“If I could go back, I would have prayed for my children more.”
Her words resonated with me. She’s one of the older ladies in our Bible study, old enough to have grown children and now grandchildren. I thought, “I don’t pray for my children very often. I hope that they will grow up to be people that love and follow Jesus. I teach them often what the Bible says and about Who God is and why His ways are right. But I don’t pray for my children very often. I should do that.”
Days later I was listening to a Parenting Class by Pastor Dee Duke of Jefferson Baptist Church. He insisted that the most powerful parenting tool is PRAYER. He said he prayed for his 8 children every day since the 1970s. Now he prays for his children and grandchildren every day. And all of them are following Jesus. He says he prayed for his children to be “Champions for Jesus.” I love that! I thought to myself, “I should do that.”
Shortly after that, a friend loaned me a copy of The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian. I was sensing a theme. God wanted me to start praying for my children regularly!
When I read this part of the introduction, I was inspired to start praying!
The battle for our children’s lives is waged on our knees. When we don’t pray, it’s like sitting on the sidelines watching our children in a war zone getting shot at from every angle. When we do pray, we’re in the battle alongside them, appropriating God’s power on their behalf. If we also declare the Word of God in our prayers, then we wield a powerful weapon against which no enemy can prevail.
God’s Word is “living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12) and it pierces everything it touches. God says His Word “shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11). In other words, His Word is never ineffectual or without fruit…When you are praying for your child, include an appropriate Scripture verse in your prayer.
So, a few weeks ago, I got started. I bought a notebook from Dollar Tree to use as a prayer journal for my children. I got on my knees. I began writing down prayers for my beloveds. I’m going to share what I wrote that first day, even though these prayers feel very personal and leave my heart’s desires exposed. I included Bible verses that came to mind, and the verses I chose specifically for each of my children 18 months ago. I pray you will be inspired to pray for your own children, or to continue praying if you already do!!
-to be a man after God’s own heart
-love God above all else
-stop having a fascination with creepy/scary video games
-commit his life to the Lord in baptism
-a good leader
-stand up for what’s right
-resist temptation (especially lust)
-that he would respect authority, especially his parents
-that he and Ivy will always be close friends
-do well in school
-WISE, not foolish
-that he will have a deep and solid faith in Jesus Christ
-that he will learn to pray without ceasing
-that he will have wise, godly friends
-that he will hear God’s voice
-that he will love the Bible and know it well
-that he will save himself for marriage (sexually)
-that he will find a wife who is godly, wise, fun, and who will make a good mother to my grandchildren
-that he will be an awesome daddy
-that he will continue to open up to me and Seth
Thank You for this boy, Lord. What a privilege to be entrusted with him. May he follow after You all the days of his life. May he dwell in heaven with us eternally.
My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,
for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you peace and prosperity.
Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.”
-love for God’s ways
-do well in school
-be a light for Jesus to all who meet her
-respect herself and her purity -protect her from cruel boys/men
-save herself for marriage (sexually)
-sense of humor and a life of laughter
-her hope will always be found in the Lord
-that she will find a passion and purpose in life that fulfills her
-that she will have strong and healthy self-esteem
-that she will know her security and identity comes from Christ alone
-that she will trust in the Lord with all her heart and lean not on her own understanding
-that she will seek first the kingdom of God so that all other things will be added
-that she will delight herself in the Lord
-that she will find a godly man who respects her, protects her, listens to her, provides for her, makes her laugh, finds her beautiful, is gentle, and will be an excellent father to my grandchildren
-that she will learn from her mistakes
-that she will be in Heaven with us
-that she will resist the enemy and he will flee
-that she will use the Word of God as a weapon against evil
-that she will not fear but will be strong and courageous because the Lord is with her
-that she and I will always be close friends
-that she will be a friend to the lonely
-that she will care for the least of these
-that she will hear God’s voice
-that she will be humble because pride goes before a fall
Dear Lord, thank You for my beautiful daughter. Please help me treasure the moments with her because they are fleeting. Give me wisdom to help my daughter bloom in a harsh world. Help her heart chase after You all the days of her life. I know she is Yours more than she is mine. Thank You for loving her more than I ever could. Help me not to fear for her, Lord. Life is so difficult. May she find joy along the way. I ask You to do whatever it takes in her life to develop her faith in You, even if that means hardship and tragedy. I give her to You.
She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.”
That first day, I stayed on my knees praying and crying for a long time. I looked outside at the aspen tree, my heart aching with longing and gratitude for the lives of my children. Sometimes I forget what an incredible gift it is to be entrusted with these little people. How does God even consider me worthy?
I committed that day to fight for my children on my knees. Every day since then, I either write new prayers for them, or read and pray through ones from previous days that I have already written. I add things to my requests as they come up. I add new Bible verses.
I’m gonna fight for them. Like a mama bear.
I’m gonna have worn out knees.
I’m gonna be a mama who prays.
“Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord.
Lift your hands toward Him for the life of your young children.”