My Ultimate Line of Defence
I was 22 years old when I became a mother, a recent graduate of Bible college, and had completed 1 year of nursing school. I had just enough education to be dangerous and a worrier. I had learned a little about a lot of things to fear both spiritually and physically. I had not learned enough about healthy ways to live and how to get through when the hard things happened. I spent much of my early parenting years with a spray bottle of bleach and list of things I didn’t want my kids exposed to like toy guns, Pokémon cards, and Grand Theft Auto. I now have 3 sons- ages 15, 19, and 22. I have been married to a pastor for 24 years, and with all that life has thrown our way, I can’t imagine going through this life without prayer.
From a young age, even before my family had trusted Christ, they had taught me to pray. I had this powerful gift of knowing God was personal, and I knew that He could see and hear me. This truth has kept me going on so many occasions, and I believe that it has impacted those I love in ways both seen, and unseen.
I have learned I have 3 different postures of prayer for my family:
1) Regular Prayers: Having a daily Bible reading goal (not always met), leading to general prayers for each person for that day and things coming up.
2) “Dishes and Driving” Prayers: I like to talk to God when it’s quiet so I can meditate on what I know of Him from the Bible. I’ve learned this is a lot more helpful than internal dialogue. These are times I pray for things that pop into my mind that can easily become worries, like poor health, friendships, exams, my husbands meeting, the list could go on.
3) Battle-Time Prayers: These prayers happen on my knees alone, or with fellow mothers: They happen when I am most aware that I am powerless. When my child is struggling with sin, in the hospital with serious infection, in an unhealthy relationship, or when my husband was getting diagnosed with Bipolar 2. These are times I pour out my soul to God, there may be scripture, pleading, tears and then times of quiet where all I can do is groan or weep but I can feel the Spirit praying for me. Instead of feeling hopeless, I am buoyed up by the scripture found in Romans 8:26.
Honestly, nothing has taught me more about God’s love for us and His choice to sacrifice Himself for us like having to pray for the souls of my family. There are times when I feel like giving up myself or doing penance for my loved ones, but ultimately, I can rest in His Grace because this has already been accomplished through the Cross. I just have to wait on Him to see how His plan unfolds. As I was preparing to write this, I was celebrating my first born's wedding. It was a day of joy for me because it represented the answers to SOOO many prayers of all three kinds. It inspired me to keep up this most important role for my family.
Tips for praying for your family:
~YouVersion Bible App daily readings and 2-3 study plans on the go. Better than breakfast.
~Practice the three kinds of prayer.
~Read books on praying for spouse/children.
~Find one or two trusted friends you can share and pray with.
~Seek out someone you respect that you know has been on the road you are on, if it’s not helpful, keep seeking far and wide, these can become rich support systems.
~Break the Sound Barrier: when a friend shares about their child ask if you can pray right there, be it on the phone or in Starbucks. It gets easier. I have a village of friends with kids in their twenties now, and we are seeing answers to prayers from 10+ years ago. The waiting can be very hard. Trust the faithful One, flee temptation, share with others and don’t give up hope.
If you are stuck and not sure where to start, these Scriptures of hope have had an amazing impact on my prayer journey, and hopefully they will be for you too!
1 John 1:9
By Kelly Klaassen
Kelly is a Christ follower, wife to Tim and mother of 3 boys: 15 year old Zach, who is a drummer, Evan, who is 19 and works as the waterfront leader at Camp Qwanoes, and Nicolas 22, who is married to Sidney. The two older boys are in University. She co-owns a beach boutique in Nanaimo called Island-ish with her sister. They feature local artisans, paint workshops and coastal fashion. They are on Instagram and Facebook. Her husband is a pastor and together they are passionate about sharing their life and faith stories, warts and all, with people in their church and community. She loves serving in a lunch program for children with food insecurity. Feel free to contact her if you’d like to know more.