Having kids is a great experience. Yes, there are the diapers, the sleepless nights, and the whole getting puked on thing. But other than that, it’s great.
Some of my best memories as a dad are when our driveway has needed to get shoveled from the winter’s snow. I would get all my winter gear on, head out the door, grab the large scoop we had, and start working.
That’s not the great memory.
The great memory was when one of my kids would come out to join me. Here was this little bundle, waddling in the snow. They looked like a colored marshmallow with a toque on. Since they couldn’t use the large scoop I had, they grabbed their little kid shovel and started to work.
Of course that meant that I did all of the heavy lifting. As I would push large piles of snow, they would do what they could and threw small amounts. Usually they would end up on the area I just cleared, but at least they were helping.
After a few minutes, they would be cold and head in while I would finish the rest of the job.
I love doing that stuff with my kids.
As parents, we have a big role in the lives of our kids, and we are expected to do more of the heavy lifting than they are. We know this.
Spiritually, this is our job, too. Our job is to approach the King of kings on behalf of our children; to request a listening ear from the One who loves our kids more than we do.
In Mark 5:21-24 (NIV) we read an interesting account of a desperate dad.
Jesus had just arrived in the area and a large crowd was already around him. Then Jairus, a synagogue leader, approached him.
And how did he come?
Did he come with title or position? No.
He came as a dad.
Falling at Jesus’ feet, he pleaded with Jesus for Him to come heal his daughter who was dying.
He put aside his own title, his own position, his own pride, and dared to ask Jesus to answer his request.
His daughter needed something that he couldn’t do for her. That’s a painful place to be as a parent. So what does he do? He goes to the One who could do something for her.
It’s a story like this that we as parents need to sit in and bring to life.
Just picture it:
Talk about coming to Jesus with a big shovel. He is doing all the heavy lifting he can for his little one who can’t.
And look what happens: Jesus went with him.
Jesus heard his plea and moved into action.
How beautiful is that!
Jairus must have felt relieved; his daughter had a chance now.
But the story continues. In verses 24-34 we read about the sick woman who touched Jesus and stalled Him from moving forward.
Imagine Jairus in this moment. He must have just about lost his mind.
“What are you doing? Jesus is coming with me! Don’t you know that my daughter needs Him right now?”
That’s when they hear Jesus say a simple word to the woman as her heavenly Father looked at her and called her “Daughter.”
Now the earthly father trying to save his daughter is watching as the heavenly Father saves His with just a simple touch of His robe.
What a moment.
And just when Jairus is ready to go again, the worst news a parent could ever hear comes as his friends tell him his daughter had passed away.
As his heart was sinking, Jairus heard Jesus’ voice again.
“Don’t be afraid; just believe.” (Mark 5:36, NIV)
It was like Jesus completely ignored the news. He knew Jairus’ request and that’s what mattered.
The gospel writer goes on to write how Jesus woke the little girl up.
Imagine the joy Jairus must have felt in that moment. Imagine the faith his family would have had, all because a parent grabbed hold of his big prayer shovel, did the heavy work, and dared to ask Jesus for a big request.
Now, I am not saying that Jesus will answer every request we ever ask for the way we ask for it. Scripture does not teach that.
But in looking at Jairus’ story, I believe there are four things we can learn and apply to our prayer lives for our kids.
Know what your kids need prayer for, then pray for it.
2. Jairus put aside his pride and just dared to ask. We need to remember that this was not a private conversation with Jesus. Jairus did this in front of a crowd of people. Now, I am not saying that you have to shout your requests out loud the next time you are in church, but what is it that is holding you back from going to Jesus? Is it taking the time to do it? Not knowing if Jesus will hear you? Whatever it is, if Jairus, a synagogue leader at the time, could get over his pride, I am sure we can, too.
Make the time to talk to Jesus about your kids.
3. Jairus dared to ask for a big request.How big are our requests for our kids? Are we praying great things for them? Some of the things we need to pray for we won’t see answered for years down the road. But does that mean we shouldn’t ask for them? Ask Jesus for big things for your kids. That their character will grow in Him. That leadership will develop so they will be influencers and influenced. That one day they will find Christian spouses with whom they can grow with. That they will always hear the voice of Jesus when He calls them to “get up” (Mark 5:41, NIV).
Dare to pray for big things for your kids.
4. Jairus dared to believe Jesus when it all looked hopeless.Let’s be honest. Sometimes we don’t have all the easy answers and life is hard. Just because we pray for things doesn’t mean that Jesus will answer right away. But in those moments, where is our hope? Maybe Jesus is asking you to ignore the voices telling you it is hopeless. Maybe He is telling you to not be afraid. Maybe He is telling you to “just believe” (Mark 5:36, NIV). If He is, it is up to us how we respond. Jairus still took Jesus home. He still took Him to his daughter.
Don’t give up praying for your kids.
Our kids, with their little shovels, don’t have the words or the strength to pray for what they need.
But we, as parents with our big prayer shovels, need to do the heavy lifting and be like Jairus. We need to get on our knees before Jesus and dare to ask Him for the big things we know our kids need.
So what about you? What are some requests you have for Jesus on behalf of your kids? Take them to Him and just see what kind of big things He will answer with.
Now, go grab your “scoop” and get to work.
If your desire is to connect your child with Jesus, but it feels difficult, and you don't know where to start, we would love to give you our Parenting With Purpose ebook where we give you practical ways to help your child make those connections and bring God into their everyday lives. Get your copy here.
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Brad in 2 Sentences:
I love to write and teach people of all ages about Jesus. If I can tell a story and tell you about Jesus at the same time, even better!