It’s a good thing that letting go of our children is a gradual process. First, we walk them into kindergarten. Later, we drive them to their first sleepover, and eventually, they take off for a week at camp.
Our oldest daughter has been away at college for almost three months now. I confess that I’m still in the process of learning to let her go. Over the weekend, my husband and I were discussing a decision she will be facing at some point, and he said, “You do realize how little control you have over this situation, don’t you?”
Well yes, yes I do, but that doesn’t make it easy! However, I’m so thankful I have him to keep me grounded about these things. And I realized the truth of what he said – that I was fretting over things I couldn’t control. When that happens, I know it’s time to take it to God in prayer.
I’ve written before about praying God’s Word over our children and about journaling prayers for our children. As I thought about how I wanted to apply that to this process of letting go, I took three of my favorite – and very familiar – verses, and wrote out prayers from them.
1. Philippians 4:6-7
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
These were the first verses that came to mind because I KNEW I was worrying over a particular situation. Here’s my prayer (or at least the general idea of it. The one I actually wrote out has a few specific details that I’m not sharing here.)
Dear Lord, Help me not to worry about this decision our daughter is making. Thank you that I can bring it to you in prayer. I’m also thankful that she is learning to be independent. Please give her wisdom and discernment as she handles this situation. Most of all, may you be honored and glorified with the outcome. Give me your peace regarding this area of my daughter’s life, I pray.
2. Proverbs 3:5-6
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
These verses have been such an encouragement to me through much of my life.
God, I trust you to work in my daughter’s life and to do what you know is best for her. I may not understand your ways, but I believe that you love and care for her even more than I do. May she seek your will and allow you to direct her steps. Help her to follow the commands in these verses and know the peace and joy that come from trusting you.
3. Romans 8:26-28
“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Sometimes I know exactly how I need to pray about something. But there are other situations I’ve faced in life in which I haven’t been totally clear on how I should pray. But the Holy Spirit knows the mind of God, and He can intercede on my behalf.
Heavenly Father, I’m not even sure how to pray about this situation in my daughter’s life. May your Holy Spirit guide me in how to pray and direct my prayer. You know far better than I what is best for her. I ask that your will would be done. Thank you for the assurance that you can work all things together for her good and for your own honor and praise.
We will always be parents and hopefully will continue to have influence in our children’s lives. But as they take steps toward independence, may we be faithful in turning our concerns over to God in prayer and trusting Him to do His work in them.