Wednesday, September 15, 2010

10 Things to Pray for your Children.

We all worry about our children from time to time. Sometimes more than others. Sometimes one child more than another. One of the most powerful ways to affect our children's lives is through prayer.  There is nothing I pray for more fervently, more diligently or more desperately than my children. Can anything evoke that same level of passion as praying for their well-being and character?

But beyond, "Lord, please keep him/her safe," "Help him/her stay out of trouble or away from evil." and "Dear Lord, make me a sane parent today" we can often get lost in our own emotions and concerns. My mind wanders. Luckily, a friend shared this list with me years ago. It has helped my focus my prayers and hone in on what is truly important.

I hope it helps you too!

1. FOR GODLY WISDOM:
1 Corinthians 3:19 tells us, "The wisdom of this world is foolishness before God," and Romans 12:2 says, "Do not be conformed to this world." With that being said, we need to pray that our children will have godly--not worldly--wisdom. James 1:5 promises, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him." Ask for your children to receive that supernatural application of godly wisdom.

2. FOR CHARACTER:
This is probably the most difficult thing for a parent to pray for a children, because we know that character is developed by through trials in a persons life. In fact, Romans 5:3-4 says, "We also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope." As hard as it is to pray for troubling times in the lives of our children, we know that challenges, disappointments, and even heartache are what will help them grow into the godly men and women they were created to be.

3. FOR A SPIRIT OF EXCELLENCE:
Daniel 6:3 says, "Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps because an excellent spirit was in him." And 1 Corinthians 10:31 instructs, "Whether, then you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." Pray that your children will give their best to everything they attempt, because if they're followers of Christ, they place His name on whatever they do.

4. FOR HUMILITY:
We live in a world that frequently admires pride, arrogance, and self-righteousness. Yet James 4:6 tells us that "God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble." And in Matthew 23:12, Jesus promised, "Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted." Pray that your children will appreciate their infinite worth as children of God but, at the same time, will recognize that God expects them to walk with Him--and their fellow man--in meekness and humility.

5. FOR A DESIRE TO KNOW GOD:
We pray they'll make the team... or pass the test... or fit in at school, but is there anything we can ask for our children that will offer them more happiness, fulfillment, and success than a personal, intimate relationship with their Creator? Ezra 8:22 tells us, "The hand of our God is favorably disposed to all those who seek Him," and Psalm 86:11 implores, "Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name." Pray that your child will have a hunger and thirst to know God more every day, and an undivided heart to seek and serve Him with abandon.

6. FOR DIRECTION:
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and don't lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight." And Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them." Pray that your children will learn at a young age to seek God's direction and guidance in all things, so by the time they make big decisions--like college, career, and marriage--they'll be in the habit of following His perfect plan every step of the way.

7. FOR FAVOR:
In chapter two of the book of Esther, many young women were brought into the palace to be prepared and presented as potential brides before King Ahasuerus. Verse 8 and 9 tell us that from the moment Esther arrived, she found favor with all who saw her. (The king made her queen, which put her in the perfect position to save her people from annihilation.) Luke's gospel tells us that Jesus grew in favor with God and man (2:52). There's nothing wrong with praying that your children will have favor with teachers, school administrators, coaches, and eventually employers--as well as with classmates, teammates, and coworkers--and that they'll be liked and appreciated for who they are.

8. FOR DISCERNMENT:
In 1 Kings 3:5, God gave King Solomon an open invitation to ask for anything he wanted. Anything! Solomon requested a heart to discern good from evil in order to judge God's people, and the Lord was so pleased that He showered the ruler with riches and honor, elevating him beyond all of his contemporaries--and blessed him with a long, healthy life. Pray for this same kind of discernment for your children: ask God to let them see as He sees, be attracted to what pleases and glorifies Him, be repelled by the things that displease him, and understand the difference clearly and consistently.

9. FOR THE RIGHT FRIENDS/SPOUSE:
The Bible is clear on what type of person a believer should marry--another believer. Second Corinthians 6:14 warns, "Do not be bound together with unbelievers." Pray that your children will value God-fearing friends, that the Father will 'pave' their way with faithful Christians, and that they'll eventually find their way to godly mates, as the Lord intends. Also, pray for their future spouses' upbringing. One of the greatest things I've ever heard my Dad say; was when he told Audra on the day of our wedding, "I've been praying for you since the day Jordan was born." Praying for your children's friends and spouse needs to be a daily commitment.

10. FOR RESPECT TOWARD AUTHORITY:
If this generation had a slogan, it would be "No Fear!" Our children are conditioned by media, movies and music, not to respect parents, teachers, school administrators, police officers, government officials--being rude is not only acceptable, it's cool. Yet Romans 13:1 tells us, "Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is not authority except that which God has established." Pray that your kids will have proper respect for everyone from the President to their nursery worker, to the boss at their part-time job, and appropriate fear toward God.

It is never too late or too early to pray for your children.  Whether you're in the foote-jammies and sippy-cup phase or your world is filled with prom dresses and drivers' permits. Philippians 4:6 tells parents, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God." Easier said than done, I realize, but a worthwhile goal.

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3 comments:

Surviving Motherhood said...

Love, love, love this post! Praying for our children and helping to provide their spiritual foundation is one of the best gives we can give to them :)

Very inspirational.

Vic said...

prayer is powerful and even in silence he hears our prayers:)

Anonymous said...

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