Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6
This past Sunday we had an ice cream social and prayer fellowship at our church. This was an event planned for the families of our children’s ministry, New Life Kids. I admittedly found my inspiration for the ice cream social, an “old-fashioned” kind of event, from watching a little too much Downton Abbey. But my true objective was to motivate parents to take time to pray with their kids and for their kids, modeling the importance of taking our requests and concerns before a gracious and loving God.
I am sharing the points we discussed and prayed together. The following are suggestions for how you can pray for your children and grandchildren as they journey through life in the home, school and extracurricular activities. As a mom, I am much less anxious about my kids going out into the world (let’s be honest…it’s crazy out there!) when they are covered in prayer.
Pray that God will do a powerful and gracious work in his/her heart. (Ephesians 2:1-9)
This passage of Scripture in Ephesians, particularly verse 8-9, is at the heart of the Gospel. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. I pray each and every day that God will do a work in my boys’ hearts, drawing them to faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Pray that our kids will love God and follow Him with all his/her heart, soul and strength. (Deuteronomy 6:5-7)
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Moses, the divinely inspired author of Deuteronomy, is telling us to talk to our kids about loving God when we are at home, when we go out, in the morning and in the evening. In other words, ALL the time. This can be very overwhelming to us as parents in light of our responsibilities to work, provide, and take care of our families and homes. Depending on our perspective, it can actually seem much less daunting. We can talk about Creation as we ride in the car. We can talk about how much Jesus loves us as we wait in line at the grocery store. We can turn off the electronics and read a devotional together. Moreover, we can model loving God by the way we live our lives and respond to difficult situations. Our kids are watching and learning from us each day!
Pray that our kids will be able to stand strong in Christ in the home, school and extracurricular activities. (Ephesians 6:10-18)
It is very difficult to be the one to do the right and honorable thing when others around us are not. How much more so for our young, impressionable children! I pray that my boys may be able to take stand, in the power of Christ, for what is good and kind and true.
Pray that our kids develop good, sensible relationships and relate to others with compassion, respect and understanding. (Proverbs 13:20, Ephesians 4:32)
I pray for my boys to make wise decisions as they acquire friendships and start to build lasting relationships. My prayer is that they will be discerning as necessary but also compassionate when conflicts arise. We encourage them to seek forgiveness when they wrong others and offer it when they are offended.
Pray for all those in authority over our kids. (Romans 13:1-4)
Our children’s teachers and coaches will inevitably make mistakes. I have taught in public school, private Christian school, children’s ministry and attempted some homeschool preschool with my youngest. And I’m here to tell you, I have made plenty. Those in authority over our kids need our prayer and support, but they also need our understanding and respect. Whether we like it or not, God has sovereignly placed that person in their position. If we expect our children to respect authority, including our own authority over them, we must model it by relating to their teachers and coaches with respect and confronting them with love should the need arise.
I hope you find this encouraging. Oh and the ice cream certainly sweetened our prayer time together. I would be remiss if I did not mention my husband, my mom and stepdad. Because of my physical limitations, I could not plan and lead ministry events without their help and support. I’m also praising God who continues to raise me up in His strength to serve His Kingdom.
Please feel free to respond with any other ideas on how to pray for our kids! Grace be with you, my friends.