A young friend of mine will soon be a mother. Another young friend of mine just became a mother. In a way, I envy them. There is nothing in the world like being pregnant or being a new mom. It is completely uncharted territory, and there is nothing that can really prepare a woman to be a first time mother. Every mom will give them advice, whether the new mom asks for it or not. We all think we know stuff. And we do, but no two situations are the same. No two moms are the same, and no two children are the same. Each experience is unique unto itself.
There are so many parenting books on the market. So much instruction. Spank. Don’t spank. Put the child on a strict schedule. Let the baby decide its own schedule. Immunize. Don’t immunize. Breast. Bottle. Have the baby sleep on its back, its side, its tummy. So. Much. Advice.
Sigmund Freud labeled the mother as the most influential person in a child’s life. He would also blame us moms for most of our children’s issues. Mommy issues are the worst, he would say. I’m not sure I agree completely with Sigmund, but I will say this… there is something that a mom can do that just might impact the lives of their children more than anything else.
More than how much she holds the baby, reads to the baby, sings for the baby, or tends to the baby’s needs… or doesn’t. More than she provides clothes, shoes, toys, lessons, and play dates… or doesn’t. This one thing a mom can do for her baby will impact that child more than anything else.
There is nothing a mother can do that will have greater influence over her child’s life than to pray for that child.
Yes. That’s it. On the surface, that might not seem like all that much. I mean, tending to a baby and meeting its physical, emotional, educational, and social needs seem like a bigger deal, right? All that time involved in the day to day raising of a child is pretty overwhelming, and of course those things matter. But what matters even more in the life, and for the life, of that child are the prayers prayed by its mom. As a mom of four mostly grown kids, I know this to be true. The proof really is in the pudding. I look at my kids and the lives they lead currently, and I just sing praises to the Lord over all the answered prayers.
And yet I know I could do better. Even though I pray fervently for my kids, I know I could do more. I could pray more often, for more things. A friend of mine once said to me, “Stacey, what if…God does nothing in the affairs of man except in answer to prayer? What if the future of our children really is impacted by our prayers?” My friend was on to something.
As mothers, what are we leaving on the table? What prayers have we not prayed? What have we been too timid to ask for on behalf of our kids? Too lazy or too busy to address? Growing up, the kitchen wasn’t considered clean after dinner until everything was removed from the table. Are we leaving something there on the table? As women called to be mothers, are we really willing to do that?
Jesus valued his own mother, Mary, so highly. Even in His darkest hour, she was on His mind. And oh, how she loved her son. How she must have prayed to God the Father for Him. Jesus knew her heart for Him, and I think He knows my heart for my children, too. When we, as moms, speak to the Lord on behalf of our children, He hears us with the understanding of One who also had a praying mother.
I like to give new moms a book of prayers to get them started. It’s never too early to start praying for that little bundle, and for those of us with bigger kiddos, it’s never too late.
Here are just a few for those of you just starting out… to get you going!
Feel free to add your favorites here, too!