I can't change my children's hearts. How could I? I can't even change my own heart. I identify with the quiet desperation that Miller describes here. My inability to transform my children is a great motivation for me to pray. Because, God can change their hearts. And he can change mine too.
It took me seventeen years to realize I couldn’t parent on my own. It was not a great spiritual insight, just a realistic observation. If I didn’t pray deliberately and reflectively for members of my family by name every morning, they’d kill one another. I was incapable of getting inside their hearts. I was desperate. But even more, I couldn’t change my self-confident heart. My prayer journal reflects both my inability to change my kids and my inability to change my self-confidence. That’s why I need grace even to pray ... If we think we can do life on our own, we will not take prayer seriously. Our failure to pray will always feel like something else-a lack of discipline or too many obligations. But when something is important to us, we make room for it. Prayer is simply not important to many Christians because Jesus is already an add-on. (59, emphasis mine)