O Lord, my Father, hear my prayer. Hear the sorrows and the joys intermingled that I lift to You. Hear my praise and thanksgiving as well as my pleas. Listen to my words, Lord God, and answer with Your own.
Bless my family, Lord, the lot of them, loud and crazy though we may be. Bless me, Lord, for I cannot be a blessing to them if I am too tired and stressed myself. Bless my husband, for he is truly a wonderful man, worthy of admiration as he strives to be like You. Bless my children, each one, in their unique little personalities, in their amazing little lives, bless them, Lord. Bless our home: it is not grand or worthy of a magazine, but it is home, Lord, and we love it.
How wonderful You are, Lord! How amazing Your creation! How I thank You for these precious children You have placed into our lives and our care and our teaching! I stand in constant amazement at the world around me, Lord, the world that You created. I am caught up in the beauty of even the smallest, simplest thing—the ladybug, the butterfly, the tulip just emerging. I am awed by the glory of the sun and the twinkling vastness of the night sky. I am amazed beyond words at the tiny, intricate details You have worked into everything. How amazing the human body! How fragile we are, and yet You have made us so strong! How truly miraculous the conception of a human soul, and the growth of that soul inside me, emerging as a blessed child! I am amazed at the workings of plants, the immensity of the solar system, the instincts of animals; of the love between husband and wife, parent and child! You are truly great, O Lord, truly amazing and powerful, and yet so loving and patient. You are the perfect parent, Father God, and how I wish I could be more like You!
Give my children the Christ-like attitude I so want them to have, Lord. Grant them the precious honor of a relationship with You. Help me as I try to bring them to You, Father, as I try to introduce them to the wonder that is You. Give them each a spirit of obedience both to us, their earthly parents, and to You, the ultimate authority. Give them each a spirit of cheerfulness as they go about their daily duties. Help them learn the joys of helping others, even if it is only a little brother. Give them each a spirit of compassion, of kindness, of joy. Help them see the miracle in each new day, the miracle of life, of nature, of salvation! Give them each a love for learning, a childlike curiosity that will not fade as they grow older. Give them Your love, O Lord, give them You. Give them safety and health and happiness, Lord. Give them good childhoods and good memories.
Give us a happy home, Lord. Let our beds always be warm and snug in winter, cool and dark in summer. Let our TV remain turned off most of the time, and our brains turned on. Let our kitchen always be filled with good food and our table with good dinner conversation. Bless our little home, Lord. Bless us all!
Help me realize always the great privilege of teaching my children. Help me keep in mind always that teaching them is also a great responsibility, a responsibility that You have commanded of each and every Christian parent. Help me take that responsibility with all seriousness, for it is so very important that our children are brought up according to Your commands and statutes. Help us bear in mind always that these children are only ours for a little while, that they are truly Your children, Lord, whom You have given to us for a season of life. Help me be willing, Lord, to give my all for the children's sake, because they truly are "the least of these," and so whatever I do for them, however I speak to them, however I act toward them, in these same ways I speak and act toward You.
Help me, Lord, to remember to see each of my children as You do. Help me to see the beauty in each one, their potential but also the beauty that resides in them right now, this moment, beauty in them because they are my blessing from You.
Help me to have patience, God. Patience with sticky messes and with bed-wetting, patience with frustrated learners and with cabin-fever whining. Grant me patience when emotions overflow and they lash out in hurt or anger toward me or toward each other. Grant me patience when asked to explain that same thing . . . again.
Grant me peace, Lord. Peace among the chaos that is our life. Help me to know the difference between peace and quiet, for sometimes the most truly peaceful moments are also the loudest. Give me peace when the children are sick or the day seems just too long. Give me peace when plans fail and days go horribly wrong. Give me peace when the critics mount against us and doubt and uncertainties begin to creep in. Give me peace, Lord, the peace that passes understanding. I don't need to understand it, Lord, I just need peace.
Bless me, Lord, with a true servant's heart. Help me find the joy in all the little ways I can serve my family. Give me a heart that loves to teach, even at the end of a trying day. Give me a heart that finds satisfaction in washing the dishes or doing the laundry, because in doing these things I care for my precious family. Give me a heart that swells with love when asked to read a book, sing a song, view an art project, read something my child has written, play a game, or just hold a small one on my lap. Help me, God, to die to myself and to heed the high calling of the servanthood of mothering. Help me, Lord, to realize what a privilege it is to be a mother to these wonderful children, to love them, care for them, and teach them every day.
Teach me humility, Lord God. Chastise me as a loving Father should when my heart and head stray and I do things out of selfishness or conceit. Show me where I am wrong, God, and help me to do what is right. Help me to do it for the right reasons. Help me always to remember that I am not perfect, that I am not even the best at what I do. Help me to humbly acknowledge that every good thing I do is done because You have graciously blessed me with the ability and knowledge to do it. Help me always to remember that I can do nothing without You—but all things are possible with You!
Help me to remember that sometimes children know more truth than I do and to listen and learn from these little blessings You have given me. Help me never to place myself above anyone else, or to think that I know it all, because pride goeth before a fall, and Lord, You know how proud I can be sometimes. And I'm awfully tired of falling.
Grant me wisdom, God. You know I need it! For though I may be knowledgeable by this world's standards, I know that true wisdom comes from You alone. Give me wisdom in choosing the things to teach my children, in knowing what books to use and what subjects to teach. Give me wisdom to discern when my children are ready for more solid spiritual food. Give me wisdom to answer the questions they ask, even the hard ones.
Above all else, give me love, Lord. Give me Your love when I'm weary. Give me enough love that it spills over, out of me onto the people around me. Give me love for my husband and children all day, every day, even on those days, Lord. If I have not love, I am nothing, God, but I have You, and You are love, so grant me a piece of You, this Holy Spirit that lives inside me. Help me to let You shine forth through me to my family.
In Jesus' name, amen.
*This article published on April 26, 2010.
Heather Miller lives in northeastern Oklahoma with her husband, three kids, and five pets. She and her husband have been homeschooling their children since 2004 and loving (almost) every minute of it. In her spare time (what there is of it), Heather also enjoys reading, quilting, gardening, and baking.