I could be totally wrong here, which has been known to happen before...occasionally. But, I feel like we're seeing a shift of thought in my generation, especially in Christian circles.
In past generations parents wanted their children to do better in life than they had. Bigger homes, better paying jobs, nicer everything...but I feel like that's changed with 20 and 30 somethings. Those of us that are believers in Jesus want our children to follow God even if that means they don't have the best of everything. If it means they live in a tent in the jungle, sleep in the slums of India, it doesn't matter. As long as they're doing something that draws more people to God.
Unfortunately, for me at least, that has lead to some really specific prayers that I'm not sure are at all Godly. I've found myself praying that God will make my boys do great Godly things in this world. I've prayed that they'll be missionaries and reach people that have never heard of Jesus, even if they live in a hut in Africa. I've prayed they'll be Christian musicians that lead people to meaningful worship, even if it's in a small church and they make hardly any money. I've prayed they'll preach the gospel with passion and many will come to know Christ.
How in the world could those prayers be ungodly you might ask? Because what if that's not what God calls them to do? What if he leads them down a path where they become a teacher that prays daily over their students? What if they become a doctor that comforts their patients when they find out they have a life threatening disease? What if they become a scientist that finds a cure for a disease? Or a lawyer that helps find justice for people that have been victimized? What if they work in the corporate world and invest in the lives of their co-workers so that see Jesus. I haven't prayed for anything of those things. I've backed God into a corner and said, "There's only a few things I want my boys to do because that's what I think will bring glory to you the most." I haven't said, "God draw my boys close to you and show them the path you want them to take. Whatever you have in store for them, I know it will be the best."
My prayers show my real trust in God. I'm saying, "I know what's best, and you don't." I want this to change. With all my heart. I want to trust God completely with whatever he has in store for my kids.
So, here's what I'm committing to do. I'm gonna ask him to change heart. I'm not going to start out praying shallow prayers of "God please lead my boys down whatever path you want." I'm gonna pray, "God, help me trust you. Help me believe that you know what's best, no matter what." Then I will pray, "God, I believe, help my unbelief." (Mark 9:24), and as I pray I trust he will change my heart. And my prayers for my boys will be something like "God, I know you love my boys more than I ever could. I know you will always have their very best interest in mind. I believe that where ever you lead them in life they will make your name great. Any job they could ever end up doing will be exactly what you want them to be doing because you are sovereign."
These sweet precious boys hold my heart and I absolutely want the very best for them in life. I want them to do great things for God. I'm believing that God knows exactly where they can fulfill his purpose for their lives. I'm trusting God to lead them to the place where they work in a job that makes a difference for his kingdom.