Originally posted on Out of the Ordinary
When praying for my children, I often think of Hannah (I Sam. 1-2). She wanted a child. It grieved her that she could not give her husband one. She prayed so fervently that the priest Eli believed her to be drunk. As she prayed, she promised God that if he gave her a child, she would give him back to the Lord.
We know how the story ends. She does have a child, and she does give him to the Lord at a very tender age, shortly after he was weaned. The prospect of yielding such a young child to the care of the priests is something mothers may struggle with. I didn’t even want to leave my children with babysitters who weren’t family!
Yet, Hannah manages to do what she promised, and she leaves Samuel in the care of Eli. Her prayer in I Samuel 2:2-10 shows the reason why she was able to do it: she knew who God was. Confidence in prayer comes from knowing who God is and trusting him.
I’m not praying for young children anymore. I’m praying for adults. But my prayers are not that different. When they were younger, I prayed that they would love God’s word, serve Him faithfully, devote their lives to living a life which would reflect God’s glory. I still pray for that. I don’t really care about much else other than those things, because I think if those are their priorities, everything else will fall into place for them.
Of course I pray for specific things. There are things like their vocations, discerning whether to be married, or whom to marry; financial concerns. I pray for them to find churches where they will be fed God’s word and discipled. I pray that if they meet with suffering and struggle that they will draw close to the Lord and stand firm. Sometimes, it’s hard not knowing how things are going. When they are with us at home, we have a little glimpse into their lives. That changes when they leave home. It can be tempting to feel uneasy that we aren’t there to help them more. Some of their decisions are serious, and it can be tempting to worry. But I don’t have to.
I know I can leave all them in the capable hands of God. Like Hannah, I know who my God is. I can have confidence in my prayers because I know the God to whom I pray. I can trust my children to God’s care. Trusting him doesn’t mean they will always do what I want them to do, but it means that I trust God’s provision for them. Like Hannah, our children, ultimately, are not ours.
When you think about it, they spend the most of their lives not as children under our roof, but as adults on their own. That’s a lot of time to pray for them. It’s a good thing we have a God who is trustworthy.