Prayer is very important to me as a mom, not to mention as a Christ-follower. But I haven’t always done parts of it perfectly or even well. I’ve been very consistent in how much I pray for my children—both then and now. But I failed in how little I prayed WITH my kids.
So today I want to talk about what I could’ve done better, as well as offering some of my ways to pray that are right on target.
How I should’ve prayed WITH my kids . . .
1. At the start of their day.
I don’t know why I didn’t do this. It seems like a no-brainer. But, for the most part, I didn’t. And I believe my children missed the opportunity to see me modeling the best way to start their/our day. #momfail
2. When they were hurting.
To be fair, I have three SONS, so this wasn’t always very clear to me! 😉 As my boys grew older, I think this began to feel awkward or embarrassing for them to run to mom with any troubles. But with that said, I could’ve made a habit when they were very small of praying immediately with them whenever they were hurt. Learn from my mistakes!
I will say that my husband and I did make a daily habit of praying WITH our boys just before they went to bed. We kept this up for many years—probably all the way up until they were in sixth or seventh grade. But at least by the time they were in high school, this habit gave way to the simple “good night” offered just before they hit the hay.
By that point, I was of the opinion that they should be given the freedom to make prayer their personal choice and habit, instead of mom or dad continually leading them in what to do. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this issue in the comments. It’s always good to learn from one another.
Now to some positive ways we all can pray for our children . . .
1. Pray specifically.
We should pray specifically for our children’s relationships, emotions, challenges, dreams, talents—all with a view to the spiritual condition of their hearts. And one tremendous way to do this is through Scripture.
So, for example, when my child feels anxiety, I might use a verse like Philippians 4:6 to pray . . .
“Father, help my son not to be anxious about anything. But whenever he is, I pray that he would seek Your help. I also pray that he’d grow in his ability to recognize and thank You for all the ways You answer his prayers and meet his needs.”
I’m including a list of other prayers based on Scripture that you can pray for your children here. (Btw, each prayer is written in the plural, but can be edited to your satisfaction.)
2. Pray with open hands.
God wants us to lift our children up to Him daily and then release them into His care. But more times than not, parents can end up praying “tug-of-war prayers” that ask for God to shield their child from any pain. We must come to a place of trust—knowing that God will use the pain and unfairness our children experience as a way to refine their hearts into a heart like His.
3. Pray expectantly.
God wants the best for our children, just like we do. So we should expect nothing less from Him when we pray for them. #believeGodloves #believeGodanswers
4. Pray consistently.
We can pray a beautifully crafted, very specific, open-handed and expectant prayer, but only do so once a year! That certainly won’t impact our children’s lives nearly as much as if we prayed a simple sentence prayer for them daily.
What are some ways you pray for your children that you could add to my list?
What do you think about releasing your children as they grow into teens to make their own spiritual choices/habits?
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