Late at night, as I nursed the baby, I would pour out my heart to God, asking Him why, wondering how to fix things, and begging for His hand to change and sustain.
A thought began to creep into these quiet moments, whispering, "God calls you to pray. Are you praying enough? Are you praying for the right things, in the right way, with the right reasons? Are you really doing what He wants you to do?"
Everything I touched was tinged with these thoughts of inadequacy and doubt. Was I doing it right? If I was praying the way I should, why was nothing changing or getting better? The problem may lay with me. Maybe my prayer life was to blame.
You see, I prayed all the time, an ongoing conversation with God, seeking His opinion on everything from what to cook as I stood in front of my fridge to how I should speak to my child who needed correction.
I was convinced He listened. I knew He never left me, never turned away, or was distracted by someone else. Those were truths I did not question.
But, I felt disorganized and random in how I prayed for my children. The enemy was assaulting me with condemnation and doubts, making me believe my prayer life was not worthwhile and might even be responsible for my children's struggles.
In Isaiah 40:11, Isaiah writes that God will "tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young." God began to gently lead me through His Word, teaching me His heart towards prayer and showing me what praying for others could look like for me in this season of motherhood. Gently, God began to highlight how prayer was both my weapon and my security as I walked with my children.
God invites us to pray and promises His presence
God is not a far-off God, listening periodically to our prayers. His Word tells us repeatedly of His posture towards us. He is bending down, leaning in, tenting over us as we pray. Psalm 116:2 says, "Because He inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live."
I began to stop filtering what I brought to the Lord in prayer through the sieve of worthiness and importance. Instead, I began to present all my needs at His feet.
"But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer." Psalm 66:19
Our God sees us in the sleepless nights when we cry out for our baby to sleep. He lovingly listens and is interested in every detail. The challenges with potty training, children who don't want to read, fussy eaters, sickness, and choices our children make as teenagers and young adults.
I relinquished the worry of not having everything worded correctly and began to stand in the promises of Hebrews 4:16: "Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Our invitation into His presence is not contingent on our words, work, or worries. It is solely because of Jesus opening the door to His throne room so that we may find all we need in our motherhood journey.
God calls us to pray persistently
In Luke 18, Jesus shares the story of a widow desperate for help from a judge. He describes the judge as a man who neither feared God nor respected man; in other words, an unjust, unkind man who wields power. The widow has no protection against an adversary, so she seeks the judge's assistance. Over and over, day after day, she cries out before him in court for help. The judge initially refuses solely based on his cruelty and lack of empathy; however, her persistence wears him down. Ultimately, he relents and judges on her behalf just to be rid of her.
In contrast to this unkind judge, Jesus reveals the deep love and care God offers to you and me. The unrighteous judge listened and engaged only because of her persistence, but how much more will righteous God engage on our behalf? We also face an adversary every day. We have an enemy who wants nothing more than for us to give up and believe that God doesn't hear our prayers. Yet we don't have a selfish, unkind judge but One who leans down and listens intently. He welcomes our cries, listens to our needs, and answers.
We don't pray alone
Romans 8:26 teaches us that we are not alone in our prayer lives. In our most helpless and discouraged moments, the Holy Spirit undergirds us with His prayers. "Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words." In the places where we are weak, feeling lost in a situation, or unable to understand what is needed, the Holy Spirit directs His prayers. When we can't find the words, the Holy Spirit prays on our behalf.
We can be confident in God answering our prayers
My heart was increasingly worried that He would not answer my prayers. I was seeing all the needy places my children were facing, and my mind began to believe that He wasn't listening to me. I needed to know His Word and stand on the truths offered throughout scripture that He does answer every prayer. The fear that God doesn't hear or answer our prayers is not new. Both the Old and New Testaments speak to this fear because this lie is whispered to each of us at one time or another.
What does He say, though? "When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation" (Psalm 91:15-16). 1 John 5:14-15 echoes this same viewpoint: "And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him." He will answer every prayer we pray, in His timing, with His wisdom.
So, what would my prayer life look like if I stood on these truths?
As these truths settled in my heart and mind, I longed for a strategic plan. A way to know and remember that God was at work even on the most challenging days. A desire to be confident and assured in my prayers over my children so that when the enemy came, I could stand firmly in the truth that I was seeking Him. I needed a plan for prayer.
A Warrior Mama's Prayers was born from this season of questioning and seeking. I needed a framework to stand in His truth, basing all my prayers in His Word. I longed to see God at work in the lives of my children. Journaling my prayers became a necessary step. The only way I could remember what I prayed was to see my handwritten prayers from months before. I could only see God at work when I was centered in His Word, expecting His hand to move.
A Warrior Mama's Prayers journal centers our prayers for our children through 4 pillars:
Over and over, God calls us into prayer, beckoning us to pursue it continuously, encouraging us to pray continually. Perhaps you have been like me: this invitation has become a condemning place, where the enemy whispers that we aren't praying correctly, that our faith isn't strong enough, that if we had prayed differently or better, this event wouldn't have happened. When we understand the power of being His daughter and the invitation into His presence, we can learn to stand on His Word and pray mightily for our children.
Birthed out of my place of need years ago, the journal still strengthens my prayer life today despite different seasons and stages. I desire this journal to help raise a generation of moms who pray confidently anchored in God's Word for their children. A Warrior Mama’s Prayers will help you begin to stand.
How will these 4 pillars of a praying mother help you pray more consistently for your children?
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