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The Most Frightening Prayer I Could Pray for My Children

The most frightening prayer I could pray for my children is the one they need the most.

Now, I always pray about their behavior, their health, their progress in school and their friendships. I also pray about their future and their jobs. I pray that my boys will marry “nice Christian girls.”

But to be honest, when I pray for my children, it is easiest to ask that their lives be smooth and stress free. It is easy to pray for their comfort and ease, for their lives to be absent of pain and grief.

When It Gets Uncomfortable.

Yet when I reflect on my own life and look back on my faith journey, I see all the challenges and trials I have faced along the way, and the good God accomplished through them.

I see the heartaches I’ve endured and the suffering that brought me to my knees. I also see the sins I’ve struggled with and the idols God graciously stripped from my hands. I see how God used all those valleys and painful circumstances to draw me closer to himself, to refine me and to teach me to rely on him.

They have been the most important events in my life, but it’s not easy to ask this sort of thing for my children. It is hard to ask that God reveal their sin to them, that they see their need for a Savior, that they would be broken over their corruption and truly learn to cling to the gospel.

That kind of prayer is uncomfortable.

The Path to More of Him.

It means that they will have to dig through rocky terrain like I’ve experienced before. They will have to walk through their own story of sin and repentance—of learning what it means to have empty hands.

What’s frightening for me as a mom is to realize that their lives will not be smooth, comfortable or safe—not if they will learn most deeply what it means to rely on God. In fact, my children may yet have to endure great trials, walk through dark valleys and experience great sorrow. That could be God’s pathway to giving them more of himself.

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Christina Fox is a homeschooling mom, licensed mental health counselor, and writer. She lives in sunny south Florida with her husband of sixteen years and their two boys.