This year at Selah we spent time teaching you how to pray for specific parenting situations in your home. It’s so incredible that we can take these things to God and He gives us strategies that actually work. But beyond the immediate day-to-day problems, we also need to think bigger picture for our kids and lay a groundwork of prayer for their future, for who and what God’s planned them to be.
When I was pregnant with each of my babies, I took time to ask Jesus to show me a verse, picture or phrase that would give me a glimpse of who they were meant to be. I wanted to be able to pray for them and do my part to shape them into who God’s called them to be. Each of their names ties to the promises and words God gave me for them. It has been wonderfully faith building to watch each of them become more and more what I sensed God say to me before they were even born!
See, God makes our kids and hand designs each of their lives with a unique purpose. Then He puts them in our lives and passes the baton of responsibility over to us. But He’s eagerly standing right beside us, longing to share secrets about our children with us! He’s just waiting for us to ask. Jeremiah 33:3 says “Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come.” And another promise in Matthew 7:9-11 says, “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! 11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.”
So when we do ask God about the plans He has for our children and we start to pray the things He shows us, our prayers will be powerful!
Matthew 21:22 “You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.”
How do we pray in a way that shows us God’s heart for our children?
The first step is THANKSGIVING: Psalm 100:4 says we “enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name.”
Praising God and worshiping Him does incredible things in the spiritual realm. It is a weapon which forces back the devil and brings us into God’s presence. The enemy doesn’t want us to be successful parents. He’s looking for every opportunity to tear us down. Doing an appreciation exercise, reflecting back on ways God has loved you, meditating on scripture and being thankful, all help us attune our hearts to God so that we can enter His courts.
Use statements like “Thank You that You are with me in this journey of parenting. I don’t know how You’re going to work everything out, but I know that You’re with me because Your word says You will never leave me nor forsake me. Thank You Lord that You have a purpose and a plan for each of my kids.”
The next step is STILLNESS
Finding that secret place of stillness with God is amazing because it is a place of protection. Psalm 61:4 says Let me live forever in your sanctuary, safe beneath the shelter of your wings! When we are under that covering of this protection the devil cannot reach us. Learning to be still opens a channel of communication between us and heaven. Ps 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God!
The point is not to rush into our own prayers and pray on our own strength but to stop and take the time to quiet ourselves so we are ready to listen. Listen to music, read your Bible or a devotional book, get rid of distractions, go for a walk, go for a drive, close your eyes and take deep breaths. Use this time to clarify the area that you want to pray about.
Then once your heart is quiet you can move into reflection, or LISTENING PRAYER
This is where we find out what to pray for our kids.
1 Jn 5:14-15 says “And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. 15 And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.”
This is saying that if we pray what pleases God, our prayers will get answered. So how do we know what pleases God?
Rom 8:26-27 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.
Rom 8:34 Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honour at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
These verses tell us that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are praying for us right now. All we have to do is ask what they are praying and then join in on those prayers. Jeremiah 33:3 says “Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come.”
When you pause to listen to what Jesus is praying for your children, think about the follow types of questions:
What is a life Scripture that unlocks ________________’s heart and will unlock their love for You?”
What is _______________ to You?
What is __________________’s special unique inheritance in You?”
What is a special hope-filled song or poem that You are praying over their lives.”
Show me a hope-filled picture for them for their future.
What spiritual gifts have you given them?
What personality or temperament have you given them?
What Bible character are they like?
What do they need from me to succeed and soar?
Write down whatever thoughts come to mind. Remember that God rarely “speaks” in audible words. Usually it’s more that He imparts wisdom thoughts through single words or short phrases, ideas, pictures, verses, impressions, words from songs, etc.
Finally, you can WRITE OUT A PRAYER
Once you have some initial thoughts write them out, review them, ask God to clarify them over a period of time. Take your prayer to your spouse, cell, other friends/family, and add their thoughts to your own. Watch specifically for things that come up more than once. Begin to formulate these words and thoughts into sentences and write out a prayer to God including all the things you sense Him saying to you about your child and who Christ sees them to be. As you are doing this you are continually asking God to help you refine your prayer and align it to His will.
Once it’s finished, you start to pray it. Repeat it. Everyday. Sing it. Share it. Keep bringing it to prayer to refine it. And then watch with excitement as God answers it!
This article was inspired by the following book:
Cooke, Graham. (2003). Crafted Prayer: The Joy of Always Getting Your Prayers Answered. Sovereign Word Ltd., England.