Life Changing, Future Changing Prayers to Pray for Children
Charles Spurgeon once said concerning prayer, “prayer pulls the rope below, and the great bell rings above in the ears of God. Some scarcely stir the bell, for they pray so languidly; others give but an occasional pluck at the rope; but he who wins with heaven in the man who grasps the rope boldly and pulls continuously with all his might.” If that is true, and Scripture says it is (see James 5:16) then you have to ask the question why don’t we as followers of Christ pray? Why don’t we pray for our churches, our missionaries, our children, our spouses, our leaders (Scripture tells us too)? There are all kinds of answers to the question, but one of them is perhaps we don’t know how to pray.
Last Friday was the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on 9/11, and it was a day that our nation was on high alert. The night before around 9:30 I received an email from the superintendent of the school system where my children attend and where my wife is employed, it stated that “they (the system) was aware of the internet threats and that the police were stepping up patrol to ensure that the schools would be safe.” Needless to say I was extremely concerned, so I did some research and discovered that apparently there was a social media post about killing chidren in Kingsport on September 11th. I knew what to pray that night didn’t I? So guess what I did, I prayed and then I prayed some more for their safety and for wisdom for all the people associated with the school system. This is an obvious prayer that we should be praying everyday.
Have you ever wondered what else you should pray for children? A few weeks ago before school started back our church did a prayer focus, in which we took a name or two names of the children of our church and committed to pray for them. It is a wonderful idea and a chance to “pull the rope” as Spurgeon would say. It is a chance to bless children and families with the power and grace of God. But the question has been asked, what do we pray? Certainly we pray for safety, but what else do we pray for those children? What should we pray for other children that are a part of our lives? Scripture gives us the answer in the book of Proverbs.
Proverbs 1:7 says, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,….” So what do we pray in response to that? We pray that the children (and ourselves for that matter) would have a healthy fear of the Lord. That they would understand His power. That they would know that God is sovereign and that they would have a healthy respect and awe for Him. It is praying for the salvation of those children, that they would know God and respect Him and fear Him. That they would “stand in awe” of Him. When we pray this we are also praying that they will be different than the world because in reality our world has no respect for God at all. Not too long ago I purchased for my boys a tube of toothpaste that they could decorate with stickers and personalize it and make it their own. One of those stickers said “omg”, which by the way doesn’t stand for “oh my goodness”. There is no respect for God at all. So we pray that they would have “a fear of the Lord”, which is the beginning of wisdom. And that they would grow in that wisdom, James 1:5 says, “if any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God for it and He will give it to you.”
What else should we pray? Proverbs 1:8 says, “hear my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teachings.” We pray that the children would have Godly parents who teach them in the ways of God. Of course if we are the parents then we are praying that we ourselves would live Godly lives and that we would care enough about God and about our children to teach them the things of God. We teach children a lot of things, I love teaching my boys about soccer and about football. I enjoy teaching them about multiplication and about Star Wars, but in reality the only things that I teach them that really matter is the things of God. I need to be teaching my children about Jesus, and living a Godly life in their presence so that I am teaching them by example.
We pray for those things and we pray that they would listen and that what we are teaching them would take root in their lives. The good thing about the word of God is this, when we teach it to our children it DOES take root in their lives for God says, “my word will not return void but it will accomplish its purpose.”
What else do we pray? Proverbs 1:10 says, “my son, if sinners entice you, do not consent.” We pray that the children would stay away from the sins of the world. That they wouldn’t be lured in by worldliness and peer pressure but that they would stand strong even in the face of temptation. Jesus taught us to pray this same thing in the Lord’s prayer didn’t He? “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” We pray the same thing for our children, for other children and in reality we should be praying this for ourselves as well.
What else do we pray? Proverbs 13:20 says, “whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” We need to also pray that our children would have good, Godly friends and that they would be good, Godly friends. Growing up I can remember my mom saying to me when I asked to go to someone’s house after school, “no because every time you are around them you end up acting just like them.” (I imagine their mom said the very same thing about me, but that’s another story). The principle is true isn’t it? We do become like what we are around, so we need to pray that our children will have good, Godly friends and that one day they would have a good, Godly spouse. Again our prayers move the hand of God, so think about how important this truly is.
What else do we pray? Proverbs 3:27 says, “do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.” We need to pray that our children would love with the love of Christ, and that they would do good when they are able. After all the Bible says, “God has good works prepared in advance for us to do” and that as the world sees those good works, “it will glorify our Father in heaven”. We need to be praying that they would be people of love and the only way that they can do that is through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
A couple of months ago my middle son fell, hit his head and had a short seizure. He has had seizures in the past but I could tell that this one was different and it was terrifying. As I rushed to his side and realized what was going on, I knew that I was absolutely powerless to do anything but watch. There was nothing I could do to bring him out of the seizure, it was a desperate time and in my desperation I prayed. We live in desperate times today, we can make a difference, but the greatest way we can make a difference is to pray. So take time to pray for the children in your life, realizing the desperateness of the times, but also knowing in faith that God is in control and because of that trusting Him as you pray.
- A fear of the Lord (that they would know Jesus as Savior and Lord)
- Godly parents and listening hearts
- Strength to stand against sin and worldliness
- Good Godly friends and spouses, and that they would be good Godly people
- That they would love with the love of Jesus.