Prayer and Your T(w)een

prayer-and-your-tweenToday we are continuing our chat about parenting our children in a world that seems to want to chew them up and spit them out faster than we can say the word, Virtue.

Now I need to set the record straight by saying I have been a parent of a teen for all of 25 days — so I don’t exactly feel like an experienced parent of an adolescent yet. And I may never feel that way. In fact, if I dwell on the reality that I now have a tween and a teen, I start to feel this panicky weight building in my chest. My palms get sweaty and my mind begins a whirling twirling ferris wheel of fear and trepidation.

But good news. I’ve found something that can almost instantly calm this growing storm of anxiousness and sea of apprehension inside of me. Something inexpensive. Something effective. And something very powerful.

Prayer.

Prayer WITH my kids.

And prayer FOR my kids.

Logistically speaking, we spend the most time praying with our people at bedtime. This precious prayer habit has become a home base of sorts for our kids to share their swirling emotions and safely let us in to the joys and struggles of their day. Somehow it’s easier to reveal the secrets of the soul when the lights are dim, the blankets are cozy, and the eyes are closed.

Plus, carving out time to pray together with our kids helps us demonstrate firsthand how vital prayer is in the life of a believer. Prayer is our lifeline — providing direct access to the Father. A pathway to share our hearts with Him, and to hear His heart.

Then there is the prayer FOR our children. The releasing of anxiousness and worry we feel for our kids. The requests for wisdom and clarity. And the pleas for peace. Especially in this precarious season of change and growth.

Forgive my frankness, but this is not something to mess around with. Hard seasons of parenthood call for heightened petitions heavenward. Because whether we want to believe it or not, we are waging a war.

The enemy does not want to see godly families raised up. He does not want us to teach the ways of the Lord to our kids. And he really hates it when we crusade on behalf of our children.

But we serve a good God. A God who understands the ways of the enemy and a God who has equipped us with exactly what we need to stand in the gap for our kids. We can fight for the minds and hearts of our children wherever we are. At home. At work. In the car.

Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks. For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.  – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Honestly, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the mention of prayer in these verses is sandwiched between rejoicing and giving thanks. Sometimes parenting young people calls for a little humor and a whole lot of perspective. Or as my husband and I say, “we laugh so we don’t cry.”

You don’t have to do everything right as a parent, but there is one thing you cannot afford to get wrong. That one thing is prayer. You’ll never be a perfect parent, but you can be a praying parent. Prayer is your highest privilege as a parent. There is nothing you can do that will have a higher return on investment. In fact, the dividends are eternal. Prayer turns ordinary parents into prophets who shape the destinies of their children, grandchildren, and every generation that follows.
― Mark BattersonPraying Circles around Your Children

We can do this, moms. We can turn our concerns into prayers. Those mutters of anxiousness into murmured appeals heavenward. We can pray without ceasing for our kids. For their safety. For their integrity. Purity. Wisdom. Friends. Spiritual growth. For their choices. For their future.

I don’t in any way shape or form have this parenting of teens and tweens thing figured out yet. But I do know where I can begin.

On my knees.

Care to join me?

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For more conversation on parenting tweens and teens, check out last week’s post – Parenting Teens When the World Wants to Chew Them Up. And stay tuned for another great discussion next week on the blog. As always, we would love to hear from you. What are some of your greatest fears or struggles in parenting teens or tweens? Is there something in particular you would like us to address? We can’t guarantee an answer, but we can give you some Masterpiece Mom prayer and support. Because we’re in this together! xo

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Anne-Renee Gumley

Anne-Renee is a full-time mom who works part-time at her family's party store. She has two children who keep her laughing, a husband who keeps her smiling, and an itch for writing that just won't go away.
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