Your kids require so much from you and you want to do everything you can to give them what they need. You emphasize academics, and extra curricular activities, and social opportunities. You may take them to church and incorporate spiritual development into your daily activities. Most parents believe that the things they do for kids in the growing up years will affect their future opportunities.
God opens his arms to you and invites you to talk with him about your children. He loves them more than you can comprehend and wants to partner with you in guiding them to the life he wants them to enjoy.
When my own kids were young, I prayed for obvious needs. I focused on the immediate future – the problem at school, the test grade, or the behavioral issue. Now that they are young adults, I find myself speaking to God about their job opportunities.
Those kinds of prayers are good — God wants us to bring our desires and daily needs to him. He wants us to speak to him about specifics. But our Heavenly Father longs for us to go deeper. He wants us to spend enough time with him so that we dive below the surface, into the issues of the heart. He wants us to listen to his voice, to understand his plan and to internalize his purpose for us and for our children.
I’ve discovered the joy of praying Scripture for my children*. For example, I take a passage like this one from the New Testament book of Ephesians. I read through the verses a few times and then substitute my kids’ names in the appropriate places.
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Ephesians 3:16-19
With these verses, I’m asking God to strengthen my child through the presence of the Holy Spirit. I’m praying that Jesus fills my son’s life, as he trusts in him. I’m praying that this child grows in the understanding of God’s love and that he will always take his identity from the relationship he has with Christ. I am asking God to help my son reach his full potential—to become the person God created him to be.
Prayer is such a mystery: how can my desires expressed to God influence the future of my family, my community, and even the world?
My only answer is to say that God designed life to work this way. God chooses to use his people and he chooses to respond to the prayers we offer when we pray according to His will and character.
When I pray Scripture over the lives of my children, I know God will hear and answer because I am praying in accordance with His plan for them. Through the years, I have seen evidence of his work in my children’s lives. I’ve seen them grow, mature and flourish.
But there is an unexpected blessing to this approach to prayer: my own thinking about my children has been changed.
- I no longer measure success and progress in outward ways.
- Praying Scripture has taught me to look deeper and see my sons through the eyes of God.
- I’ve decided that if God is most interested in character development, then I should be too — for my kids and also for myself!
I’ve discovered the joy of praying Scripture for my children…
(*I first learned about the idea of praying Scripture from the author Stormie Omartian. Her book, The Power of a Praying Parent, shaped my thinking about prayer and motivated me to go deeper in the way I thought about talking with God.)
If you’re serious about praying Scripture over your children’s lives, take a look at our e-book: Blessing the Next Generation – Releasing God’s Best in Your Child’s Life. It will help you craft a truly unique blessing service that will help your child cross the bridge from childhood to young adulthood…on a firm foundation of prayer!
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