Helping Children with Change

     Does anyone else out there have children right now that are just really struggling with all of this change? Yesterday, my normally very easy going and happy fifth grader suddenly burst into tears very unexpectedly. We weren’t talking about school or Covid-19 at all. When I asked him what was wrong, he told me that he was just really upset about missing out on his 5th grade field day and graduation. It was bubbling under the surface and suddenly emerged. We are all just reeling from this change, and our kids are trying to process a lot of information very quickly. Are your children struggling?
     The Lord led me this morning to 1 Samuel to the story of another parent in Hannah that was experiencing much turmoil and who would have a son who would experience incredible change. Have you every thought about how difficult it must have been for Samuel to leave the daily care of his loving mother to move in with the preacher and serve God as a boy? Talk about a lot of change!
   We get a glimpse of what helped both Hannah and Samuel in 1 Samuel 1:11-12. It was Hannah’s prayer life. I hope you will be encouraged by her prayer as I was. Notice 3 quick things about this powerful prayer
  • A Prayer of Desperation – Hannah cries out to “The Lord of Hosts”. This is very important because this is the first mention of The Lord of Hosts in the Bible (Jehovah Sabaoth). This is the Name of God we find used in Scripture when a man or woman realizes they can do NOTHING to change their situation and need to see God MOVE! The Lord of Hosts is mentioned over 270 times in the Bible but the next is with David when he is facing Goliath (1 Samuel 17:45). David was also faced with an immovable force in the mountain of a man (Goliath) with no human hope of victory. He comes into this battle calling on the power of the Lord of Hosts! Here’s the great news – God hears and answers the prayers of desperate men and women when it comes to helping their children! If you feel desperation today, you are in a great place to see God hear and move.
  • A Prayer of Declaration – Hannah declares that “I will give him to the Lord”. In other words, she is saying – God, this is your son- not my son. He belongs to you. You gave him to me, and I am giving him back to you. You allow me to parent him for a period of time but he is yours. You love him even more than I do. I TRUST you with my child. Parents, isn’t it great news to know that God loves our kids more than we do and has specific plans for each of their lives? (Jer. 29:11). Our role as parents is not to get them to graduation and then send them out to be independent. Rather, our role as parents is to help our kids move from a dependance on us to a complete dependence on The Lord. Do you need to turn your children back over to The Lord today by saying, “I trust you completely with each one.”?
  • Prayer of Determination – In verse 12 it simply says, “as she continued praying. Hannah refused to quit praying. Never underestimate the power of a praying parent. Susannah Wesley spent one hour each day praying for her 17 children. In addition, she took each child aside for a full hour each week to discuss spiritual matters. It’s no wonder that two of her sons, Charles and John, were used mightily in both England and America. When it gets hard, let’s keep praying. On the tough days, let’s keep praying. When we wonder if it’s working, let’s keep praying. And the best part – The name Samuel means “God Hears”!  Every time Hannah called her son’s name it was an ongoing reminder of God’s faithfulness to help a parent in need.
    It is so hard to see our kids hurting! I hope you can find some encouragement as I did this week in knowing that in this time of change and uncertainty for both parents and children, we can continue to cry out to God in desperation knowing that He has a long track record of hearing the prayers of men and women who have nowhere else to turn, and that we can continue to trust God completely knowing that He loves our children even more than we do.