When praying for your children, do you ask for your plan or His be done?

Like the silky sand of the beach sifting through my fingers, this school year has slipped away. Whether you are a parent of a child who has finished kindergarten or one who has finished college, I am sure you can relate to how quickly the school years seem to fly by.

My daughter, Meredith, finished the classes for her master’s this past Friday and now is embarking on the final required component of the program – studying the global context of business in locations around the world. On Thursday, she will leave for the United Arab Emirates, then on to India and Singapore for a total of three weeks abroad.

I have shared Meredith’s itinerary with family and friends and a few adventurous souls responded with, “how wonderful…how exciting…what a fabulous experience it will be!” By far, the more common response was a wide-eyed, “you must be so worried…scared…anxious, and so on.” And I would be less than truthful if I said that I wasn’t a little anxious that my precious girl would be spending her 23rd birthday 10,459 miles from home! I decided I needed to pray about the situation, and the Holy Spirit had a few convicting things to say about the matter.

Here’s what I heard: You say you believe in My plan, that I am the center of your life and that you put all your trust in me. And yet, when it comes to the kids, you pray for Me to show favor on the plan that you think is best for them, not Mine. Instead, would you pray for the courage to let go and let Me be the author of their story?

We are so driven to make sure everything goes smoothly for our children, that we forget that the hard times and challenges in life often lead to the greatest successes. Romans 8:28 echoes in our head and heart – all things work together for good for those who love God. But we are human, and sometimes in the chaos of this world we forget that our sovereign God is Lord over all creation – including our kids!

When Jesus was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane he was deeply distressed and troubled over what He was about to endure on our behalf. “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. If you are willing, take this cup from me, yet not my will but yours be done.” Jesus is our perfect example of how to pray according to God’s will. Let us pray, Lord, nurture our children’s tender hearts in faith, make them ever aware of Your presence in their life, and fill them with your Holy Spirit to guide, direct, counsel, comfort, and protect them. And I know that your plan for their life is far greater than any I can imagine for them, so Lord, not my will but yours be done.

After writing this, I helped Meredith shop for some last minute items. We went over the travel checklist again and packed and repacked her duffel bag before heading to the airport. When we reached the security line, I hugged my sweet girl good-bye, and my heart gave thanks for the gift of parenting this child. And then, I let go and sent up a silent prayer for His will and plan to be the light to her path.

Have a great trip Meredith!

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