Praying for Our Kids (Part 1)

Bissy Crosby, mother of three kids (ages 19, 17, and 10) recently shared this story with me.

“When I was 13 years old my mom died after an intense battle with breast cancer. I knew that she prayed for me daily. About a week after she died I found her prayer notebook with a whole page that she had written in about me. She had pages of prayer requests that she had been going to God with, dated and specific for each of my three sisters, my dad and myself. She could barely move her last few months, but she prayed. That meant so much to me at the time but even more now. I’m so thankful for a mom who prayed for me, for a man she would never meet but who I would marry, and for her grandchildren that she would never know but that God knew…What a sweet, wonderful example she was for me and what I want to be for my kids!”

For anyone who knows Bissy, it certainly seems that God has worked in her life to bring her to a saving faith in Christ and to be a light to countless people inside and outside our church, including her own children. How encouraging it is to learn how fervently Bissy’s mother prayed for her and now to see the spiritual fruit in her life and her family’s lives!

Another great example of a prayer for a loved one is that of a young Englishman’s named Forbes Robinson (found in A Mother’s Heart by Jean Fleming). In a letter to a friend, Robinson wrote:

I want you to be one of the best men that ever lived—to see God and to reveal him to men….

I do not pray that you may succeed in life, or “get on” in this world. I seldom ever pray that you may love me better, or that I may see you oftener in this or any other world—much as I crave this.

But I ask, I implore, that Christ may be formed in you, that you may be made not in any likeness suggested by my imagination, but in the image of God—that you may realize not my, but his ideal—however much that ideal may bewilder me, however little I may recognize it when it is created.

I hate the thought that out of love for me you should accept my presentation, my feeble ideal, of the Christ. I want God to reveal his Son to you independently of men—to give you a first-hand knowledge of him whom I am only beginning to see.

Sometimes more selfish thoughts will intrude, but this represents the main current of my prayers. And if this is to be won from heaven by importunity, by ceaseless begging, I think I shall get it for you!

Now, where might I practically start when praying for and/or with my child? This is a question that has been lingering in my mind since having our baby boy nine months ago. In my last post, “Addressing Jack’s Greatest Need,” I explained that over the course of the next few blogs, I’ll be exploring two topics: 1) praying for our kids and 2) family worship times. Since I’m certainly no expert in these areas, I have interviewed a few families in our church that Nathan and I have seen spiritual fruit in their kids’ lives. We have said, “These parents are doing something right. Let’s do what they are doing.” Check out my next post to read what some of these families shared with me about praying for and with their kids.

For now, let’s pray: Oh Lord, make me into a praying parent like Bissy’s mom and Forbes Robinson!

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