While it’s good to couple this with other weapons God has provided us with, I firmly believe it to be the single most powerful one you can wield in the battle that is your child’s heart.
My husband and I used to work at a summer camp for abused and neglected children. One of the assignments given to us at the annual training was to line up prayer warriors (yes, warriors) for the entire week of camp. You could just ask one person but it was always a good idea to have 2 or 3 so you were covered in prayer the entire time. And while we couldn’t tell them the names of our campers (privacy laws), they knew to pray specifically for the 2 campers we’d each be working with.
These kids were broken. Even the toughest ones had immeasurable pain etched on their hearts beneath their funny, quiet, or frustrated exterior. And they needed prayer. Talk about a battle going on in their hearts.
Tripp points out that the Godward orientation of your child’s heart determines his response to life. My campers were in the same boat but they didn’t have parents praying for them. However, they had us as their counselors along with all of the prayer warriors each of us had enlisted to pray for them.
We’d conclude camp with a “welcome home” dinner. There were more than a few people who gave up a week with their family to be at camp so this was a chance to have a celebratory dinner recapping funny events, honoring years of service, and enjoying a delicious catered meal after eating camp food for 6 days.
The most important part of the dinner was the end. Everyone stood up and made a giant circle along the boundaries of the church multipurpose room. Holding hands, we’d open up with a time of prayer that anyone was welcome to offer up their thanks for a fruitful or difficult week (often both) or specific prayers for individual campers. After he’d felt like everyone who’d wanted to pray aloud had a chance to, my dad (one of the directors, along with my mom) would pray every single kid back to God’s hand and protection. We knew that our week with them was up but we also knew that someday, somehow, they’d remember how they felt at camp. When they meet a crossroads later in life, our prayer is that they’ll choose the one that felt most like how they felt at camp, even if they didn’t know why.
You get longer than a week with your kids. You get them every day. Pray each of them into His hand. Every day.
Embrace the blessings you have in front of you but realize that you are in battle. Soldiers don’t go into war without being properly outfitted with the right weapons. Nor should you go into the war for your child’s heart without prayer.
So pray for each of them as you fold yet another load of laundry, Mama. Pray for your kids on your commute, Daddy. God will give you the words if you give Him the time.
In Christ, Rachel
This is part of a 31 day series of shepherding a child’s heart in 5 minutes a day (click here for the series intro). I pray this series edifies you as much as reading Tripp’s book has encouraged and challenged my husband and I in how we raise our children. Subscribe to the blog in the side bar if you’d like to get posts emailed to you in a weekly digest or subscribe on your favorite blog reader.