A Prayer for Parents to Praise in the Midst of the Mess - Your Daily Prayer - May 11

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A Prayer for Parents to Praise in the Midst of a Mess
By Chelsey DeMatteis

"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate." Psalm 127:3-5

When I think back to some of the happiest moments in my life, I can also think of the mess that entailed after. Whether it was a mess that I had to clean up in my home, a family member had to clean up as everyone gave their hugs goodbye, or a venue had to clean up as the guests grabbed their final items, it showed that there was great joy and happiness shared amongst the people that I love. This type of mess often invites a shout of praise.

Over the years, though, I’ve seen a shift. Not just in my life but in the life of those around me. Suddenly the messes that were so common have been shuffled into the messes brought by little hands and little hearts. The get-togethers at my home now include a little more chaos, the get-together at a family function involves a lot more hands on deck, and if it's a celebration at a venue, it often entails balloons, cupcakes, lots of children, and way cleaner up on my behalf.

And as for my home; toys, stuffed animals, forts, blankets, and all the things that children add to the equation are daily strewed throughout my house. Sadly, our world has quickly convinced us that this type of mess is one laced with doom and gloom, displeasing to the eye, and not picture perfect like Pintrest feeds offer us. When I believe, though it may be over stimulating at times, all that our children have added to our homes should invite us to praise God the most.

The messes that come with having children mean you have been blessed with the gift of children. Little ones don’t come ready and willing to clean up. They come ready and willing to play, be silly, and be imaginative. Shouldn’t we praise God for that? As they get older, we have the opportunity to steer them in the direction of helping and being part of what helps our home run smoothly and feel tidy. There is a time and season for everything. 

We are told in Psalm 127 that children are a gift from the Lord and that we should praise Him for the gift of our offspring. He didn’t make that up to make us feel better or to give us some sort of false hope, it was quite the opposite. He spoke it because it’s absolute truth. Your children, my children, and all of the children the Lord places in our midst should be a constant reminder of how good our God is. He has called us to take the messes of everyday life and make them into opportunities to praise Him.

"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate." Psalm 127:3-5

As a stay-at-home mom of two children, I do know how difficult some days can be. I know how overwhelming the messes can feel. I know what it's like to want to curl up at the end of the day all while knowing that the sink really needs addressed before I head to bed. And what I've found most helpful in those moments is remembering what God has said not just to me, but to all of us caring for children, "it is a blessing to care for them". Washing their dishes, putting all the cups and little forks away means I have two sweet souls God has given me to love, cherish, and train up to know Him.

When you find yourself wanting to crumble in the mess rather than praise, remember this: God has called you and equipped you for this season. Look at the mess as an invitation to stop, pause, pray, and praise. Make the mess a moment where you pray for your children or a specific need for your family. Trust God to give you the energy, the strength, and the heart to make these moments matter for the kingdom - even when no one else sees it.

Let's pray:

Father, thank you for the gift of children. I know they are a blessing from you and a constant invitation to make me approach you with a heart of thankfulness. In my moments of weakness, when I feel overwhelmed, help me to stop, pray, and praise you for the work you are doing in my home and in my heart. Keep me close to you. In Jesus' name, amen.

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Jessica Peterson

Chelsey is the voice behind the Living with Less Podcast and author of the 52-week devotional More of Him, Less of Me: Living a Christ-centered Life in a Me-centered World. She writes devotions for Lifeway Women's Journey Magazine, Crosswalk.com, and iBelieve.com. She also writes Bible reading plans for the YouVersion Bible App. Chelsey lives in Ohio with her husband and two children. You can connect with her on Instagram @chelseydematteis and at her website ChelseyDeMatteis.com.

Teach Us to Pray is a FREE prayer podcast hosted by iBelieve writer Christina Patterson. Each week, she gives you practical, real-life tips on how to grow your faith and relationship with God through the power of prayer. To listen to her episode on What to Pray in the Morning for a Worry-Free Day, click below!

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