I have vivid memories of meal times at my grandparents’ house. They lived about one hour away so going to visit was an event. The house always smelled of warm biscuits, country sausage, and flowers.
My grandparents did not come from or have any money. In fact, when they were raised through the Great Depression, they noticed no difference in their lives. But, they were always rich in two things that gave us a sense of calm, comfort and acceptance – family and faith.
As I grew from a boy into a young man, Munner (my grandmother) would often tell me "I'll be praying for you." As a thirteen year old, I’d smile, not really knowing what to say. As I grew more comfortable with myself over time, I’d say ‘thank you’ and cherish the words. At that point, I had started to realize her Bible and monthly Upper Room were always by her favorite chair. If anyone's prayers would help, I knew it would be her's.
Looking back, I know those prayers were powerful. Even more, her commitment to them left me with a deep, abiding understanding of her love for me. Praying with and for your son will do the same.
As with anything, the earlier you start, the better it will go. Building a habit when our sons are young make it easier for it to keep going through the storms of puberty and middle school. But, it’s never too late to start.
A few years ago, I started praying at night with my boys and blessing them each night. It’s hard to express how awkward I felt the first few times doing this but, as with anything, praying with your son becomes more natural the more you do it. I didn’t really know what to say early on but have come up with a few themes that seem to help and I hope they will help you.
Pray for Christ to be in his life. There is no finer gift than to understand that Christ is with you throughout time. Keep inviting Him into your heart and ask him to enter your son’s. “Lord, I invite you into my life and pray you will be a constant influence in my son’s.”
Pray for his friends. The older your son is, the more impact the group of friends he spends time with will mold his outlook. “Lord, please be with my son’s friends so that they will choose what is right, even though it may be hard.”
Pray for his teachers, coaches, and mentors. This Third Tribe of influencers will also have a great impact on your son’s life. “Lord, thank you for good leaders in my son’s life. Keep them safe and continue to guide them along Your path.”
Pray for yourself. Hey, we are in this, too, and need prayers and support just as much as anyone else. “Lord, please help me be the father (or mother) my son needs. Help me be humble enough to follow your word and strong enough to follow it.”
Pray for thanksgiving. Gratitude is one of the great values and leads to so many wonderful outcomes. And, while there are times when our patience runs thin, we, as Christians, must believe our child is a gift from God. “Lord, thank you for the gift of my son.”
Our young men are not perfect and are certainly not finished projects. They need our prayers and need to know we are praying for them. The more you do, the great impact it will have on them... and you.