I love the story of Manoah and his wife. They had been unable to give birth to a child. It was apparently their greatest desire in life. One day, an angel of God brought them good news: A child was to be born.
I think one reason I identify with the story is the huge number of people in our ministry who have struggled with infertility. It's a huge hidden pain in the church. It's one reason we have always highlighted adoption and foster-parenting.
But when Manoah's wife came to him with the news they were having a child, Manoah immediately did what happens to many men and women when they discover they are about to be parents. He grew up—literally—and he indicated this by what he did first. He prayed!
He asked for God's provision!
It's funny how "life" has to happen sometimes before we fall on our knees.
In the moment—realizing they were about to be blessed with one of life's greatest blessings—Manoah prayed the most important prayer a parent can ever pray:
"Then Manoah prayed to the LORD: 'Pardon your servant, Lord. I beg you to let the man of God you sent to us come again to teach us how to bring up the boy who is to be born'" (Judg. 13:8).
The greatest prayer a parent can ever pray is to ask for God's hand upon your parenting! Ask God to teach you to parent well.
Parenting is hard work. There will always be issues that come up in parenting you don't know how to address at the time. We cannot—and should not—do it alone. (This is one value of the church and community—we are in this together as parents.) All of us have seasons we could use more prayer for our children and for are parenting, but we should certainly pray.
I'm working on a longer list of prayers for parenting, but we should start here.
Dear Lord, teach us to parent!
What are the current prayers you have for your children? What specifically do they need the most?
Ron Edmondson is the lead pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky. For the original article, visit ronedmondson.com.