My family and I have a weekly ritual: Dance Moms (don’t judge). My daughter is very involved in dance, and we often laugh at the silliness and drama that goes on in this “reality” TV show. In this week’s episode a mom said that every parent has to be on the lookout for opportunities for his/her children, no matter what. She was countered by a mom who said, “But are you teaching her to be a good person?”

That got me thinking about my mom. She was not a super saint by any means, but she taught me a lot. When she was about to go home to be with the Lord in 1987 and leave behind a husband, a college senior, and a high school freshman, she spoke to me about what God had taught her about prayer for her children. She said she had learned to pray what I have begun calling “The Counter Intuitive Prayers” as she prepared to meet her savior in glory. She said she prayed, “Have them fail so that they may learn success in Christ. Have them be lonely so that they may find a friend in Christ. Have them be poor so that they may find riches in Christ. Have them be weak so that they may find strength in Christ.”

Wow. Quite a different prayer than what parents usually pray; isn’t it? Try and pray it. If you’re like me, the words are difficult to pray because we’d like to see our children spared from such things. When Margaret Cooper Peeples, my mom, was eternally healed from cancer, we found the following poem in her Bible. I now have it framed and hanging in the entry way of my house. It is not a great piece of literature. However, I think you’ll find it moving.

A Mother’s Prayer

by Phyllis Didriksen

I do not ask for riches for my children,

Nor even recognition of their skill;

I only ask that Thou wilt give them

A heart completely yielded to Thy will.

I do not ask for wisdom for my children

Beyond discernment of Thy grace;

I only ask that Thou wilt use them

In Thine own appointed place.

I do not ask for favors for my children

To seat them on Thy left or Thy right;

But may they join the throng in Heaven

That sings before Thy throne so bright.

I do not seek perfection in my children,

For then my own faults I would hide;

I only ask that we might walk together

And serve our Savior side by side.