Articles by Stan Dean

Are You A Praying Parent?

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Numerous times during my ministry have parents come to my office, often in tears and wringing their hands, because of some concern over their children.  Sometimes it is the "normal" parent versus adolescent conflict and at other times it can be far more serious.  Whatever the case, their pain is very real.

I have often thought that parenting would be a lot easier if each child came with his own set of instructions.  That way you could just look up a question in the index and follow the appropriate steps given on the reference page.  But as you know, such is not the case.

One of the questions I always ask troubled parents is:  "Are you praying for your child?"  Surprisingly I find that many are not, or maybe haven't been very much, so I find this a starting place for a solution.

 I view parenting, like all other aspects of life, as a partnership with God.  There are so many times when we just don't know what to do- - but God does so we should seek His wisdom (cf. James 1:5).  There are many times when we cannot be with our children- - but we know God can, so we should pray that He will keep them in His care (cf. Hebrews 4:13; Proverbs 30:5).  On and on we could go, but the point I want to stress is that parenting and prayer go hand in hand.

An illustration that might be cited is that of Thomas Calhoun Walker.  He was born a slave in 1862 and reared in extreme poverty.  Even so, he grew up to be a lawyer and an extraordinary citizen.  One of the main factors of his success was his father.  Walker said he was often awakened in the early morning hours by his father who was praying so earnestly that he was almost shouting.  In those prayers he would plead, "O God, please take care of my children 'cause I don't know how."  It is any wonder that Thomas Walker turned out as he did?

Another illustration we might reference is the Bible character, Job. We know him as a man of patience, but he was also a concerned father. Initially he was blessed with ten children for whom he would “rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all… thus Job did regularly” (Job 1:5). Hence, Job also was a praying parent.

Of course, prayer is not the only ingredient to good parenting, but it is too vital to be left out.  So, please pray for your children. They need it- - and so do you!