Praying for our children is a high spiritual priority in the life of Christian mothers. We know that the work of spiritual growth in our children’s lives is accomplished by the power of the Lord Jesus. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). As an example for us in praying for our children, we have many Scriptures that tell us that Paul prayed for his spiritual children without ceasing and with thanksgiving. If we are to invest heavily in prayer for our children, what exactly will we pray?
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). I believe these verses show us that Scripture is an excellent basis for some of our prayers for our children.
My two favorite Scriptures for prayer are ones Paul prayed. “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (Ephesians 3:14-21).
“For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Colossians 1:9-13).
Do we want our children to choose righteousness over sin? Then praying from Romans 6 would be worthwhile. “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God” (Romans 6:12-13).
Is your child struggling with worry? You can pray Philippians 4:6-7 for him. “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Does your child lack a thankful heart? Consider praying that your child would begin, “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20).
Do you realize how Scripture can be used to pray for our children? No matter what need you see in your child’s life, you can find a Scripture to pray that will relate to that need. If you desire growth in your child in a certain spiritual direction, you can look for Scripture to pray that will support and endorse this growth.
I have begun to memorize the verses that I am praying for my children so that I have them available any time I want them. I can pick out portions of the verses to pray, and I can individualize them by putting my child’s name into the words from Scripture as I pray. I have found that everything I memorize to pray for my children is applicable to praying for myself and others as well.
There are some things that I pray for my children day after day, prayer after prayer. Should I stop praying them because I have prayed them so many times? “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Galatians 6:9). My repetitive prayers for my children fall into this category of what I am not to become weary in doing because, in time, there will be a harvest of spiritual fruit.
“And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:1-8). This parable gives the example that we are to continue crying out to our Lord Jesus Christ in prayer for our children, even if we pray the same or similar things for them very often.
When I pray Scripture for my children, I feel assured in my heart that I am praying God’s will and desire for them. “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it” (John 14:13-14). “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him” (1 John 5:14-15).
As you commit your heart to pray for your children, I encourage you to use Scripture as part of those prayers. Memorize the passages that the Lord directs you to pray for your children so that you will have them available anywhere and anytime to pray. Then be faithful in spending much time in prayer for your children.