Praying for our children is one of our sweetest privileges and most weighty responsibilities. Prayer is not an afterthought that makes us feel vaguely spiritual; it is labor-intensive battle against our enemy and for the eternal good of our children.
We children of God know this and embrace it, though I for one rarely pray as much as I know I’m called to do. My deep heart desire is to be a woman, wife, and mother of prayer, so even when I don’t feel like it, I strive to be faithful in praying for those God has put in my life. Authenticity is not following our current whim, but following the truth on which we’ve staked our whole eternity.
To that end, I’ve crafted prayers, included below, that help me be more faithful in praying robustly for my children. These prayers are not shackles, but aids. I am not limited by them, but rather lifted up by them into more Biblical intercession. They help me focus on praying for the range of my children’s spiritual and earthly needs, but I pray many more things than just these!
I recommend writing some of your own intentional prayers for your family or loved ones. Think about your greatest desires for them. Consider what Scriptures you want to see embodied in their lives. I also asked myself a question: What are my two highest goals for my children? Mine were that they love and follow the Lord all their days, and that they are friends with each other throughout life. Both of these became part of my written prayers.
I keep a list of these prayers on the wall above my nightstand so as I go to sleep or wake up in the morning, I see them and pray a few lines. It’s also a great idea to put it on the mirror in the bathroom to see while you brush your teeth, or above the sink in the kitchen. I seek to pray for my kids during dedicated times of prayer, as well as throughout the day as I think of it. Both are valuable!
Another fantastic resources that I cannot recommend enough are these books of Scriptural prayers from author Andrew Case: https://hismagnificence.com/books/ (Praying the Light; Water of the Word; Prayers of an Excellent Wife; Setting Their Hope in God). They are free in e-book and/or PDF formats and available in print from Amazon. Each book is filled with prayers drawn from Scripture, almost word-for-word, making it a valuable tool for praying Scripture for yourself, your husband or wife, and your children.
Prayer for my Children:
That they trust in Jesus Christ as their only hope in life and death, believing that in his death on the cross and his resurrection from the dead, he accomplished their salvation, taking their sin upon himself, giving them his righteousness, uniting them with himself, bringing them to God. (1 Pet 3:18, 2 Cor 5:21, Isa 53:6)
That they love you, the Lord their God, with all their hearts and with all their souls and with all their might. And that they desire you above every treasure on earth. (Deut 6:4-9, 10:12-13, Psalm 63:1-6)
That they fear the Lord and walk in your ways all the days of their lives. That they have hearts of obedience in thankful response to your love, and a childlike desire to please you. (Psalm 128, Rom 6:17)
That they hate what is evil and love what is good, that they will fill themselves with what is pure and commendable. That your word would be their highest authority in life. (Rom 12:9, Phil 4:8-9, 2 Tim 3:16-17)
That my boys grow up to be men of God, faithful and loving husbands, strong and gentle fathers, who lead their families in the narrow path of following Jesus. That my girls marry men like this. (Col 3:18-21, Eph 5:25-33, 1 Tim 3:1-7)
That my girls grow up to be women of God, faithful and supportive wives, mothers who give themselves to their children and use every opportunity to lead them in the narrow path of following Jesus. That my boys marry women like this. (Col 3:18-21, Eph 5:22-24, Prov 31:10-31)
That they love your Word, that it dwells richly in them, and that they are prayer warriors who entrust all to you. (Col 3:16, Matt 21:21-22, Jam 5:16)
That they deny themselves daily, take up their cross, and follow Jesus. That they would be unashamed of Christ and willing to lose their life for him so they may gain it. (Luke 9:23-27)
That they be best friends with one another, loving and supporting one another throughout life, and pointing one another to Christ.
That you grow them in knowledge of you and your world, and even more so, in godly wisdom and discernment, so they may serve you well in this world. Let them develop and use their talents to the utmost in their vocation to further your ends, not their own. (Col 3:23-24, 1 Cor 10:31, Col 3:17)
That they receive what they have with a grateful heart, and let go of what they don’t have with trust in you. That when they suffer, they entrust themselves to you, their faithful creator, and that their suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put them to shame. (1 Thess 5:18, Job 1:21-22, 1 Pet 4:19, Rom 5:3-5)
That they remain steadfastly united with the body of Christ, immersed in their local church, serving with their brothers and sisters in Christ. (Eph 4:1-6, Heb 10:24-25)
That they defend the cause of the weak and helpless, and bring compassion and healing to the wounded. (Isa 58, Rom 12:16)
That your steadfast love be from everlasting to everlasting on them, and your righteousness to their children’s children, as they keep your covenant and remember to do your commandments. (Ps 103:17-18