Do you pray for your kids?
Probably most everyone reading this blog would answer with an emphatic “yes!” If so, the more important question is HOW do you pray for your kids.
Not long ago, while prepping to talk about this topic with a group of parents, the Lord convicted me about my intercession for my own two children. I realized most of my prayers for them sounded like this:
“Lord, help them stay healthy.”
“Father, be with her at the job interview.”
“Jesus, please help him pass this course.”
And my most-oft used phrase: “Please keep them safe.”
Now, don’t misunderstand me; there’s nothing wrong with these prayers. After all, my precious eight-year-old daughter lives in a big city all by herself. (Well, actually she’s twenty-eight; but, in my mind she’ll always be eight. You dads of daughters understand.) So praying for her and my son to be safe and well and happy is important. But what the Holy Spirit wanted me to see was that most of my prayers for my kids dealt with temporal things. I had to refocus. My praying had to shift from focusing primarily on things of earth to things of heaven.
Here’s my challenge to us dads: the prayers for our kids must move beyond the limits of this life. We must pray for them with eternity in mind.
How about we pray some of these things:
- that they be bold witnesses for Christ;
- that they be strong contenders for the faith;
- that they develop and exhibit godly character;
- that they be expanders of God’s kingdom;
- that they be obedient to Christ above all things.
Of course, all of this needs to be done in context. How you pray for your nine-year-old son to be a bold witness will be different than when he’s nineteen or twenty-nine. Still, that kind of praying makes God’s purpose for your child the priority. You might think that this kind of praying is risky. Dangerous. God might call your child to Africa, or some place else that’s — come on, let’s say it — not safe. Yep. He might. But that’s not up to you. And we both know that the safest place for our children to be is wherever the Father wants them to be. He goes before them, comes behind them, hems them in. And we must trust He will carry to completion what He has called them to.
So when it comes to your kids, pray more open-handedly. Don’t hold them so tightly. You must remember they’re not really yours anyway. You’re just a steward of these precious gifts God has given you.
I want my kids to get good jobs, marry godly spouses, and be physically safe. After all, somebody’s got to be here to take care of me when I’m old. But more than that, I want my kids to be warriors for the kingdom. I want their lives to have spiritual impact on countless generations—all the way into eternity. I don’t just want that. I’m praying for it.