A Prayer for Tired, Weary Parents

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been feeling pretty worn down recently. Pandemic, politics and parenting have my baseline anxiety a bit higher than normal — I’ve been catching my jaw clenched, my breath shallow, my back sore with tension.

When anxiety is high, my threshold for other stimuli becomes lower. So when my kids, who ‘coincidentally’ also find themselves with higher anxiety and lower thresholds of tolerance, start to whine, pitch fits, or generally become dysregulated, I find myself mentally catapulted back to some of those same old lies. The ones that say:

I can’t handle this.

This is too much for me.

I can not equipped to mother these children.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Last week I was sharing some of these struggles with some sisters-in-Christ (we’ve been meeting weekly, outdoors and socially distanced — it’s been such a gift!) and one of them asked me — how do you respond when those lies come up?

What an important question! As I wrote in this article about stopping toxic thoughts, recognizing that a thought is toxic is good, but it’s not enough. It’s important to replace it with the truth.

That, of course, is easier said than done. Often, in tense moments, I’ll recognize the thought as a lie and some (tired) part of me will cry out the lie’s opposite: I can handle this — it’s a lot, but it’s not too much — I am equipped to mother these children.

Sometimes that’s all we can do in the heat of the moment, when everyone’s feelings are high and becoming dysregulated.

But she challenged me to decide on some Scripture that addressed those lies in my heart, and she offered me one that came to mind while I shared.

Now may the God of peace —

who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus,

the great Shepherd of the sheep,

and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood —

may he equip you with all you need for doing his will.

May he produce in you,

through the power of Jesus Christ,

every good thing that is pleasing to him.

All glory to him forever and ever!

Amen.

Hebrews 13:20-21 (NLT)

This is a prayer, a benediction, that the writer of Hebrews offers to close out the letter.

It’s a good prayer for weary parents, isn’t it? Or anyone weary for that matter. Wondering how to persevere through something difficult, where the power could possibly come from — keenly aware of our own weaknesses and limitations.

The God of peace, who raised Jesus from the dead and ensures our eternal salvation, can equip us with all we need for doing his will. His will for loving our children, responding with patience and gentleness, being attentive and intentional to teach and train them.

He can produce in us, through the power of Jesus (which is to say, the power of the One who spoke the entire world into being), every good thing that is pleasing to him. Every good choice we make to be safe for our kids, to be present, to have compassion, to exhibit love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.

God, the God of peace, is able to do this through in and through us.

We all feel weary at times. Our circumstances are often extremely challenging. If I look only to myself to rise to the challenges of parenting my highly sensitive kiddos, well, frankly, I will rightly be discouraged.

But God!

He’s a good Shepherd and he has called me to these good things. He has prepared good works for me (Ephesians 2:10), and will equip me with all I need for doing his will (as mother to the children He gave me according to his plan, as wife to the husband he gave me according to his plan, as sojourner through this life that’s according to his plan).

He didn’t make a mistake when he gave me, a highly sensitive person who struggles with anxiety, two highly sensitive children. That was his (good) will! And he can equip me for the task and produce in me what I cannot — every good thing that is pleasing to him.

All Glory be to God!

I know I’m not the only parent (or person) feeling weary right now and so I am praying this for you, too.

Now may the God of peace —

who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus,

the great Shepherd of the sheep,

and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood —

may he equip you with all you need for doing his will.

May he produce in you,

through the power of Jesus Christ,

every good thing that is pleasing to him.

All glory to him forever and ever!

Amen.

Hebrews 13:20-21 (NLT)

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