bedside prayers

The alarm clock jolts me awake when it is still dark.  A few intentional blinks help the digital numbers across the room come into focus and my brain finally remembers what day it is.  A swirl of sleepy commotion consumes the house for an hour until our teenagers are on their way to school and my husband is stepping bravely into a new workday.

The sun is starting to pierce through the canopy of trees just beyond the walls that fence our patio.  I soak in the quiet as I linger over breakfast-for-one and the Words from the One who will map out the day ahead.

.   .   .

This is a typical Monday.  Before long, I find myself navigating very ordinary tasks:  tidying the house after a weekend of activity, shifting loads between washer and dryer, and delivering laundry to empty rooms upstairs.  Many of those Mondays, I feel the nudge to pause, to find my knees beside each bed and lift the absent occupant to the Father.  I scan their rooms, my mind sifting through the struggles and joys of each of their hearts.

Sometimes, thoughts and prayers roll off easily.  Other days my mind feels blank.  It is not uncommon for me to ask His Spirit to form words on my behalf when I can’t begin to know what my loved ones need most.

A huge answer came recently in the form of partner releases from Revell BooksPowerful Prayers for Your Daughter and Powerful Prayers for Your Son, by Rob & Joanna Teigen.  These scripturally based prayers are specific to various situations, phases of growth or changing needs.  They are intermingled with touching and timely “prayer stories,” real and raw testimonies of the power of prayer experienced by families just like ours.

For our daughter who will step bravely into adulthood soon, turning 18 and graduating from high school in the next year, these few prayers caught my eye:

When she needs wisdom

When she’s worried

When she needs to work hard

When she’s choosing her words

When she’s lonely

When she needs rest (junior year is no joke!)

When she needs a mentor

For our son, just a few years behind her, and navigating his own unique joys and challenges, these few prayers gave words to my heart:

When he’s afraid

When he’s looking for GOD

When he needs wisdom or courage

When he’s bored

When he’s one of a kind

When I don’t know what to pray

For both, I especially lift these earnest cries for their hearts:

“Keep my daughter from becoming devoted to lesser things.  Turn my daughter’s heart to You.  Reveal Yourself so she can see Your power.  Give her faith to believe You are her Creator, deserving all her worship and praise! … May You be as real as anyone she can see face to face.  Keep her close to You forever.” (page 173, “When she needs to love GOD with all her heart”)

“Give my son a heart that seeks Your will for his life. … Fill my son with devotion to You.  May he offer his life and dreams fully to Your control. (page 62) … Write Your Word on his heart and mind.  Keep my son from settling for an easy, shallow relationship with You.  Let him wrestle with belief and trust until he makes his faith his own.  Keep him close to You every day.” (page 157, “When he needs to stay close to GOD”)

.   .   .

In their purest form, I believe our best prayers for our kids are authentically and spontaneously inspired by His Spirit, offered unplanned and unrehearsed.  But I also believe there is a sweet time and space for praying the words of another, and definitely GOD’s own Words in scripture, as we lift our loved ones to the Father.

I am grateful to Rob & Joanna Teigen and the way these two books have tuned my own heart to the deepest needs of my daughter and son, to honor GOD in how I pray for them and what I speak into their lives each day.  The “real-time” stories from other parents assure me I am not alone in desiring the LORD’s best for my soon-to-be adult children – rejoicing in the growth and promise I can see, or feeling anxious about the areas of concern I also notice.

What a joy to leave our children in the care of the One who created them, the One who redeemed them, the One who pursues their hearts more passionately and faithfully than I ever could!  And how positively challenging to be reminded that prayer is POWERFUL!

“All I know for sure is that he (she) needs You.  Thank You for the gift of prayer.” (page 192, Powerful Prayers for Your Son)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to GOD.  And the peace that passes all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ JESUS.  Philippians 4:6-7

He bends to listen

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