Monday, September 1, 2008

A prayer for when your child leaves home...

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Image posted on Lifeinidaho

UPDATE: For all of my back-to-school prayers, check this new post!

Many mothers and fathers are sending sons and daughters away to college. For both parents and children, this rite of passage is often moistened with tears and burdened by aching hearts. I offer you here Diana Macalintal's Empty Nester's Prayer in two versions: one for a daughter, one for a son.


A Parent’s Prayer
When A Daughter Leaves Home

Gracious God,
you blessed me with the gift of my child
and entrusted me
with her care.
Now she leaves this home
and begins a new life apart from me.
Surround her
with good people and watch over her each day.
And let her know that I will always be near

whenever she may need me.

Heal any hurts we may harbor with one another

and forgive our failings
as we learn
to be in a new kind of relationship with each other.
And when the sight of her empty room

pierces my heart with sadness,

may I find comfort in knowing that my child is your child too,

filled with your grace and sheltered by your love.
Amen.



A Parent’s Prayer
When A Son Leaves Home

Gracious God, you blessed me with the gift of my child
and entrusted me
with his care.
Now he leaves this home
and begins a new life apart from me.
Surround him
with good people and watch over him each day.
And let him know that I will always be near

whenever he may need me.

Heal any hurts we may harbor with one another

and forgive our failings
as we learn
to be in a new kind of relationship with each other.
And when the sight of his empty room

pierces my heart with sadness,

may I find comfort in knowing that my child is your child too,

filled with your grace and sheltered by your love.

Amen.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I know this prayer was intended for those children who have left for college, but it is a good prayer for those who have children going to school for the first time or even in my case when my daughter is off to middle school and meeting new challenges and now my house is so empty after being filled all summer.

just another piskie said...

As someone who deals with incoming college students and their parents, I wish more of the parents would recognize that it really is a new kind of relationship that's called for. So many parents want to cling to their children, not letting them stand up and learn their own lessons. They are so fearful of letting their children go that they in effect either postpone or sabotage their children's growth into autonomous adulthood. By loving them unhealthily they are harming them.

Let them go! Let them fly! OK, they may bump their knee or miss a deadline, but they need to do that just as much as they need to experience soaring in safety. But always ensure that they know that the safe haven of your love is there for them should they need it.

Safe home and safe flight to all the young travelers setting out on their journeys!

lau said...

Thank you for your beautiful prayer. It filled my heart with comfort, after my daughter of 22, decided to leave home over a curfew discussion. She now lives with her boyfriend's family.

Anonymous said...

THank you for the beautiful prayer. I was not a good listener with my daughter, but with everyone else. Yes I am a psychologist, it is amazing how i could such a help to others while forgetting that my daughter need me. She seemed so confident that I forgot that on the inside she was anxious and nervous about moving on to college/working and all the adult roles she was taking on. Thanks again, I apreciate the prayers to bring me back to reality.

Anonymous said...

Both my sons are mentally challenged , my youngest at age 29 has just left home. While I'm pleased to see him move on, I feel alone and depressed. The house seems to still & quiet even though he was a docile son till of late.

Austin Fleming said...

You're in my prayers, Anonymous, and I hope the prayer above may have been helpful, too.

Austin Fleming said...

You're in my prayers, Anonymous, and I hope the prayer above may have been helpful, too.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this prayer I will keep saying this for my daughter as she leaves to go to another country to work. Being a single mom with 1 child, it is hard to let go.