Pray Without Ceasing
So basically, the first and foremost requirement for any parent would be to pray, without ceasing, for your children. I think the mistake we make is to fluff that suggestion off as being a spiritual rope that someone throws you when you are down in the pit. Too often, we think that prayer is great in theory but its not something we can grab onto when we are most desperate.
We think, “yeah, yeah, of course I’m going to pray, but tell me what to do!” I am here to tell you, pray first, pray constantly, and react secondly.
Not to say that I have got this down, by any means, but I’m trying. I remember when my oldest son was just an infant, no more than maybe four months old. I was chatting with our pastor’s wife at that time and in the course of our conversation she mentioned that she was already praying for her children’s future spouses. I remember thinking, “Oh my goodness, I never thought of that! I’m way behind!!!” And from that day on, more or less, I have been praying for each of my kids’ future spouses. What was really amazing is a song had become popular on Christian radio called, Somewhere In the World by Wayne Watson. It was his prayers for his son’s future bride. Since I was new to the whole concept, I borrowed some of his prayer requests and made them my own.
At that particular time, I assumed that my son’s spouse was also very young and my prayers were a bit generic. I prayed for her parents, her upbringing, her spiritual journey. I prayed that she would be loved and nutured. More specifically, however, I prayed that “Jesus would write His name on her little heart” and that she would, “hold onto Jesus”.
As time went on and I had more kids, I prayed more specifically for each of my kids’ individual spouses and what character traits I thought would be needed in each person. As my children have grown into adults I have refined my prayer requests to better suit their personalities and needs. It is actually kind of fun to pray for someone you have never met. You can pray with every confidence because your prayers are hopes for every good thing. Though you don’t know this person, he or she indeed exists and you are blessing them from afar; from some distant hope for the future. What a day it was when I was fortunate enough to pray over my future daughter-in-law at her bridal shower, mentioning that I had been praying for her since my son’s infancy and that she was more than I could ever have imagined! How faithful God was to answer my prayers of so many years and how truly awesome to see my requests come to fruition.
Of course, that is just one example of how we can be praying for our kids. Infact, that is actually praying for someone else’s kid! As a mom, you know your kids like no one else. You know their strengths and weaknesses and you should be praying about them. If you are overwhelmed with how to start, I suggest you just open the New Testament and look at the writings of Paul. His books are full of prayer requests that can be easily made into personal requests for any one of your loved ones. What I love about praying Paul’s prayers is that I force myself to memorize the particular verse. That way I can be pray without ceasing! If I have memorized a scriptural prayer, I can be praying while cooking, folding laundry, or driving.
Here is a list of Paul’s prayers listed topically:
And this is a comprehensive list of all of Paul’s prayers:
I really love praying scripture over my kids because scripture is always right. Jesus demonstrated how we should pray with The Lord’s Prayer and I feel like there is a scripture for just about any situation or concern. Another great resource is 31 Biblical Virtures to Pray for Your Kids.
It is also very helpful to keep a prayer journal. Back when my kids were toddlers and preschoolers I would write in my prayer journal about my desire for them to one day attend a private Christian school. We had no money for this and so I would write my prayers down in my journal asking God to provide the means for our children to receive a private Christian education. Years later, I was reading through my old journal. I had to laugh as I realized how God had faithfully answered my request. Here I was, now a seasoned Homeschool mom and had to acknowledge that my kids were now in the most private of Christian schools! Our own home!
Finally, I would be remiss, if I failed to mention the power of prayerful fasting. Fasting is one of my least favorite things to do. That is why I save it for when I am utterly and literally brought to my knees over a concern I have for one of my kids. But let me tell you, as my kids went off to college, I found myself fasting more and more often. At this point, some of my children are actually adults. A couple reside far from home and only God can aid in their particalur problems or decision making processes. Any advise as “mom” is no longer in play and it is all between God and them. However, I can still intercede in a powerful way and I save and rely on prayerful fasting for these very times.