We've all been there before as parents. Your child has been told what to do and doesn't do it. You're tired and irritated. You have no patience left in your parenting tank. And so, you yell at your child (and perhaps even discipline your child) in anger and frustration. But what good does it do? Even though you took charge of the situation, your heart feels empty and frustrated and so does your child's. Let's rewind the tape. Your child has been told what to do and doesn't do it. Instead of reacting in anger, you acknowledge the fact that you are tired and lacking in patience. So before speaking to your child, you speak first to God. Just a simple prayer asking Him something like,
"Father, I need your help right now. I need your Spirit to give me patience and wisdom to talk with my child. I can't do it on my own. I need you and my child needs you. Without you, Jesus, I can do nothing. So be with me now as I go. Open up my heart and my child's heart to you."
With a simple prayer such as this one, we take our parenting out of our hands and put it into God's hands. We admit we cannot parent on our own. And so we pray a simple prayer of dependence ... a simple prayer of reliance ... a simple prayer of surrender.
This is the prayer we parents rarely pray. But I wonder how it would change us, and I wonder how it would change our families.