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We all want the best for our children. We agonize over their choices of friends, make sure they are in well-rounded activities, advocate with their teachers, and stress about their futures. We sacrifice sleep, money, and time to set our children up for success. But are we investing in the one thing that will pay the most dividends in their future?

 

As followers of Jesus, throughout the Bible, we are commanded to raise our children to know and love God.

 

Deuteronomy 6:6-8 says, Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night.”

 

Prayer is the act of talking with God. It is the foundation of a life-long, love relationship with Jesus. It is one of the most powerful gifts that we can pass on to our children. Unfortunately, even though we understand the importance of praying over our children, in practice, we often forget to pray for our child.

 

Gary McKnight in his article, Equipping Parents for the Spiritual Formation of their Children, says this, “According to the Family Needs Survey conducted by Family Life in 2007-2008 with nearly 40,000 Christian Parents, nearly one-quarter of parents never or rarely prayed with their children, and another one-quarter prayed with their children only occasionally.

 

We know prayer is important, but it can be easy to push it aside when frankly, soccer games and college scholarships feel way more real.  We have to remember that our children will only be on this earth for eighty or ninety years. That is a drop in the bucket compared to the thousands of years spent in heaven.  That’s not to say that we don’t prepare our children to become healthy adults but that we also remember our spiritual responsibility as parents.

 

Gary McKnight continues, “Childhood is a particularly important time for the spiritual formation of children, often setting the basic trajectory for the rest of their lives. George Barna reported that a series of studies showed that “the probability of someone embracing Jesus as his or her savior was 32 percent for those between the ages of five and twelve; 4 percent for those in the thirteen-to eighteen range; and 6 percent for people 19 and older.”

 Let’s find out how to never forget to pray for our child again.

 

1. Pray For Your Child: The Gift

2. Pray For Your Child: The Examples

3. Pray For Your Child: The Secret

1. Pray For Your Child: The Gift 

 

There was an older woman at my church, who during my summer day camps, committed to showing up every day and walking the halls of the church, praying protection, and blessing over my students. She understood that there is an ongoing assault on the hearts and minds of our children. Children need adults, like this Godly grandma, who will commit to daily covering them in prayer.

 

In first Peter, it says this, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” 1 Peter 5:8-9

 

As parents, we do not have to have all the answers. But we are called to contend for the lives of our children. We give our children a gift when we consistently lift them in prayer.  We can do this by praying for them throughout the day whenever they come to mind (more examples below).

 

Children also need us to model prayer in everyday life. You can check out this article How To Teach Your Kids To Pray When You Have No Clue for three simple steps you can do today to teach your kids to pray.

 

Notice that not once did Jesus make his disciples pray. He just kept on praying until they could contain their hunger no longer and asked Him to teach them how to pray.” Pat Lynch, in Awakening the Giant

 

We want to be parents who give the gift of prayer to our children.  So, let’s get practical, shall we?

 

2. Pray For Your Child: The Examples

 

There are some nights when its all you can do to get the kids fed, bathed, and in bed. Your brain is fried and mustering up the energy for prayer can feel overwhelming.

 

Here are a couple of prayers that I use when I pray for and with my children.  This is not a comprehensive list but a sample to get your wheels turning. I have to be honest my kids love when I pray the same prayers over and over. I think the daily and nightly tradition is comforting.

Bedtime Prayer

“Dear Dad, we thank you and praise you for the gift of our _____ (child’s name).  We pray your hand would rest upon them and they would come to experience an ever-deepening expression of your lavish love for them. Give them ears to hear your voice and eyes to see you, Father.

We pray that you bless them with the wisdom of King Solomon, the courage of Queen Esther, King David’s Heart of Worship, and the faithfulness of Ruth.

 We pray that you would give______ (child’s name) beautiful dreams tonight. Let them dream of running and jumping in meadows, eating cotton candy, riding his/her bike, and floating boats on a stream (insert child’s favorite things to do). And we pray that you would be with ________ (child’s name) in his/her dreams.

We come against bad dreams, and we ask place guardian angels around them while they sleep. Let them sleep feeling safe and protected in your care. We love you, Jesus. In your name, Amen.”

 

Prayers of Protection

  1. Protect Us As We Travel.” -Vernie Schorr Love
  1. The Lord will protect you from harm; He will protect your life. The Lord will protect your coming and going both now and forever.”  Vernie Schorr Love-Spiritual Disciplines for Children

3. “Father, We ask that you would guard _____(child’s name) and keep ___ him/her safe. We ask that you would put a hedge of protection around_____ his/her heart, mind, body, and soul. Surround ______him/her with your guardian angels and uproot any lies from Satan and replace them with your truth.

Remind____ him/her of who _____he/she is, your beloved child. Let ____him/her experience the depth of your lavish love today. We love you and praise you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Prayers of Blessing

  1. May the peace of Jesus fill you, The Love of Jesus surround you, And the presence of Jesus guard you, Now as you sleep, and all your life. “ -Angela Ashwin

 

  1. May God Bless you and keep you. May God turn toward you and be gracious to you. May God turn to you and grant you peaceMay the light of God shine over you.  May the Holy Spirit fill you.  May the blood of Jesus cover you.  May you sleep/live/go in peace. (Use the verb that suits the settingAnd may you always know just how much the Lord Jesus loves you.”  -Scottie May

 

Prayer for Wisdom

God, we pray that you would give _____ (child’s name) the wisdom of King Solomon. Let their thoughts dwell on the beauty and glory of your name. Give them ears to hear your voice clearly, give them eyes to see you at work all around them. We pray your clarity would surround them, and fill them with your peace. Amen

 

 3. Pray For Your Child: The Secret

 

Here are a couple of ideas to help establish a rhythm of praying with and for your kids. I would encourage you to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to direct you to one prayer you would like to start including in your family. It could be a prayer of blessing (check out this post for more info) bedtime prayers, or a prayer of protection while your child is at school.

 

A simple way to get started is to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you. Read over the prayers. What prayer do you feel most drawn too?  Start with that prayer. Stick with that prayer until you feel the Holy Spirit inviting you to include another one into your day.

 

Use Your Daily Rhythm

 

Where can you include your prayer into what you are already doing? Mealtimes, before and after school, and bedtimes can be a great starting point. I would encourage you to choose a time that you feel is the least rushed. Bedtime is my go-to prayer time because it can be the place where children are most aware of God’s presence.

 

Visual Reminders

 

Last but not least, visual reminders are one of the secrets to never forgetting to pray for your child. This is a game changer! I intentionally include visual reminders throughout my day that invite me to pray.  I use such tools as reminders on my phone, prayer cards posted around my house, art, food, and nature.  I would encourage you to find one thing that is meaningful and draws your heart towards Jesus, to serve as a visual reminder to pray.  Your reminder could be a photo of your family, a favorite memory verse, a piece art, or as simple as a pen. These visual reminders are an invitation to pause and pray for your beloved child.   

 

If you want to know how to get started in living a deep life with God; grab our Deeper Life Beginners Guide (below). And join our community of moms who are hungry for more Jesus in their lives and in the lives of their families. 

 

 

 

 

What about you? What is your #1 issue when it comes to remembering to pray for your kids?   Leave a comment, and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!   

 

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Alexis is the creator of Most Important Work. She has served on staff for 13 years at a local church as a children’s, youth, and now Family Life Pastor. Alexis is very passionate about helping moms and churches nurture a love of Jesus in their children through creativity, curiosity, and consistency.
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