I Was Only Trying to Help!

God is merciful when we pray to Him about our children! He is not silent!

Janet Page serves as associate ministerial secretary for pastoral spouses, families, and prayer.

ZAC, MY YOUNGER SON, and I were best buddies. It was pretty much just Zac and me because his older brother was off at boarding school, and his dad, a conference president, was working a lot away from home. I read to Zac for hours. I taught him how to ride a bike, and we would go sledding together in the snow.

I taught Zac how to cook and do his laundry. I took him mountain biking and snow skiing—although I was the one who came home with cuts and
bruises. When he wanted to climb 14,000-foot mountains, I faithfully struggled with him to the top of 25 peaks. I taught him how to drive a car,
change the oil, rotate the tires, put on snow chains, and drive in the snow.

From the time Zac was 10, it was often just the two of us for family worship. Our evening worships together were precious. Zac loved
worship and prayer time.

Things began to change, however, after Zac got his driver’s license. School was a 45-minute drive from home. He would leave at 5:30 in the
morning to be at sports practice by 6:30. I routinely prayed with him before he left, but soon he began trying to rush out the door before I
could do that. I started asking God “Why?”

One evening as we were eating dinner, Zac suddenly blurted out, “Mom, I really don’t like your lecturemanipulative prayers!” His words
hurt. I was only trying to love him by praying for him. Fortunately, through experience, I had learned not to respond right away because anger
does not build bridges. So I was quiet. 


“Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3, NKJV

The next morning during my own worship, I asked God what was wrong. Then a realization of how I prayed came to my mind: “Father in heaven, please help Zac not to speed. He has had three speeding tickets; one more and he will lose his license.” “Dear God, help Zac not to drive too close to the car in front of him. He has already hit a car; if he has another accident we won’t be able to afford car insurance for him.” “Dear
God, help Zac to study hard and make good grades or he won’t get scholarships for school.” And so on.


“Well, how am I supposed to pray for Zac?” I asked God. “I’m only trying to help him!” I started reading my Bible hoping for answers. God began
showing me that I should pray prayers of blessings on Zac. “How do I do this?” I asked Him.

The next Sabbath Jerry and I were visiting a church, and a woman handed me a gift bag and said, “God told me to give this to you.” I was
excited. Maybe it was money! But instead, it was a book about praying blessings over our children and spouses. I read the book, prayed for
wisdom, and began to follow the counsel.

At first I had to physically grab Zac to pray with him before he shot out the door. I would then ask God to bless him spiritually, emotionally,
and physically; I would also pray appropriate Bible verses of blessing.

One morning several weeks later I was delayed getting to the door and heard Zac yelling, “Mom, where are you? Are you going to come pray for
me?” Now he wanted me to pray for him! My son’s attitude had totally changed.

God is merciful when we pray to Him about our children! He is not silent! When we spend time with Him, humble ourselves before Him, and
read His Word, answers will come. This issue focuses on ways to cope with wayward children. We pray you will be blessed by the articles and
that you will also share them with a friend.