BY MIKE HARVEY, CHILDREN'S PASTOR
We all want the best for our children. We agonize over their choices of friends, make sure they are in well-rounded activities, 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 children.
We know prayer is important, but it can be easy to push it aside when we’re focused on homework, sports, activities, etc. There are seasons in every family where life gets hard and busy. I know as a dad, I can get in the mode of just trying to fix everything and problem solve. I want everyone to be happy and successful. While that might seem fine, it can become exhausting and draining. It puts all the pressure on me, and I forget that it’s ultimately God who transforms the heart.
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.
Here are a few examples of types of prayers to pray for your children:
- Bedtime Prayers
- Prayers of Protection
- Prayers of Blessing
- Prayers for Wisdom
- Prayers of Scripture
Finally, if you are at all like me, we need reminders to help us remember to pray for our kids. Visual reminders are one of the secrets to never forgetting to pray for your child. This is a game-changer! Intentionally include visual reminders throughout your day that invite you to pray. You can use such tools as reminders on your phone or prayer cards posted around your house or office. I would encourage you to find one meaningful thing that 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 of art, or something as simple as a pen. These visual reminders are an invitation to pause and pray for your beloved child.
Our prayers are powerful and effective. God can use them to work in our children in ways beyond our imagination. Our God is so good to hear our prayers, therefore: “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16).
May He do more than we hope or imagine!