There are times when we don’t know how to pray. The Bible tells us that there are times when we pray for the wrong things, with the wrong motives (James 4:3). Then there are times that we simply don’t know what to pray and the Spirit needs to help us (Romans 8:26). There are times when we need God to help US be the parent we need to be and then there are times when we need to just throw ourselves on His mercy and let Him be the reliable Father He has promised He is (James 1:17). As parents we desire to pray God’s will, which 2 Peter 3:9 tells us is for the lost to be found, and 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 tells us is to rejoice always, pray constantly and give thanks in all circumstances; “for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
So in the general sense we actually know what to pray. We know what God’s will is – in general terms at least. But then there are times when your kid has been sent to the principal’s office for the 18th time this year and while you are praying, it isn’t necessarily the kind of constant prayer God is talking about. Or how can you be thankful when you watch your precious baby with tubes hooked up in the hospital? At these times, praying scripture can be profoundly helpful! Here are five verses that you can pray over your kids!
The greatest prayer we can pray for our kids is that they discover what it means to be in a right relationship with Jesus! This is a prayer that we can pray but one which God cannot simply “make happen” because He never violates our free will. But we can pray His heart for the lives of our kids. This first passage is right out of a prayer that Jesus Himself prayed.
This is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and the One You have sent—Jesus Christ.
John 17:3 (HCSB)
What do you pray when you are so worried that the enemy might be stealing your children away from the Truth?
So if you have been raised with the Messiah, seek what is above, where the Messiah is, seated at the right hand of God.
Colossians 3:1 (HCSB)
Remember you fight with spiritual weapons not human ones!
For though we live in the body, we do not wage war in an unspiritual way, 4 since the weapons of our warfare are not worldly, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments 5 and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to obey Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (HCSB)
You might want to pray the entire Armour of God over your children! Asking that God would equip them with each critical piece of spiritual weaponry!
This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. 14 Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, 15 and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. 16 In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word.
Ephesians 6:13-17 (HCSB)
Psalm 91 is so effective that Satan quoted it to Jesus when he tempted our Lord in the desert. The temptation was real because the verse is actually true! What a powerful passage to pray over your children when they are facing the overwhelming trials that life brings. I won’t put it all down, but it is worth reading in its fullness (verse 11 is the one that Satan quoted.)
1 The one who lives under the protection of the Most High dwells in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
3 He Himself will deliver you from the hunter’s net, from the destructive plague.
4 He will cover you with His feathers; you will take refuge under His wings. His faithfulness will be a protective shield.
5 You will not fear the terror of the night, the arrow that flies by day,
6 the plague that stalks in darkness, or the pestilence that ravages at noon…
Psalm 91:1-6 (HCSB)
Finally, if the Lord’s Prayer was the model prayer, you can pray that over your kids as well. Replacing the pronouns with their names…
9 “Therefore, you should pray like this: Seth’s Father in heaven, Your name be honored as holy.
10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done in Malachi’s life as it is in heaven.
11 Give Caitlin today her daily bread.
12 And forgive Seth his debts, as Seth has also forgiven his debtors.
13 And do not bring Malachi into temptation, but deliver Caitlin from the evil one. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]
Matthew 6:9-13 (HCSB)
Well that feels powerful to me! What other passages have you prayed for your kids? Share them in the comments below!