This is a very personal post for me. Many thoughts entered my mind before my daughter was born and I struggled with much anxiety and worry in anticipation for her birth. I originally started writing this before she was born with the hope of posting it on the day of her birth. But blogging tends to take a backseat to parenting. So I shot for posting on her first birthday, but lo and behold, that too did not happen.
So here it is. These are my meditations pertaining to my little girl, and they are all related to her life and her future. Fatherhood has been a beautiful blessing, and our baby girl has changed us so much for the better. So forgive me, it’s a bit on the lengthy side for a blog, but I hope it functions as an encouragement to others.
Here are six recurring prayer requests that regularly fill my mind when I pray for my daughter Zoe Nadine. (Not in order of importance)
1. Physical Safety
I never understood why my mom was so concerned over our safety until now. Freeway shootings, late nights, drowning in the ocean were her fear. And during the pregnancy, I had prayed fervently for the Lord to sustain the health of my wife and baby, as it was such a fragile situation. And now that’s she one and almost walking, I just want to baby proof the world. Added to that, our recent political turmoil and rumors of wars do not help the anxiety over her safety. So I find myself constantly praying for her well-being. It’s made me think about our heavenly Father’s desire for us to be well. Like a true Father, He doesn’t find joy in our harm or pain.
As a parent, you’d hate to see your children in any kind of physical pain or life-threatening situation. My trust is in a sovereign God who will care for Zoe as she goes through life, but I pray for Him to be abundantly gracious in protecting her physically. But I know that whatever affliction He may bring, it will be for her eternal benefit. So I’m praying for grace to always submit to that.
2. Affections for Christ
The thought of not being with my daughter in heaven is scares me at times. And on this side of heaven, I think it is a righteous fear for every Christian parent. William Farley in Gospel-Powered Parenting sees parenting as preparing our children for eternity and Judgment day, and this weighs heavy on my heart all the time. My prayer is that Zoe will have deep affections for Jesus that stem from true saving faith.
All that matters is her salvation. If she receives the world yet forfeits her soul, it would be an eternal tragedy. I’m praying that I help and not hinder the Gospel from being magnified, and that I help present Jesus as the most prized possession of all. I desperately pray that God would be gracious in saving my little girl. May He bring her great joy and satisfaction in Christ, rather than the unsatisfying idols of this world.
3. Proper Identity
Another prayer is for her identity. Though closely related to her affections for Christ, I pray that she finds her identity in Christ alone. As she goes through life, may her definition, value, and self-worth all be found in God’s love for her. I know how easy it is to find identity in appearance, hobbies, school, aspirations, and relationships. And I’m sure as an unbeliever, she will struggle with defining herself and finding purpose for her life. But my request to God is simple—that she would define herself by Christ alone. May her sense of purpose in life be rooted in the glory of God.
4. Local Church Love
Since Christ loves the church, He expects us to do the same. Sadly, many Christians devalue the importance of the local church to their own hurt. So if God is gracious to save my baby girl, I pray that she would love, cherish, and value the local church with great joy. I pray that she would long to be with the saints, to worship with them, to talk to them about the things of Jesus constantly. I hope that she will find accountability and close friendships in the church, and even a godly woman to disciple and to lead her. I pray that the church will be there in her darkest moments, so that the physical manifestation of God’s grace may come in the form of the community of Christ.
5. Victory Over Temptation
My baby will be tempted by many things. She’ll be tempted by a sinful self-image, an unbiblical view of beauty, relationship idolatry, and material idolatry. She may even be tempted to forsake contentment in Christ. Her heart will long to be accepted, to be liked, and to have superficial friendships. But she will, at times, experience loneliness, disappointment, and depression. I pray that, as a believer, she would find great victory over such temptations through the power of the Holy Spirit. My wife and I have discussed and imagined what Zoe would eventually go through as a woman, and it really does worry us. It is easy to give into temptation and forsake the refuge of Christ, but I pray that her soul would cling to the God who can provide a way of an escape from her temptations. May she forsake her sin and cling to the God who brings everlasting joy, and who will never fall short in keeping His Word.
6. A Godly Husband
My mother would tell me constantly about how she prayed for my future wife even when I was a child, and God eventually answered in this prayer. God blessed me with a beautiful and godly wife. I find myself doing the same as my mother by praying frequently for my child’s future spouse.
As stated earlier, my prayer that she does not idolize relationships or family in a sinful manner, but that she find contentment even if she remain single. However, this does not mean that family is of no importance. I do pray that God brings a Christ-exalting husband who desires the things I have listed above—both for himself and for her. Obviously, I’m not looking for the guy to be be perfect or have an M.Div before I give her away in marriage, but the man needs to have a love for Christ manifested in his life. Whoever she marries will either help or hinder her life as a Christ follower, so I feel that it is of great importance for me to start praying for this man now. I pray that he loves her, cherishes her, and washes her with the Word in righteousness. I pray that he commits to Christ, to purity, and to godly husbanding and fatherhood all to the glory of God. So may God bless my baby girl with a man after God’s own heart, because who she marries will be of great influence upon her and her children.
I’m interested in looking back to this post one day and seeing how things manifest. But, overall, I know that God will answer these requests in accordance to His perfect will, and He will be glorified no matter what happens in my daughter’s life.
I love my daughter, and I pray that keep on praying for her.