Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Praying for Adult Children


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.

This post is a modified version of something I posted at my personal blog in 2013.

10 comments:

  1. Thank you Thank you Thank you. I so needed this today. Our oldest is out, on her own, working, and planning on buying a house (on her own!) I am praying ever so hard that she remember the God who loves her and cares for her! Thank you for letting me know I'm not alone in my prayers for adult children. I can continue to give her back to him even now.

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  2. I am so glad you are encouraged! Thank you for sharing that with us.

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  3. I, too, needed this encouragement. This reminder of an ever-sovereign God who really can work all things out for the good to His people. He did not save me till I was 36 and my mom prayed for me all those years. I can truly trust Him to do the same for my children, in His good time.

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    1. That is a wonderful testimony to your mother's persistence in prayer!

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  4. Thank you for this light. One by one, as my children are becoming adults, I am finding that it is helpful to pray scriptural prayers for them. It has made me more aware of the sovereignty of God in their lives and has led me away from the harmful tendency to "advise" God.

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    1. Michele, I agree about praying Scriptures! That is how we know for sure we are praying in God's will.

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  5. Both of my children are adults, a daughter married to a transgender man and a son, single. Both were homeschooled until middle school and then public school, both quit going to church in high school. Both made professions of faith and were baptized while in late grade school. Both are not loving nor walking with the Lord. It is heartbreaking, but I know my God and He is faithful and true and desires that none should perish, and I believe my children are included in the 'none.' I do pray for them and pray according to the Scriptures, that they will return to the Lord to love, serve and follow Him all their days.

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    1. Madge, it is heartbreaking when our kids turn away from the Lord. But you are right that he is faithful!

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  6. Precious reminder, thank you!

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  7. I just bought this book by Stormie O'Martian. I'm looking forward to her insight in this area!

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