Parenting is a lonely occupation at times—just you, the kids, and the digital clock on the nightstand. Gone from your memory are the baby showers, first steps, birthday parties, and adoring friends fawning over your children. Instead, you are faced with one child who is sick and another one who is whining that he has no one to play with since his sister is sick in bed (the same sister that has gifted you with the same cold she has). Your husband is out of town for three days and it has been raining for forever. Lonely, indeed.
Two thousand years ago, your brother Paul knelt before his Father and yours and prayed a simple, profound prayer for you. No, Paul didn’t know you by name, but the Holy Spirit does. He directed Paul to pray this compassionate prayer for you, because he knew you would face the loneliness that often comes in a life lived according to God’s priorities. Read these words:
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
These words are crafted for all times. This prayer is for times when you know the powerful reality of God’s blessing, and also for times of sorrow, times of testing, and times of loneliness. Christ dwelling in your heart by faith—it seems almost too much to ask. But this is exactly the beauty of faith: it is the gift of God. When you are overwhelmed by loneliness in the presence of your children, this prayer is for you!
God’s power is available for you through the power of the Spirit. It is not power you have to generate. It is the Spirit’s awesome power. This power points you to the love of Christ that surpasses loneliness.
This is the same Christ who was tempted in all things just as you are. He knew the loneliness of being with those who did not see what he saw. Yet he was faithful to his Father and to your Father. Think, pray, and know the love of God in the depth of your loneliness. It is there for you. The cold will pass, both yours and your child’s. The whining will be transformed to gratitude. The rain will give way to warmth. But most importantly, Jesus Christ will continue to intercede for you so that you will know the riches of Christ in you, the hope of glory.