It seems like common sense to pray for your children when you are a follower of Christ, right? But what does it take to really get us on our knees praying for them? For me, it was the start of the teen years. Our children are currently 15, 14, 13, 11, and 10. No, it wasn’t on purpose, and yes, we know how it happened. 😉
You see, life was hard with 5 kids, 5 and under. Actually, our oldest was only 4 when our youngest was born. She turned 5 the next month! But things really ramped up when the hormones ramped up, too! If you have/had teenagers, you know what I’m talking about. It was in those hard moments, that I realized I really needed to start praying for my children.
The other half of this trial is that not all of our children have received salvation. I was naive enough to believe if I just did all the right things, my children would come to know Christ, love Him, and want to serve Him all of their days. That’s our hearts desire, isn’t it? There is no greater joy than to know our children are walking in Truth. But… what do you do when they aren’t walking in the truth of God’s Word?
I’ve had many wonderful women in my life to encourage me through this stage of life. It has certainly been challenging. I’m grateful for their push to keep doing the right thing as parents, to stick to our convictions, even when it feels like we are standing alone.
In March of 2021, I decided I was really, I mean, really going to pray for my children. I went and got a notebook for each of my children and printed out my first plan of action. I used the Teach Them Diligently guide to begin with. Since I have 5 children, they each got their own day of the week. I stay more focused when I write my prayers down, so that is why I got the notebooks…. that… and I’m a total nerd. The 31 days of prayer, then, was actually 31 weeks for me. I prayed the same Scripture over each of my children for the week. When I completed that guide, I downloaded another one from Revive Our Hearts. I am still on this one, and again, taking each virtue and praying it over my children for the week.
Can I tell you something? It’s been a long 10 months, and I sure was hoping to “see results” from my prayers much faster. Isn’t that just how we are? Living in an instant gratification world, we want to pray and see God move, like yesterday. Just in these last few weeks, I can see God moving in the hearts of my children. Some have received salvation in the last year. Other hearts I can see softening, not only to God, but to us as parents. Mark Batterson says to, “Work like it depends on you; pray like it depends on God.” I’m thankful that I can see God moving in the lives of my children. Do I believe praying for them is essential? Yes. Does that mean I stop being a parent? Nope. We have still had to do the hard work of parenting, and even now, even while we still wait for prayers to be answered, it’s all been worth it.
I can not encourage you enough to intentionally pray for your children. Whether you do it the same way I do or not doesn’t really matter. I love both of these “plans” because it helps you to pray Scripture over your children, it gives focus and direction. Prayer is truly the best thing we can do, even when we make it a last resort. I implore you, don’t make it a last resort. If you don’t have children, pray for the youth/children in your church, pray for grandchildren, pray for your friend’s children. I know it encourages me to know that people are praying for me and for my children.