Significance over safety Significance over safety
Significance over safety

A challenge to pray differently

By Nichole Marcell


Parents generally desire for their children to be safe. Doing our best, we shield them from harm. We strive to guard them from danger.

A parent spends days teaching a toddler what to do and not do, what to touch and not touch. All in the effort of keeping him safe. “Be careful” is the daily admonishment given to a teenager who drives. I remember when my son questioned why I told him to be careful so often. He wondered if I was worried and if I thought he would purposefully be careless. I chuckled as he pointed out how many times I told him to be careful. I wasn’t worried. I just wanted him to be okay.

Sometimes this safety mentality creeps into our prayers for our children. We pray for things such as health, security, provision, and protection. We pray these things because we want what we think is best for them.

I have often been challenged to pray differently. Yes, I pray for all those things because they are good. Yet, we are all created for more. Our children are designed for significance. Eternal significance.

God has designed works for our children to walk into. (Ephesians 2:10) These works may take them to un-safe regions to preach the Gospel. They may lead them to be leaders within the body of Christ where they are subject to the judgment and criticisms of others. They may lead them to the marketplace where they are light in a dark place, constantly surrounded by worldly views. Yet all significant, for His eternal purposes.

Two of my children, without my husband or I, went for extensive amounts of time to Eastern Europe to preach the Gospel, disciple, reach the lost, and engage people oppressed in poverty and slavery. Part of me, as a mom, wanted to keep them home, but they were called to something significant beyond our home’s walls.

I encourage you to continue to pray for your children’s security but not at the expense of their significance.  They are too important to God’s kingdom and this world!

Nichole Marcell has been married to Shawn for 25 years, and they are blessed with four amazing children. Nichole has a passion for the Word of God, discipleship and missional living.

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