My job, along with some of the relationships I enjoy, gives me regular chances to pray with people. My efforts to pay attention to those encounters have led me to a conclusion. You can mark this down as fact–the first thing every parent I know prays for is their children. Barring a crisis of some sort that receives first mention, parents’ prayers are consumed by their kids. I’m even talking about parents who don’t “pray”. Hand-folding and head-bowing aside, every parent I know has their deepest desires (spoken or not) tied into the lives of their sons and daughters.
When you become a parent, you become a pray-er, whether you believe in God or not.
If you’re a parent, you’ll know what I mean.
If you know me, you’ll know that I only recently began knowing what I mean.
I’ve heard the most heartfelt prayers and sensed the deepest emotion in prayer when parents pray for their children. Rooms get quieter, as it seems as if heaven itself stops to listen in. And joy? You’ve never heard relief or thankfulness in a voice until you’re heard a father or mother’s prayer of gratitude for a lost child finding their way or for a faithful child thriving in every way. There’s no doubt why the prodigal’s return home spawned a bash that rocked the whole neighbourhood–because that is what kids to their parents’ hearts.
The sweetest thing of all this is that we are not limited to our families in experiencing feelings of this intensity. Love flows from person to person, and there is no exclusion for those whose parents don’t fit the above descriptions.
THE Father feels these things for us. THE Son is our non-stop intercessor, bringing our name before God with a flow that never stops. I have taken comfort before in the promises of friends or relatives to pray regularly for me. It is a sobering thought that my name arises in prayers spoken by divine lips into divine ears. In a sense, we are encircled by the highest prayers available.
My experience says that this is what parents do to their kids.