Mothers and fathers have unique ways they work together to raise up godly children. In Ephesians 6:4, for example, Paul specifically addresses fathers and calls them not to provoke their children to anger, but raise them in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. It appears that part of a father’s specific responsibility from the Lord is discipline, which if done wrong can lead to provoking children to anger, and worse. Of course, mothers must discipline too, but discipline coming from a godly father has a unique importance and impact. We see its importance in that the lack of it is the source of much disorder and evil in our society. A father’s words (or absence thereof) to his children carry weight, whether to build up or tear down.
In a similar vein, there is something unique about a mother’s prayer for her children. A mother mighty in prayer is mighty in power. Prayer is the best offense where a mother contends for her children against the world and the devil. God hears her and she comes out victorious.
A praying mom does not trust in her own mothering, parenting style, ability, or effort, but in God who gives grace. She asks and receives, and her children are blessed because of it.
A praying mom is not content with kids who are prepared to make it in the world; rather, she desires to prepare children who will make it into the kingdom. Her prayers focus, rightly, on the latter.
A praying mom reaches for God when her children seem unreachable. Time and again when I’ve seen a wayward son or daughter come back to the faith, it can be traced to the intercession of a mom. A mother’s faithfulness in prayer that can even overcome the fallout from a dad’s failure in discipline and instruction. Anglican Bishop J.C. Ryle said, “Where there is a praying mother, there is always hope.”
A praying mom understands her calling is for a lifetime. Long after her children leave the house, by her prayers she upholds her children so they continue steadfast in faith. She passes on a heritage of faith. “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well,” (2 Timothy 1:5).
Mothers, pray. In every season of your children’s life, pray for them. Pray faithfully and in faith that you will receive for them what you ask. God is gracious and powerful. He can protect your children. He can bring them to their senses and out of their sin. He can save your children. You are not sufficient for any of this, but you know the one who is, and your prayers are precious and beautiful in his sight.