I awoke recently to a nice, fresh snowfall. Curious to see how much we received I ventured outside to take a look. It was a modest amount, maybe 3 to 5 inches. It was early, and I noticed the sidewalks had yet to see any foot traffic. I made my coffee, resolving to shovel after doing some reading. Soon I went outside and there several footprints in the freshly fallen snow. Neighbors and others living nearby had made their way out, venturing to work or to take their dogs for an early morning walk. The soft blanket of snow had been disturbed by the shuffling of feet.
As I went out to shovel our steps and clear the sidewalk, a word picture emerged reminding me of the parental privilege and priority of prayer.
Think of each day when you awake as a fresh snow. There are no tracks. All is quiet. Then you get up and bring your petitions to God for your children. You pray for their salvation. You pray for them to honor Christ. You pray for their studies in school. You pray for their potential spouses. You pray for them to serve in Christ’s church. You pray for them to grow in their understanding and love of the Bible. You pray for them to be faithful. You pray for God to supply a rich gospel legacy. You pray for them to steward their lives and the gospel well. You pray for them.
Think of this parental praying as making new tracks in the fresh, previously undisturbed snow. You are, as their parent, bringing your petitions to the throne of grace. You are interceding for them. You are begging God that you would not do anything that would hinder their love for and faithfulness to Jesus. You are making a lot of tracks as you commute to the throne of grace. This is a privilege given to believing parents. We are instructed to pray for our children. We are blessed with the opportunity to do so. What a privilege!
But this is also a priority. They need us to pray. What happens if we get lazy as parents? If we presume upon God’s grace, then we won’t pray. If we minimize the danger of sin, then we won’t pray. If we undervalue the joy of holiness, then we won’t pray. If we overestimate our ability to parent them, then we won’t pray. This troubled me. It convicted me. I was unsettled a bit as a parent. To not pray for our kids is not to do one of the best things we can do for them. To not pray for our children is to neglect their souls. It is to fail to do them spiritual good. We may rightly impugn those who ignore their children’s most basic needs (food, shelter, clothing, time, development, and so on). However, how indicting is it Christians, if we remain we fail to make tracks to the throne of grace? What if we are mute at the bench of petition on our kids’ behalf?
Parents have the privilege and priority of making the daily commute to the throne of grace for their kids.
If you are a parent, think about what the “snow” looks like in front of your child’s house. Is it smooth and undisturbed? Or, have you been making fresh tracks commuting to the presence of God on their behalf?
Parents, if we don’t pray for our kids, then who will? It’s good to feel this burden. And, it’s good to know this privilege. Put together then, Christian parents should have a priority of daily praying for their children.
Be grateful, then, that God hears your prayers through the merit of Jesus. Know that he is gracious to imperfect parents like us. Be reassured that he is both sovereign and good; whatever he has decreed will come to pass. And so pray—and make some tracks in the snow.