Every night, I try to pray over my babies as I put them to sleep. When I do so, I find myself going through a list of wish-fulfillment. I mean, who doesn’t want good things for their children? Sometimes, I find that my prayers seem to be a way to try and manipulate and control God. Other times, it is out of genuine belief.

Here is what I try to pray for my kids (obviously not all-inclusive) and the thoughts that go through my head while praying:

1) That they would be healthy and live long, meaningful lives. Not really sure what that means or looks like, but I’ll know it when I see it.

2) That they would be spared suffering. But then I think that a life without suffering tends not to produce people of character, hope, or perseverance. So then, I think, perhaps just enough suffering. Not too much that it breaks my children, but not too little that it breaks them a different way.

3) Crap. Perhaps I should just pray for resilience. That they can bounce back from things. But then, I don’t want them to be too self-reliant and not ever learn to trust in God. Or be too glib.

4) I want my kids to be smart and work hard. To know that just because you’re smart and things come easily doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have to work hard and settle for just getting by. (That would be my entire academic career. Oh, let’s call a spade a spade. My entire CAREER, too.)

5) I pray for my kids to have their heart take after God’s own heart. That they love the poor, are humble, and have compassion. That they see beyond the physical.

6) I pray for my children to value the insides of a person. To want to be a person of character as well as seek people who have character.

7) I pray for my kids to be incredibly good looking.

8) I pray for them to be funny – both to me and to people in general.

9) I pray for them to choose to believe in God and Jesus not because they were force-fed it as children, but because they have vibrant, full faiths of their own.

10) I beg God to protect my children from evil. I ask God to protect their hearts and their spirits and their physical bodies.

11) I pray that DD knows her value as a person and as a woman and doesn’t throw herself away at “inessential penises” (to quote Daughter of Smoke and Bone). Of course, I realize that I presume she is going to be heterosexual – which is somewhat of a prayer only because anything else will be hard for her. (See item 2. However, if she is something other than heterosexual, I will always love her and support her and who she is meant to be.)

12) I pray that DS also knows his value as a person – and becomes a man who values women and isn’t threatened by or use them. (Same thing goes for heterosexuality assumptions, here.)

13) Inevitably, I pray God helps me be a good parent.

I can’t remember any more off the top of my head, but like I said before. Not all-inclusive. What do you pray/hope for your children?

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