The Best Thing You Can Do as a Parent

“Lift up your hands to him in prayer, pleading for your children …” Lamentations 2:19b (NLT)

Feels like we're in a pretty tough stage of parenting with the kids right now.  With B/G/B ages 10/9/7 we're go-go all the time, with seemingly constant direction and re-direction.  Plenty of nights Stephanie and I can't wait until it's 8PM…errrr 8:30PM…errr sometime after 9PM when the kids are finally quiet and asleep in their bedrooms.  Those are the moments when we look at each other, shake our heads and thank God for another day in the books.

Not that it is all bad, all the time.  Our days are filled with many sweet moments.  There are many hugs, smiles and reasons to laugh and love.  However, the feelings of exhaustion and exasperation lurk nearby.

Recently Stephanie and I have felt a renewed burden to join together and pray for our kids, and for us as parents.  Get this - not more than one day after we began this commitment to prayer Stephanie came across this article written by Mark Batterson.  In it he writes about the greatest thing a parent can do for their kids.  Praying for and over them.  I love the phrase he includes,

"You’ll never be a perfect parent, but you can be a praying parent."

How encouraging!  I am far from a perfect parent.  Somedays I feel like I am far from even being an adequate parent.  Stephanie and I joke sometimes that we should be setting money aside that the kids can use after they are 18 for either college or counseling!

Batterson reminds us that, "Prayer is our highest privilege as a parent. There is nothing we can do that will have a higher return on investment. In fact, the dividends are more than generational. They are eternal. Prayer turns ordinary parents into prophets who shape the destinies of their children, grandchildren and every generation that follows."

This parenting deal is so tough.  So many worries, concerns, strategies, anxieties, things to teach, things to protect, things to let them learn themselves.  It is hard to know what to do in every situation and in every conversation.  More and more as my kids get older I am driven to my knees to plead of God for wisdom.  I have to set my soul and my hands out there before Jesus and ask him to do in my what I can't do in myself.

I know that I must go to the Great Father to become a great father.