Years ago, before I even had kids, a friend put into my mind the notion that a person can pray for blessings and help years in advance of the actual applicability of the prayer. If I remember correctly, the topic came up because we were wondering at the unlikely success of an individual who, despite his own mediocrity, was indeed very successful. My friend joked that “his grandma must’ve prayed hard for him when he was a little boy.”
When I had my first baby, I found myself strapped into the recliner and held down by an eight-pound weight. I fed this mysterious little creature I’d birthed and I held him while he slept because I was at a loss as to what else to do with him… and so there was plenty of time to pray. I remembered my friend’s suggestion of prayers offered up before their seeming needfulness and the generational blessings that could result. He was a babe in my arms, yet I could pray right now for his education… for his marriage… even for my grandkids! What a concept!
In the last six years of motherhood I have developed the habit of praying these habitual prayers whenever I find myself needing to be still and quiet. When I need to be in their bedroom, silent and dark, so that they can fall asleep… I pray. Because there’s nothing else to do. And also because there’s nothing more important I could possibly be doing.
I pray for the oldest, yes, but now he has two little sisters to consider. I pray for them all, and even for my niece and nephew, whom I dearly love.
First of all, I thank God for their health. Their perfect, unexplainable, almost-miraculous-in-a-fallen-world health. And I pray that they will be blessed with health throughout their lifetimes.
I pray for their relationships. Most importantly, that God would pursue them their whole lives through. And that they would trust in God’s plan for humanity and in salvation through Jesus. Next, that God would show them how to maintain peaceful relationships with other people throughout their lives. Then, specifically, for our own family — that God would bless their relationships with me and their dad, and also with their siblings, and with other relatives too. Next, that God would bless them with good friends and with quality mentors throughout their lifetimes. And finally, for the little families each of them will one day have — for their future spouses, future in-laws, future children.
I pray for the success of each of them. This is a tricky one, because I don’t mean that everything they touch ought to turn to gold — although I would, of course, like to see their endeavors succeed. (I am a mother, after all.) What I mean is: that they would be able to discern their talents and God’s will for their lives, with confidence, and also that they would be free to pursue their places in this ol’ world. That they would be fulfilled and content in what they end up doing. That God will show us, their parents, how to teach them to be successful.
Finally — and I just added this last paragraph in recently — I pray for their sexual safety. In a world full of weirdos and predators — not to mention the suggestive and seemingly harmless (by worldly standards) content that is available to younger and younger age groups — I pray for their sexual protection. Their physical safety, of course, is paramount in my mind. But there’s also emotional safety to consider. I pray for their eyes and hearts to be shielded from all that garbage — so they can be little while they’re little. And so they can start their adult lives, their own marriages, free of the baggage that cripples so many people.
I believe that prayers are heard. I believe that prayers are answered. Maybe not today… but maybe right when they need to be. I believe my prayers can be answered years down the road, even if I’m dead and gone by then. And so that’s why I say them now. It’s the ultimate hope of pretty much any parent, right? … that everything unseen is gonna turn out okay. You can worry about it all you want, but I believe there’s a better way. Folks like to buy all sorts of insurance for their families… but this kind, I promise, is absolutely free.
© Tami Blake