrens' lives, He not only answers those prayers but he lifts the worry from us as well.
We have been given these children by their Creator, and the best thing we can do for them is give them right back. Not relinquishing our responsibility, but joining with the One who made them and letting Him lead us on this journey He set before us.
Lord, Let us be parents who trust you for our childrens' lives. We give ourselves wholly over to you, knowing that we will fail in this endeavor without you. We are lost and hopeless people, but you are our light, our hope and our guide. Help us be parents who pray. Help us stand in the gap for our children. Prompt us to pray when we need to for the specific things that need to be brought before you. We pray, Lord, that our knees would be calloused and our children protected. When we worry, fear or feel anxious, remind us to bring those things to you immediatly and relieve us. We give ourselves to you, and ask that you would guide us in your wisdom as we raise your children. And when we fail, let our failures bring us right back to our knees before you. Help us not to follow the path of anger, bitterness, sarcasm, resentment, fear, or detachment. But lead us in your love, mercy, patience, peace, kindness, humility and grace. We need you, Father, to teach us how to be parents like you.