I will never forget a conversation I had with our son several years ago. He had asked me what I found to be the hardest thing in parenting adult children. It didn’t take me long to answer. What I wanted for them, and what I continue to pray for them, is for the Lord to shape their lives according to His desires, making them more and more like Christ. However, I also understood, through my own experience, that often His most sanctifying work comes as a result of seasons of pain or struggle — those times and circumstances that demand that we rest only in His sovereign will because we have no where else to go.
As Jesus models prayer for us in Matthew 6: 9-13, He specifically prays in verse 10 that “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Knowing and experiencing “His will” in my life has included days and seasons of pain, struggle, rejection, betrayal, hurt and despair. How can I willingly pray this prayer for my own children knowing that they may experience these same things?
The answer for me lies in the first two words of Jesus’s prayer. As He instructs us to begin our prayer with “Our Father,” He gives us the reason He was able to pray for God’s will to be done in His own life. When we see the sovereign, powerful, all-knowing Creator as our “Abba” or “Father,” and we have experienced this relationship of trust and care that He offers His children, it is easier to pray for His will to be done in our own lives and in the lives of those we most love. So we pray, confident that even though those we love may face suffering, hardship, and disappointment, a faithful hand is guiding and refining them, for their good and His glory.
Written by Cynthia Knowles