But I Can Pray

Your CHILD is your HEART walking around outside your body.

This metaphor helped me understand why I felt so deeply, why my sons continued to be such a part of me even as they grew.  Why I was so affected by their joy and pain.  Why their welfare became my passion. Someone finally put my feelings into words…the purpose of my life was for my sons.

When they were little. I couldn’t bear to see them vulnerable and unprotected. Their struggles intensified my own.  Their obstacles became mine.  Their tears seemed to flow down my cheeks.  Their boo-boos pained my own flesh.  At times, their hurts were more than I could bear.

As they grew, the pain became worse.  Physical discomfort turned to internal, emotional, and spiritual struggles.  Disappointments.  Heartbreaks.  I could offer hugs with encouragement.  But I couldn’t erase the pain of unfulfilled dreams or broken relationships.  There’s just some things a mom can’t do.

Now that  I am a mother of adult children, I still sense when they’re troubled.  It’s like there’s an invisible umbilical cord attached from their hearts to mine.  Only now I can’t hold my hurting adult child.  But I can do something better.  I can hold him up to God.

It’s not unusual for me to take my children’s photos off the wall and hold them up to the Lord in prayer.  My hands can still hug their pictures as my voice lifts their name in prayer.  Call me overprotective and over-the-top with my love for them.  But there’s something inside of me that cares more than I can put into words. Motherhood is my high calling.  And I will hold my kids in my heart forever…even though they’re walking around outside it.

Today it’s in the risk taking.  (Like our granddaughter recently expressed:  A risk means it might not work). When our son left the staff of a large church, a music contract and a worship and creative ministry team he had helped build, he took a big risk.  God called him to plant an ARC church in downtown Indy with his best friend and co-pastor.  He obeyed even when it was risky.  While the last two years have been a huge blessing witnessing the power of God transforming lives, they aren’t without some struggles and pain.  There’s days I see it on his face.  My husband doesn’t always notice. But I do.  I can’t hold him like when he was small.  But I can pray.

Our other son recently left a secure job with benefits and a consistent paycheck to move to Houston.  He took a risk to follow his lifelong dream in music, writing, arranging, recording and producing in his own studio.  He said he’s never had to trust the Lord so much before.  While doors are opening for him, every day’s an uncertainty. There are times I hear the concern in his voice.  My husband doesn’t always notice. But I do.  I can’t make things happen for him.  But I can pray.

I have no power to change their circumstances.  I can’t overcome their obstacles or bring them success.  I am not the one who brings them favor or opens doors no one else can shut.  I’m not always aware of the internal work of the Spirit brought about by difficult situations.  But I can pray.  Look at the Scriptures for clues and depend on the Holy Spirit to teach you how to pray specifically for your children.

So I keep praying for you asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of His call.

May He give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do.

May the Name of our Lord Jesus be honored because of the way you live, and may you be honored along with him.

I pray you will keep growing in knowledge and understanding for I want you to know what really matters so you may live pure and blameless live until the day of Christ’s return.

May the Spirit of the Lord and the words of Jesus never leave you but may they be on your lips and on the lips of your children and your children’s children forever.

So moms, whether you’re rocking your baby, chasing your toddler, catching your teen roll his eyes at you, letting go of your college bound student, or enjoying the friendship of an adult child, learn to pray.  Seek God on behalf of your child.  Why is it moms just know? They know their child.  They know that pained expression.  They know the tone of their voice.  They know their body language.  They know that aura.  I believe it’s a gift the Almighty has given to His daughters.  The gift of intuition, to know when your child needs encouragement, support and prayer.  Pay attention to those feelings.  Stay in tune with the Maker and Creator of all things.  He will guide your prayers, using those little hearts (or big ones) walking around outside your body to draw you into the presence of the living God.  It’s there you will find grace for your child and yourself to endure the hurts and disappointments of life.  And it’s there you will get to see the victories that are obviously brought about by the hand of God alone.  Just because you prayed.

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