When my son Danny graduated from high school last year, he also graduated from hockey. Hockey consumed our lives for most of his childhood—early mornings at freezing cold rinks, hot coffee, weekend tournaments, warm boots, team dinners, and so much more. This was my life as a hockey mom—and I loved it.
Well, most of the time.
I love to pray for my kids and have always prayed regularly for Danny’s hockey situation. My earliest memory of praying for him was at one of his first travel team tryouts. I remember pulling up to the front door of the rink in my big, hockey mom SUV, and before he could jump out and grab his gear, I prayed out loud for the tryout. I prayed for him to be focused, to do his best, and for the Lord to place him on the team that was right for him.
The added stress of Danny being a goalie weighed on me. At every game, I would call out to God quietly in my heart, “Help him, Lord.” My heart would race throughout each crazy game, heavy with the enormous pressure on him. My comfort was in praying.
I prayed most of all for his success, for him not to get pulled from games for underperforming. I prayed for every game to be a win. As parents, we all want our children to succeed. It makes them look good, and to be honest, it makes us look good, too. My prayers were certainly Danny-centered, and maybe a little bit me-centered.
I love my son and yearned for his success, but God wanted his heart.
A Better Prayer
When I began to study Colossians more seriously, I realized that over and above anything my children are involved in, God desires them foremost to be His followers. The apostle Paul’s prayer for the Colossians was for them to have “complete knowledge of his will” and “all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (Col. 1:9). He wanted their very life foundation to be Jesus. This began to change my prayers.
Yes, hockey was a big part of Danny’s life, but it couldn’t be everything. I needed to pray for the better things. My own heart posture and desires for my son changed, and suddenly my daily prayers also changed—from wanting Danny’s success on the ice to wanting him to love God and to put Him first. I longed for that love to be displayed in his life for God’s glory.
And this changed everything.
I can only explain what gradually happened during Danny’s senior year as the miraculous work of God. He listened to my endless prayers and answered them in a new, exciting way! Danny ended up having the very best season of his life, both on the ice but more importantly, as he grew in the Lord and emerged as a leader to his teammates.
Praying for Your Sports-Loving Kids
The Lord changed Danny, and He also changed me and my prayer life. I became radically close to Him as I learned to pray His will for my son. Here’s what I encourage you to consider as you pray for your children in all their extra-curricular activities:
- Pray for God’s will above their earthly success. His will may not involve your child being the best player or the one scoring the most goals (or the goalie saving the most!). Remember, God’s plan is the ultimate and best plan.
- Consider the words of Paul to the Colossians. Pray for their “complete knowledge of his will” and “all spiritual wisdom and understanding.” This world is not their home. Prepare their hearts for eternity and for growing in their faith, above all else.
- Listen to the call of the Holy Spirit in your prayer life, which will prompt you to pray in unique ways. Be quiet before Him as He guides you in prayer.
- Praying the Psalms is a great way to draw closer to God. It will transform your prayer life! Psalms are powerful prayers to God.Insert your children’s names into these Psalms and see how our mighty God guides you to pray for them in this tremendous way!
Get excited for how God will begin to work in your child’s life and in yours as you align your will to His. You will experience your prayer life utterly transformed—and that’s a score!
CAREN PAULING is a freelance writer from Avon, CT. She enjoys studying God’s Word with her weekly Bible study group. Click to subscribe to Prayer Connect.