The wind blew dust all around us on a warm June afternoon in West Texas. We stood in the driveway, watching as our moving truck pulled out and ambled down the road. After weeks of packing and days of loading, Kenny and I and our three kids, the dog, and a fish, climbed into our jam-packed minivan and began the 1,100-mile cross-country journey toward the new adventure to which God had called us.
Change is often good, with lots of hard thrown in.
These transitions come with some smooth places as well as some bumps and potholes in the road. We had traveled this road before, and I knew we would be okay. But our kids? They were fourteen, twelve, and ten. They loved their school, their church, and their friends. As much as they understood the vision and God’s direction for our family, this was still painful. The loss they felt was great, and we as parents felt responsible.
So, like any “good mom” would do, I set out to “fix” this for them. I created activities, set up play dates, looked for sports and music lessons and other fun for them to join. Some of that is helpful and good, but I quickly learned that I could not make this transition for them. As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t make them connect. All my love and encouragement didn’t take away the sadness they felt and the tears that fell as they watched on social media as their friends went on without them. I cried too as I realized I did not have the power to establish them in this place. Only God could do that.
And so, I began relearning a valuable lesson. My kids are His first.
My job as a mom is to love and encourage them, to teach them to love Jesus, and to pray. I had always prayed for my kids, but now I began to pray purposefully, strategically, and scripturally with fresh focus and fervor. When my younger daughter struggled with fear, I prayed the words of 2 Timothy 1:7 over her: God has not given her a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind.
For my older daughter needing guidance, I prayed Psalm 25:4-5 and asked God: Show her your way, O Lord; teach her Your path. Guide her in your truth and teach her, for You are God her Savior and her hope is You all day long.
I prayed that God would raise my son up to be a courageous leader like Joshua and like Daniel, that he would resolve not to defile himself but to stay faithful to the Lord in this new place.
I realized with fresh vision that prayer is the real work.
Prayer is our defense against the enemy who seeks to steal our peace and joy, kill our hope, and destroy our relationships. I was reminded that God is the One who establishes His plans, and I can trust Him with my kids and their future. In Philippians 1:6, Paul writes,
Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
God will complete what He has started in my kids’ lives, just as He will in yours and mine. The pressure is off. He is our faithful, covenant-keeping God, completely trustworthy and sure. We can put our hope in His character and His word.
Since starting this journey, we’ve now survived the freshman year, the first year of middle school, and the last year of elementary school. Actually, thanks to God and a whole lot of prayers, I think we’ve done more than just survived. Sure, there are still some bumps in the road and a few tears here and there, but we’ve all learned to trust Jesus more, and I’ve learned a thing or two about prayer along the way.
Prayer is powerful. Prayer changes things, but most often it changes you and me.
What do you need to stop trying to control in your own strength and start praying about today?Leave a Comment
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
You would think that with my children being “adults” that I would stop trying to control things. I realize time and time again that I am STILL a work in progress and I continually have to pray…Lord, less of me and more of YOU! I love the scripture you quoted for a prayer for guidance for your daughter. I am praying that same prayer for my adult daughter. In it I ask God to do the “showing”, the “teaching”, and the “guiding” and I claim that her HOPE is in Him (not in me and what I can do). Very poignant reminder this am and a good reminder to pray His Word for my children.
I felt the same this morning. My adult son reminds me that he is now grown. I have raised my son on my own since my divorce. He was two. I was being a mom and dad trying to control everything. Thank goodness I am learning to let go and let God! Thanks for the scripture references. I needed this message today. Thank you for sharing.
Charlotte Barnes says
It’s comforting to know I am not the only one with prayer needy adult children. Instead of praying them through the challenges of adolescence it’s praying them through having enough money to feed their kids and prayers for God to guide them even though they do not seek Him first. I too prayed the scripture over fear for my son this am. We may not be able to fix their troubles any more but praise God we have the power of prayer to cover them with.
Prayer for my adult children is what I need to do more and more! It is so reassuring to know that their Heavenly Father loves them more than I ever could.! I also have a husband with mental illness so prayer is what I need to lean on Him-. Thanks for the sweet reminder I. The devotion .
Ashley Fields says
A fear issue that is deeply, deeply seated. I am trying to work through it (meaning I have taken the first steps towards conquering the fear) but I keep making excuses rather than facing it head on. I will be 32 at the end of the year and I think this fear took hold when I was around 6 or 7 although I didn’t realize it until I was 19. Add to that the fact that my mom also deals with a lot of fear and because she saw how much my fear upset me, her solution was always to walk away from it rather than face it, and you have deeply ingrained habits and along with deep-seated fear. Thank God above, habits can be changed! I just need to figure out how best to do that now. Powerful, Scripture breathed prayer is a good starting point.
Praying for the Lord to rid your life of fear, He does say fear not, lean into him and He will look after you xx
Joanna @ Modern Ruth Project says
Great post! I agree – it is so difficult to just trust God with the things that we care most about in life. We want to take control, handle, fix. Right now I am in the middle of a job transition, so while I also am doing my part to get myself out there, I am trusting Him with the final product. The Lord knows where He wants me!
Amen to the power of prayer. Pray on.
Cannot wait to share this beautiful piece with other parents.
Margaret Anfinson says
Thank you so much for your insight. I really needed that this morning. I have always needed to be “in control” of everything and it has left me worn out, frustrated and to the point that I have become very ill. I have learned to LET GO AND LET GOD , for he is ultimately in control of everything. I am powerless without him. I too will use that prayer for my grown daughter and my granddaughter as well as she is going to be a senior this this year. I pray that we all be reminded that we are a continual work in progress and that God is the Pilot of of our lives. We are to let him be in control of our life and give it all up to him. God bless !
Kathy Foster says
So true! Letting God and letting go has been very difficult for me. Am now reading ‘FERVENT” and learning to pray purposefully. It is really helping me to pray His way.
Thanks for the encouragement!
Meg Weyerbacher says
Ouch, ya got me! Thanks, Autumn for reminding me it’s okay to not rush around and try to fix everyone but to be confident that those prayers we are praying ARE being heard and that we can trust in God’s timing! God bless you and your family!!
Thank you so much for this. I have a son who struggles in school. I have been trying to find the right words of prayer for him. I need to leave it all to God to help and change my son.
I like the others please love how you pray the Lords words over you children and they are beautiful prayers. You are right and thank you for opening my eyes to the fact that prayer is the real work here. God made us and our children and is there for us if only we ask him! We cannot control everything and as a Mother I guess we are all guilty of trying to control the situations of our kids, to protect them from the hurts of this world but as much as we try not all is in our control but it is He who will protect them and us, we need to take shelter with Him. I love Philippians 1:6, how reassuring to be reminded not just for our kids but for us too, God has our back and will finish the good work he started in us until we meet Christ Jesus .
Prayer is work/war. We get on our knees and pray long, hard and fervently for God’s will. I love Psalm 25:4 and will use it for myself. I need guidance in the next steps of my life. What should I do & when?. Only God has the answers to these questions. I can say that through the power of fervent/ scriptural prayer I have had two very big prayers answered in the way I wanted. God has blessed my friends immensely.
Jenny Howell says
It’s true Autumn!! Well said 🙂 Prayer IS the real work. We are on the brink of a big move and at critical ages with our 5. Thanks for the reminder!
Lyli @ 3dlessons4life.com says
Autumn, love this so much! Will be sharing with my online prayer group.
Autumn, I praise the Lord for this wonderful posting today! How good the Lord is; He reminds me to trust in Him and leave all my prayers and their answers in His most capable hands. Its so easy for me sometimes to want to take that control and make things happen when I need to trust in Him and His timing. May we all seek Him as our first hope in love. Praises to our Lord who loves and lavishes so much love on each of us 🙂 May each of you be so blessed in His joy today!
Rachel Lundy says
Yes, prayer is powerful! It amazes me that God chooses to let us be a part of His work through prayer. “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16). What a privilege to come before the throne of grace.
Chara Donahue says
Love this, Autumn.
Elsa Seidel says
Thank you for the Psalm 24:4,5 verses. I cannot control my adult children and have to constantly remind myself to “release.” God is in control and I pray for each one of my children to follow in His steps. So good to have (in)courage-ment!
I do like that you say your children are God’s first. As much as we’d like to fix things we can’t. I have been encouraging women to pray the Word this past week, so this is a timely post. It’s something we can do and let God fix it.
Yes God is our pilot… We must listen to what He says… He knows our flight pattern
Thank you so much for this. Just days away from another international move. This will be school #9 for my quiet 16 year old and #7 for my anxious high school freshman. God WILL bring His good work to completion in them. Praying, praying, praying.
That is what I do . So hard to trust without seeing
Kathy Foster says
So true! I’ve been so confused this gives clarity to my direction.Blessings!
Autumn – this was great! We are experiencing lots of changes for Ava right now & I can only rely on God’s strength & prayer. Please pray for us & Ava as she starts a new school in the fall. It’s the hardest decision we have ever had to make but one that we feel God has called us to make. We miss your family so much! Let us know if you guys make it to Lubbock this summer!
Lisa Gabledon says
Is there some scriptures that you can recommend praying over my sons? I like to personalize the scriptures and pray for my boys. As a single mom I can’t do this alone I know God is in control but I still worry all the time about them!!