Noelle Kirchner, M.Div., is a Presbyterian minister and mother of two boys. As they wrestle on the floor, she enjoys wrestling with her manuscripts. She writes for Huff Post Parents, the TODAY Show Parenting Team, and has been a repeat guest author at in(courage). You can find her on her blog, where she writes about faith and parenting, and on Twitter and Facebook.
This summer, I invite you to join me in a devotional series. Summer provides a great opportunity to refuel and take inventory. Even though you might find yourself taking a breather by the beach or pool, we can still flex our faith muscles, Moms! Read the devotion below as an indication of what is to come; we will be focusing on each piece of armor in the six subsequent posts. This prayer is heart-felt, and I hope it will be one that you will return to again and again...
Perhaps we have all heard Pat Benatar's popular song, "Love Is A Battlefield." But come on, if you are a Mom, you no doubt have your hands in the trenches. Motherhood is a battlefield sometimes, right? I was reflecting on the armor of God that Paul discusses in Ephesians. What would it look like if applied to Moms?
Our work is not only about the constant growth and evolution of our children, for we are changing too. We are amassing successes, making mistakes, and balancing the serious hurdles and responsibilities of life - while enjoying the tickle fights and celebrating the milestones.
Part of our challenge comes in balancing our own emotional, spiritual and physical well beings with our everyday demands along the way. It is important that we feel supported in faith and refueled in prayer. Paul recognizes that there are real spiritual struggles in life and encourages all of us to stand firm.
Life can get messy - and I am not just referring to paint smudges on the sofa. Prayer is a tool in which we can be honest, enlist heavenly support, and be recipients of God's grace. I invite you to pray the following prayer. It is based on Ephesians 6:14-18, which will appear in italics.
Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist...
May we know your truth and share it with our children. Give us a hunger for Christ so that we can reap his blessings. Help us to not just see Christ in a picture on our wall or a cross around our neck, but may he be written on our heart.
and put on the breastplate of righteousness.
May we know that our best is good enough as moms. We believe that you are big enough to use even our mistakes for your glory. Thank you for our successes, and we ask your forgiveness for the ways that we have fallen short. Help us to rest in the promise that your love claims us all - no matter what.
As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace.
Help our parenting methods to foster peace in our families. Give us discernment and grow us toward that end. May our home be a sanctuary when the world turns cold; may it be a place of comfort and safety.
With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Whatever shadows haunt us from our past, whatever insecurities gnaw at us behind closed doors, whatever tricks us into thinking that we are not your precious children, root it out. May our faith equip us to stand against old and unhelpful patterns so that we can drink in your grace and create a healthy and thriving world for our children.
Take the helmet of salvation...
We know that as seriously as we take our calling as moms, this world is really about you. We thank you in advance for your salvation in Jesus Christ. May it claim each member of our family - make it personal. And help us not to sweat the small stuff along the way.
And the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
May we teach your word to our children and mine it ourselves. Forgive us when we approach your word as a mere duty or triviality; make it alive to us. May it bring hope and remind us what is real in life, so that we can be free and our children can make good choices.
Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.
May this be our prayer for ourselves and each other, for we pray in one voice for the change we want to be in the world. We praise you for your faithfulness that never lets us down. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Did this prayer resonate with you? If so, please comment below!