I was sleeping on the 1,100-mile ride home from my college at the end of my freshman year, when the driver of the car fell asleep at the wheel. I woke up in mid-spin and managed to wake him as the car finished a complete circle on the freeway. He righted the vehicle and pulled off at the next rest area. When I arrived home my mom asked me, “Did anything happen around 3 a.m.?” She had been sleeping when she felt like Someone woke her up and told her to pray for me. I still get chills when I think of that story.

Of all the things I will ever do for my children, praying for them is the most important. Not because their guardian angels need my help, but because God invites us into the process of interceding and knowing better His love for our kids, and for us.

When my son was born, a dear friend slipped in a little book of prayers for moms to pray with his baby gift. It was beautiful to receive, and I keep it on my nightstand nearly 18 years later. A few years later, another friend gave me her used copy of How to Pray for Your Children by Quin Sherrer. Reading about prayer keeps it in the forefront of my mind and at the top of my to-do list.

I have kept journals for each of my children, beginning when they were born. From time to time I jot a note to them or write down what I am praying about for them. More and more, I pray for their friends, the people who will shape them, the people they will date, and hopefully, the person each of them will one day marry.

As I prepare my oldest child to leave the nest next year, I have found myself praying in new ways and with a new urgency. I have seen prayers answered and observed as my son has gained new vision for his future. My faith grows stronger as I look back and see many of the pieces of his life woven together in ways I could not have planned.

The unrest and division in our nation are hard to ignore, and we can see the toll it is taking on our kids. I pray for my daughter who struggles with panic attacks, something I had never heard of when I was her age. I pray with another daughter who worries for a friend who spent most of the summer in and out of hospitals on suicide watch. I have joined in with friends, praying for their kids who are dealing with similar issues. If ever we needed to buckle down and seek God for the lives of a generation, that time is now.

I am not an expert in prayer; but I know it is important, and it’s at the very heart of why I homeschool. I am always seeking new strategies as I battle the cacophony of head noise and everyday distractions. I pray in the morning hours, when I slip out for a mid-morning walk, when I am driving to the store, and when I collapse into bed at night.

I have been privileged to receive the blessing of praying parents. I have nothing more valuable to give to my own children than to pray for them to the only One who loves them more than I do.