If I asked, “Do you think you pray enough for your kids?”, my guess is you’d say no. Or maybe you’d say you don’t feel very good at praying for them.
Maybe your best shot is, “Thank you, Jesus, that I didn’t kill them today. Again.”
When it comes to prayer, a little structure can be super helpful. One of my favorite ways to pray for my children, and now my grandchildren, is to pray the Scriptures over them.
Here’s one idea: the book of Proverbs has 31 chapters, one for each day of the month. Read a chapter a day, and then choose one or more verses and personalize them as a prayer for your child.
I’m reading through Proverbs this month and praying them over my four grandchildren.
Since it’s early in the month, I’m just finishing the section written in big topical chunks, as opposed to the rest of the book, which is a collection of stand-alone maxims.
Principles abound throughout the book.
Here’s one example of a passage to personalize:
“Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” — Proverbs 9: 9-10
I pray that Reu, Avi, Cai and Lainey will grow to be wise and learn to love correction. I pray they would embrace instruction as a gift, and walk in the fear of the Lord all their days.
Another way to pray Scripture over your children is by praying what the apostles prayed over the church. (How can you go wrong, praying the Spirit-inspired, canonized prayers of Paul and Peter?)
Pray that your children know the love of Christ:
(I pray) that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. — Ephesians 3:17-19
Pray for their love to overflow with insight so they can live holy lives:
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. –Philippians 1: 9-11
Pray for them to know God’s will:
…asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. — Colossians 1:9-12
These prayers may sound lofty and abstract, but the more you get in the habit of praying them, the more spiritual insight you’ll receive about what God wants to accomplish in your child’s life.
Such prayers help you gain an eternal perspective, taking you far beyond simply praying for your child’s protection or success. They’ll help you partner with God in his plan to transform your son or daughter to be more and more like Jesus.
Keep your eyes open during your daily Bible reading, too. You may run across a Bible character or Scriptural principle that directly applies to something your child is facing.
Pray that your daughter will be as bold a leader as Deborah. Pray that your son will love to worship like David did. Pray that your children have faith like Abraham.
Weaving together time in the Word with prayer leads to powerful and effective results.
What passage sounds like a good place to start?