One of my favorite parts of parenting is our bedtime routine – the cuddles, reading a story and prayer time. I enjoy the simplicity of those prayers and the way I get to hear my children’s hearts, but I realize that my own prayers for my children need to go far beyond ‘God bless so and so.”
Why does praying for my children feel so intimidating? It is a tremendous responsibility in which far too often I falter. Many times I will spend the few minutes that I take to pray for them, simply saying the same things each day.
“Rise during the night and cry out. Pour out your hearts like water to the Lord. Lift up your hands to him in prayer, pleading for your children.” – Lamentations 2:11
I long to pray with that kind of fervor and passion, but how do I do that?
6 Ways to Help You Pray with Passion:
1) Ask Him First: Invite the Lord into the process and ask Him what you need to be praying for. Sounds too simple, but He knows our children even better than we do!
2) Pray for your “Whole” Child: Consider the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual elements of your child. Instead of just praying for your son to stay healthy, pray for his character and his heart. Think beyond just the circumstance that needs prayer to the root of the issue. Are you praying for your child to not cry when you drop him off at preschool? You could pray for him to have a courageous heart and to feel secure and confident in your love.
3) Write It Down – A prayer journal is a fantastic way to keep track of not only what you are praying, but also the ways God answers those prayers. This can serve as a fuel for your prayer life. It helps you stay focused and specific.
4) Make It Part of Your Schedule – If I put it on my calendar, I will do it. I’m learning this is also true of prayer in general. We have apps for everything from counting how many steps we take each day to keeping track of how many ounces of water we drink; and there are also apps for reminding us to pray. Echo is a free app that enables you to keep track of your prayers and also set reminders to pray. There are other similar apps available, just pick one and get started!
5) Pray Scripture – The Bible is living and active and just full of prayers ready to voice. When a verse jumps out to you personalize it for your child and pray it. The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie O’Martian is a great resource that models praying Scripture.
6) Let Your Child Know – As you begin to pray this way privately, it will certainly impact the way you pray for your child out loud. What a gift for your child to hear you praying with passion for them. Let them know some of the things you are asking God in faith for them. This will model a vibrant prayer life and deepen their faith at the same time.
Praying with passion for your children, both your own and those in your children’s ministry, takes intentional time and effort but has potential to create lasting impact in not only their lives but yours as well.
What step can you take this week to pray for your children with consistency and passion?