How do we pray for our children? How often do we pray for our children? What do we pray over our children? These questions do not have simple answers.
God takes children seriously, so serious in fact that in Matthew 18:6 Jesus says,
“If you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.”
That seems pretty harsh. Are you telling me, that if something I do, or allow my children to do, leads them into sin (not just the obvious big sins: steal, kill, lie, etc.; but also the not so big sins: bad attitudes, half truths, gossip, etc.), then I would be better off killing myself?
First of all, I’m not saying it, God’s Word says it.
God takes the raising of children seriously and so should we. This idea that kids are kids and they should just be allowed to do whatever, and eventually they will be ok, is just not acceptable.
Imagine if that is what God did with us. God calls us his sons and daughters, but he takes us seriously. He doesn’t look at us and say, “Oh they will just be kids.
I’ll let them be, and eventually they will be ok.” Thank God that he does not leave us to be kids! God cares; in fact he cares so much that in Psalms 139:17-18 He says, “How precious are your thoughts about me O God. They Cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!”
“A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.” grains of sand in the world! I’d say he is thinking about us and speaking life to us all the time.
So then, what are our thoughts toward our children?
What are we speaking to them?
Prayer has many forms. Thoughts can be prayer, words can be prayer, singing can be prayer, and conversation can be prayer. If prayer is, as most people define it, a two-way conversation with God, could it be said that every thought, word, and action is a form of prayer toward God?
Again, what are our thoughts, words, and actions pouring into our kids, and what are we telling God, concerning them, on a daily basis?
When we pray for our kids do we ask for academic achievement, or a good social life, or success in life, or health, or maybe that they would be the best athletes.
All those things are part of life, but the truth is even pagans pray for those things. Think on that for a second. There is nothing wrong with desiring for our kids to do good in school, or have health in their bodies, but are our prayers guided by the Word of God?
Do we know what God would pray over our children?
Do we know what God is speaking over our kids?
When the disciples asked Jesus how to pray, Jesus prayed for the will of the Father. In order for us to pray God’s will over our children we must first know what His will is, and His will can be found through His Word speaking to us today.
Do we pray for purity in our children’s body, soul, and mind? Do we long to see them passionately love God? Do we ask for God to give them self-control? If our actions are a form of prayer, do we live our lives the way we want our children to live theirs? Do we ask God to give them a respect and reverence toward authority?
Again, do our lives and our words in front of our kids show how we desire for them to live?
De we pray for the fruits of the Holy Spirit – love, joy,
Scriptures to pray over our Children:
2 Peter 2:18 “Grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”.”
Ephesians 5:2 “Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ.”
Psalms 25:21 “May integrity and honesty protect me, for I put my hope in you.”
Psalms 19:7-10 Love for God’s Word.
Psalms 63:1 “O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you; my whole body longs for you.”
1 Peter 2:17 “Respect everyone, and love your Christian brothers and sisters. Fear God, and respect the king.”
Deuteronomy 31:6a ”Be strong and courageous!” peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control – to begin growing in our children? The Bible is full of what to pray for ourselves and our children. God does care about our earthly needs, physical health, and our talents – but that is not His focus. He tells us not to worry about those things, instead our focus should be on the Kingdom of God.
It could be said that what God cares about most of all is not how comfortable we are in life or how happy we are, but how much we look like His Son. The development of our character is what matters to God.
I remember one time I was taking my son to school, and he was struggling with some character issues in life. I looked at him and said, “Son, don’t forget that what God wants above all else for you is that you begin to look more and more like his Son, Jesus. If that means he has to take your legs out from under you, so you can’t play basketball anymore in order to form his character in you, then that is what he will do.” I still stand by those words today.
Years ago when I was in Guatemala I got beat to a bloody pulp by the very people I had given my life to serve. And in that moment, when they had bludgeoned me, I hated them.
I wanted them all dead.
But it was at that point in time when God revealed the blackness of my own heart by allowing me to be beaten, that God increased my ability to love. It was that dark moment in life when my family was threatened, and my life was hanging in the balance, that God revealed deeper levels of love than I had previously known.
God is more concerned about developing our kid’s characters and forming his image in them than all the earthly blessings and pleasures this world has to offer.
We should pray more for their character than we do their athletic achievements, grades, or social and financial success. As parents we have the privilege of getting to see our children’s strengths and flaws. We may not know them like God does, but we have every opportunity to know them better than anyone else.
That makes us responsible for how we pray for them. So, I encourage you as
What do we pray for our children?
How does my life show the character of Christ to my kids?
Am I praying God’s will or my own? “As a parent, I encourage you, take the responsibility seriously.” Begin to pray God’s will over your children and not your own.