One of the toughest jobs I have ever had has been being a parent. While wildly rewarding, it can also be the most heartbreaking of tasks. I question my influence as a parent and a caretaker of many other kids daily. Some times multiple times a day. I question if they even listen. If the direction I provide will lead them down paths of wise choices. Whether my infusion of kindness will inspire them to be the same. Whether they will recover when life begins to twist and turn in unexpected ways.

And because I don’t have all the answers , I seek to lean on the One who does.

While it has not supplied me with peace at all times, and there are some days the choices my kids (or the ones who feel like my kids) still break my heart. And there are days I pray and pray, and want to give up, because I don’t see Him at work; I continue to pray and believe that He will work things all out for good as He promised.

And so I pray….

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13– I pray that He gives them strength each day to do what is required-physically, mentally, and spiritually.

This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9– I pray they will be brave enough to stand up against injustice and hold tight to what they believe in.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.Philippians 4:6-7– I pray that God calms their hearts, their bodies, and their minds; and when they feel anxious he fills them with overwhelming peace.

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches. Phil 4:19– I pray they come to understand that the world and people cannot give them what they need. That only God can.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.Proverbs 3:5-6
– I pray the Lord will lead them along the right paths daily. And that he will place people in their lives whom they trust. Those who when I am not around, can steer them in the right direction.

He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. Psalm 91:2– I pray that He will keep them safe and secure; and cover them with protection daily in a world intent on causing harm.

You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever. Psalm 16:11– I pray they are filled with joy. Not because they have an abundance of stuff, but because they are rich in the blessings only He can give. Love. Safety. Protection. Peace.

Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Isaiah 1:17– I pray when they see another being hurt, or see someone fall; they will have the courage to speak up. To be an advocate. To cry along with the heartbroken. To lift up.

Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life. Proverbs 19:20– I pray they come to know that wisdom does not come from books, getting good grades, or the best test scores; but from learning and speaking the truth.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 1 Corinthians 13:4-6- I pray they will be kind. Patient. That they will be humble, and obey when they are asked to obey. I pray they don’t wallow in anger, and they seek honesty in all their interactions. I pray they love and forgive others the way they are loved and forgiven.

I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. Jeremiah 31:3– And I pray they know that as they walk out the door. If they walk the halls of school feeling lonely and misunderstood. Once they grow old and start walking in their own way-they know without any doubt that they are loved with a love that never ends. That He (and I) are always there.

This is how I pray.

And some days it doesn’t seem to work. Some days I have to say them more than once.

Some days those kids still break my heart.

Some days I can’t see the fruit at all.

But just as He cares about them, even more than I do. He cares about what is on my heart, too

My prayers won’t be in vain. They may not walk in it now, but I have faith one day they will walk in the truth, and that day will be a day of rejoicing, and not heartbreak.

This I pray. This I believe.