I remember times in my childhood when I really didn’t understand what my parents were thinking! Do this, don’t do that; all of this seemed to be related to the idea that “one day I would understand”. Well, that was mostly a correct assumption, and now that I have a family of my own, I also know that there are some things that simply have to be learned through age, maturity, and experience. But well-rounded adults don’t just happen, and parenting is so much more than making sure everyone is fed and clothed.
Parenthood is a conscious and deliberate skill that requires all that we have to give. It is also the most rewarding pursuit I can think of. It’s not always wonderful: some days are tough, some decisions are chaotic, and often things don’t go as planned, but investing in our children starts with engaging with God in prayer for them before they are even born . Below is a list of verses we can pray for our children. When we don’t know what or how to pray, the best we can do is live up to the words God has already given us. Often times, praying God’s Word awakens other needs and thoughts and it will be the beginning of a fruitful and meaningful time of prayer.
1. “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your unshakable love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not leave the work of your hands ”. – Psalm 138: 8
Whatever path your child takes, we can trust God knows who He made them. Their faith in Christ may get stronger and brighter, or they may choose a path we would not have chosen for them. However, we can trust God to have a purpose for them and He is more than able to see through it. He is always loyal to us, his love for us will not waver, and that goes for our children too. We pray that they know their purpose and wholeheartedly pursue it.
2. “Be convinced that whoever began a good work in you will finish it by the day of Christ Jesus”. – Philippians 1: 6
In this passage Paul writes to Timothy, whom Paul looked after as pastor and whom he regards in faith as his “son”. This is a promise that God will complete the work He started in us, and by the time you are reading this (which you clearly are) God has already started an amazing work in your children by making you their parents Has! He has given them parents who seek God’s wisdom, given them a home where they will be loved and prayed for, and so his good work has already taken root in them. He will be faithful and complete this good work. It may not be what we understand or expect, but He promised it. We pray that our children will stand firm in the good work He has called them to do.
3. “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me ”. – John 10:14
Throughout scripture there are several references to God as Shepherd, most notably of Jesus himself as Shepherd and in the 23rd Psalm. The idea of God as a caring Shepherd watching over our children is a beautiful picture and gives parents a sense of peace. Knowing that God cares about our children even more than we do is encouraging and comforting. We pray for our children that they would want to be his sheep, hear his voice in everything they do, and get to know him better every day.
4. “Didn’t I tell you? Be strong and brave. Dont be afraid; Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. ”- Joshua 1: 9
It is impossible to know where life will lead our children. We know there will be ups and downs and that God is good and faithful no matter what life throws on our children. We pray that in the face of severe adversity, in the face of the unknown, our children will be strong and courageous to follow the Lord wherever He leads, knowing that He has given them victory in every battle. We pray that no matter what, they will trust him.
5. “Do not worry about anything, but in every situation bring your requests before God through prayer and petition with thanksgiving. And God’s peace, beyond understanding, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. ”- Philippians 4: 6-7
Today’s world is a world full of fear. Our children are bombarded with bad news from all directions, with anger, shame, pain and fear. Most of all, we want our children to live in peace, knowing that God loves them and cares for them. We pray that they will not try to face life’s fears and struggles alone. We pray that they will bring their requests to God and find the peace that only He can give.
6. “When I’m afraid, I trust in you. In God, whose word I praise – in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? ”- Psalm 56: 3-4
The Bible is full of accounts of mere mortals inflicting physical harm on God’s people. Jesus himself was beaten and executed when he did nothing wrong. None of us want to be harmed, either physically or emotionally, but as believers, it is a possibility. First and foremost, we pray for our children that they never have to experience the pain inflicted on them by “simple mortals,” but we pray even more that they will trust and praise God who frees us from fear and us in it remember, whatever happens to us as a result of persecution, He is greater and following Him is greater than anything this earth has to offer.
7. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own mind; Submit to him in all your ways, and he will straighten your paths. Proverbs 3: 5-6
It’s so easy to rely on what we know. As we gain experience and knowledge, we can begin to trust ourselves and make decisions without going to God in prayer. We pray that we will submit to him, that our children will see that we will submit to him in everything and that they too will learn to trust in God who will make their way straight. Letting go of our own understanding and trusting it is not always our first instinct, but we pray for ourselves and for our children that it will.
Our children are the greatest gift that God entrusts to us. Let us be aware and thoughtful as we lead them, and let us pray fervently that they will be blessed for a lifetime dedicated to what Christ created them to be.
Photo credit: © GettyImages / rudi_suardi
Jason Soroski is a homeschool dad and author of A Trip to Bethlehem: Inspirational Thoughts for Christmas and Hope for the New Year. Serving as a worship pastor and in Colorado, he spends his weekends exploring the Rocky Mountains with his family. Connect to Twitter, Instagram, or at JasonSoroski.net.