I pray for my son every night as I rock him to sleep. Usually I pray for peace, for health, for good sleep and that he would wake up healthy and happy. If I have recently read a story about SIDS or any of the other myriad terrible things that can befall a little one in the night, then I sometimes simply pray that he will wake up. I pray that God would cover him with His feathers (Psalm 91:4) and that my baby would love the Lord all the days of his life.
I am inclined to want to pray for protection for my son. Protection from the world. From hardship, from pain. But that’s a little naive, isn’t it? Our world is fallen, and that means that life is full of pain and hardship, loss and sorrow. Even for babies whose mamas love them so much that as they take them for a walk in grey weather, they rehearse all the different ways they could use their little umbrella to beat any would-be attacker senseless. Hey, love is a strange thing.
But while I’ll never stop praying Psalm 91 over my little one, the Psalm of protection for those who take refuge in the Most High, it’s shortsighted to pray that nothing awful would ever befall him. Instead, I pray for perspective. That he will always be able to step back, look at his own suffering from an objective point of view, and maintain a measure of gratitude and thankfulness for the life he’s been given, even when things get really crappy.
I pray that in his darkest times, he will always reach out for Christ. And I pray that he will find Him, knowing that he needn’t reach far.
I pray that when life kicks him while he’s already down, God would protect his tender little heart from bitterness. That He will never allow the fight to be fully taken out of him. That he will always see the value in getting up and trying again. And again. And again.
I pray that when he experiences loss, for he will, as hard as it is for me think about, that instead of pulling away from God and searching for healing (or numbing) in the wrong places, he will draw even closer to his Savior and cling to Him as to a life raft.
I pray that he will live for more than just comfort; that he will recognize the value in difficult times, in uncomfortable situations, in hard work, and that he will embrace the transformation of his character and be open to the wealth of wisdom-producing lessons that lie in the most difficult of life experiences.
As his mama I want to pray that he would receive all the desires of his heart, but what I will actually pray is that he will first seek after God with everything he has, that God would align my baby’s desires with His, and that then He would bless him so richly and abundantly that he can’t contain it.
And, of course, I pray for no girls. At least not until he’s about 40.
Can I get an amen?