What are effective ways to pray for our children at any age?

This week, my dear friend, author and blogger Lois Flowers, shares great wisdom on how to pray for our children intentionally. Please welcome Lois!

My parents prayed for their children—faithfully and consistently—throughout their sixty years of marriage. In fact, I used to joke that if I ever wanted to know what was going on in the lives of my six siblings, all I had to do was drop by my parents’ house when they were doing their devotions together and pretend to be a fly on the wall. 

My mom and dad have been gone for more than four years. I don’t believe specific prayers have expiration dates, but I do miss knowing that they are praying for me and my family now.

These days, I’m the one lifting my own children before the throne of heaven, and how could I not? I’ve seen the impact of a praying parent in my own life and the lives of my siblings, so it’s my joy and privilege to carry this on for my own family.

It’s not always easy. It takes perseverance, intentionality, and—most importantly for me and perhaps for you—a plan that is easy to follow and not too overwhelming.

I realized this about ten years ago, when my daughters were eleven and eight. Although I had prayed for them regularly over the years, I sensed a strong need to be more focused and strategic as they began to navigate their pre-teen and teen years. 

How I developed a prayer plan

I had been using Stormie Omartian’s wonderful book The Power of a Praying Parent as a devotional of sorts, reading one of the thirty topical chapters every day and personalizing the prayers at the end of each one. 

This was a lot of material to cover, so I eventually went through the entire book, pulling specific requests from each chapter to form a daily list of my own. I printed out the prayer guide and have used it ever since.

A few items don’t apply anymore. My older daughter doesn’t need me to pray that she’ll have a teachable spirit regarding math, for example. 

But as I look at specific requests under topics ranging from “Being the Person God Created” and “Feeling Loved and Accepted” to “Living Free of Unforgiveness” and “Growing in Faith,” I’m amazed at how relevant they still are for my now-young-adult daughters.

My way of praying for my children is not the only way, of course. The point is to pray for our children—intentionally and consistently—so long as we have breath in our lungs (or strength in your fingers if you prefer to write or type your prayers). 

5 Truths that Help Us Pray for Our Children Intentionally—The point is to pray for our children—intentionally and consistently—so long as we have breath in our lungs #tellhisstory #prayforourchildren #livingintentional Click To Tweet

As I think about what I’ve learned from a decade of praying for my girls, a few thoughts come to mind that might encourage you, no matter how old your children are and what prayer strategy works best for you.

Father and daughter standing near an exhibit at a zoo, holding hands. A reminder of how when we pray for our children, we grow closer with them.
5 Truths that Help Us Pray for Our Children Intentionally 3

Perspectives when we pray for our children

I’ll begin with a message for mothers, specifically. 

Never, ever underestimate the difference that you can make when you pray for your children yourself

 It’s wonderful if you can pray for your kids with your spouse or perhaps a group of other praying mothers. But as individual moms, we often have a sense of what our children need, what they are struggling with and what they can become that others don’t always have. 

Although we might not pray about every tiny detail about their lives, every single day, no need is too small to cover in prayer.

5 Truths that Help Us Pray for Our Children Intentionally—Never, ever underestimate the difference that you can make when you pray for your children yourself #tellhisstory #prayingparent #intentionaliving Click To Tweet

The older our children get, the more critical it is that we pray for them intentionally

 I’m sharing fewer spoken words with my girls now that they are both in college, but I’m talking to God about them more than ever

The world seems to be getting darker and crazier with every passing day, and if we want our children to survive and thrive out there, the best thing we can do is pray for them.

God knows what our children need to become who He designed them to be

 This often includes allowing them to experience hardships that we might prefer to “pray away.” 

We can see from our own life stories that it’s usually the hard times that build our character, teach us important lessons, and grow our faith. We can expect the same for our children, even as we ask God to shield them or rescue them from their struggles.

Tell your children how you are praying for them . . .

especially when you can show them how those prayers have been answered. For example, I have long prayed that hidden things will come to light and that people who aren’t good for my girls will disappear from their lives. 

God has answered both prayers in powerful ways, and while I sometimes keep this to myself, I also haven’t been shy about pointing this out to my daughters when it seems appropriate.

Don’t give up

 We’ve all heard stories about moms and dads who prayed for their kids for decades before seeing any tangible results. I watched this happen with my own parents, and—to a lesser degree—I’ve seen it happen in my own prayer life.

Conclusion

There’s no instant gratification when it comes to praying for our kids. We are grateful for answers when they come, but we’re in it for the long haul. So, to borrow some words from the Apostle Paul, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9 NIV)

What about you? What approaches can you offer for when we pray for our children? How has God answered specific requests after many years of praying, or are you currently in a season of long-haul prayer?

Come share your story at the Tell His Story linkup. Connect and be encouraged by like-minded friends! #tellhisstory #linkup Click To Tweet

Each week we gather here as storytellers, word weavers, and encouragers to make His name known. Our story is God’s story and this small corner of the blogging world, where we come together each Tuesday, needs you. This is a place where poetry, snapshots, prayers, and stories find a safe spot to nod in agreement that what we have to say matters. I am glad you are here and would love to have you join the #TellHisStory community. Add your own encouraging post through the link below. Spread some love by visiting your neighbor and leaving your own encouragement. Click here to read more about the #TellHisStory community and find a button to add to your site.

Each week we gather here as storytellers, word weavers, and encouragers to make His name known. Our story is God’s story and this small corner of the blogging world, where we come together each Tuesday, needs you. This is a place where poetry, snapshots, prayers, and stories find a safe spot to nod in agreement that what we have to say matters. I am glad you are here and would love to have you join the #TellHisStory community. Add your own encouraging post through the link below. Spread some love by visiting your neighbor and leaving your own encouragement. Click here to read more about the #TellHisStory community and find a button to add to your site.

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