After a week of stress,sickness, and even sexual harassment against our children I sit here in awe of Christina Fox’s insighful prayer. Please think on these words as you approach our Heavenly Father.
Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1:17-19 inspired this prayer of my heart:
Dear Heavenly Father,
You are a gracious and merciful God, whose love is unending. You are always patient with me, forgiving me time and time again. I am so thankful for Christ’s death, which opened the curtain into your presence, allowing me to call you Abba.
I come before you today to pray for my children. I confess that I so often pray about their health and behavior more than anything else. I’ve prayed for their healing from illness and from surgeries. I’ve prayed for particular behavioral changes. I’ve asked for help and wisdom in dealing with tantrums and defiance and in weeding out discontent and selfishness.
But increasingly, I’ve come to see that while those prayers are good, that you hear them and accept them, there is one prayer that stands above them all. While asking for healthy bodies and good behavior certainly makes my life easier, it doesn’t address my children’s most serious and deadly ailment: their heart.
The most important prayer I can pray for them is that they would see their sin and need for you. I ask that you humble them before you. Pierce their heart so they would see their need for the gospel of grace. I pray that they would know there is nothing they can do to earn your love or to keep your love. Each time they stumble into sin, draw them back to the gospel and foot of the cross. I pray that they would be overcome and overwhelmed by your love for them, that their love in response would overflow beyond measure.
I pray, along with Paul, that my children would know the hope that is theirs in Christ. I ask that your Spirit would enlighten them, grant them wisdom and understanding. Give them a desire to know you more deeply and intimately.
You have been teaching my own heart that change happens from the inside out. Help me to parent them in this way. I ask that you would give me grace to speak to their heart and model the grace of the gospel in all my interactions with them. Please keep me from being a barrier between them and you.
I thank you for the power of the gospel. May it be the motivation for my children’s growth in you as well as my own. I thank you that because of Jesus, all is grace.
In Jesus’ name, Amen