Four years ago, a major spiritual battle began in my home, and I was not prepared for it. Four years ago, my first child was born.
When I became a mother, I knew I wanted to instill a love for God in my children. I assumed I'd have plenty of time to read Bible stories and do cute projects to bring those stories to life. But by the time my second child was born, I realized that motherhood was much more time-consuming and difficult than I ever imagined.
My firstborn was a handful, and I lacked the ability to cope with raising both an active toddler and a newborn. I wondered how I would nurture a strong foundation of faith in my children, and I worried about leaving them vulnerable to the strong temptations in our secular culture. Finally in desperation, I began fervently praying for my kids.
Now, as the mother of three, I realize that prayer is where I should have started all along. I began to feel less alone as a mom, knowing my children were in God's hands. I felt like I was helping my children grow closer to God, and that God was already at work in their hearts. I began to feel that I couldn't fail because the King of all Creation was on my side.
I then started to discover many biblical examples of parents who brought their fears and concerns to God in prayer. Their stories inspired me to get specific in my prayers. Now instead of just pleading for God's help in moments of frustration (okay, I do that too!), I also focus my prayers on five areas of my children's spiritual formation.1