Newspaper columnist Abigail Van Buren has composed a
'Parent's Prayer'
in which she stresses the practical side of raising children.
Says "Dear Abby":

Oh, Heavenly Father, make me a better parent.
Teach me to understand my children, to listen patiently
to what they have to say, and to answer all their questions kindly.
Keep me from interrupting them or contradicting them.
Make me as courteous to them as I would have them be to me.
Forbid that I should ever laugh at their mistakes or resort
to shame or ridicule when they displease me.
May I never punish them for my own selfish satisfaction
or to show my power.

Let me not tempt my child to lie or steal.
And guide me hour by hour that I may demonstrate by all
I say and do that honesty produces happiness.
Reduce, I pray, the meanness in me.
And when I am out of sorts, help me, O Lord, to hold my tongue.

May I ever be mindful that my children are children
and I should not expect of them the judgement of adults.
Let me not rob them of the opportunity to wait on themselves
and make decisions.
Bless me with the bigness to grant them all their reasonable requests,
and the courage to deny them privileges I know will do them harm.

Make me fair and just and kind.
And fit me, O Lord, to be loved and respected
and imitated by my children. Amen.

Psalm for a Parent--Adapted from Psalm 23

I am God's shepherd for my child put here to supply all his needs,
I help my child lie down where he will be safe and secure,
And I lead him to quiet, untroubled places where his soul
will be restored. I guide my child in paths of righteousness
for God's sake and his own.
Even when my child walks through dark and difficult places,
He does not need to be afraid,
Because I am with him, and that comforts him.
I provide all the good food my child needs,
Even when his "friends" who want to hurt him are nearby.
I treat him like a young prince or princess,
and bring a rich family heritage to him.
As long as I live, I will always be his friend,
sharing kindness and good things.
I will be a leader and role model for my child,
so that at the end of life we will live together
in God's Heavenly Home.


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