What guidance does the Bible provide?
One of the greatest privileges we have as a parent is the opportunity to pray for our children. In Luke 11:9-13, Jesus promises that if we ask, the Father wants to give us good in return. "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened." The faithful prayer of a parent is the strongest weapon we have to protect and raise godly children.Several times in scripture we see Jesus ask people "What do you want me to do for you?" (Mark 10:51) Jesus wants us to be specific in our requests for our children. The life of Daniel is also a good model for parents. The Bible doesn't specifically tell us of Daniel's early years, but we can see that his parents instilled the values of God into his character at a young age. When he was taken as a slave, he was able to withstand the pressures from an unbelieving king because of his strong relationship with God and his decision before the tests came to honor God with his choices.
Things to think about:
Whether your child is a newborn or a teenager, it's never too late or early to begin praying for your child! Pray big, specific prayers for your child, believing God will answer!
There are many ways to pray for your child:
- One idea is to pray for specific character qualities that will build a strong spiritual foundation in your child. Such character qualities as wisdom, humility, discernment, respect and excellence will help your child seek God's character as they grow.
- Using Scripture as a guide to praying for your child is also helpful. God's Word is full of promises and guidance. Insert your child's name in the passage to pray specifically for your child. For example, you can pray that your child will have a pure heart by personalizing Philippians 4:8: "God, please remind John today of things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, and commendable. Bring to his mind things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep his mind saturated with these things."
- Praying prayers of intercession for your child will come naturally as you encounter areas of need in their life. Make a list to pray for specific areas and repeat the list weekly or monthly. You can develop your own list; a prayer journal is a great investment for keeping a list of prayers to pray for your child.
- Some specific prayers are:
- That they will trust Christ at an early age
- That they will be caught when doing wrong at an early age; that they will seek repentance
- That they will respect authority (parents, teachers, etc.)
- That they will have a servant's heart
- That they will be a strong leader and stand against wrong
- That they will seek wise friendships
- That they will stay pure for their future spouse; that their future spouse will know and love God
There is great power in the words from a parent to a child. Proverbs 18:21 teaches us, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit." Praying or speaking words of blessing over your child can make a profound difference in their life. Blessing your child simply means verbally affirming your child for who he is, and encouraging him as he grows into the person God created him to be.Blessings can be simple: "You are my son, and I love you; I pray God's very best for your life," or "I thank God that He has given you discernment in making good choices; I can see that He will use you to be a great leader." Blessing your child can help them see God's plan for themselves and their part in His work.
What do I do now?
Start praying! You can pray for your child alone as well as aloud with your child. Pray for your child whenever God brings them to mind. Pray while cooking them breakfast, dropping them off at school, late at night, when you check on them while sleeping, and before you wake them up in the morning. You know your child as no one else does, and will know best how to intercede for him.
Want to go deeper?
This article gives specific examples of praying Scripture for your child:https://www.reviveourhearts.com/articles/31-biblical-virtues-to-pray-for-your-children/This article gives character qualities you will want your child to develop:
This article discusses how to go beyond vague, general prayers to praying specific, God-sized prayers for your child:
This article discusses different kinds of prayer: a prayer of dedication, a prayer of blessing, prayers for parenting, prayers of intercession, prayers against anger, and prayers for protection: