8 WAYS TO PRAY FOR YOUR CHILDREN & TEENAGERS
Parents often ask, “How do I pray for my student?” Ministry to Parents asked Elisabeth Lee, Content Director of M2P, to share prayers based on Scripture to help parents get started in praying for their child. She included a few On-The-Go ideas for parents always in the car. We hope you enjoy 8 Ways to Pray for Your Children & Teenagers.
From the first soccer game to the first post on Instagram, children inundate the thought life of parents. How did the test go? Was she able to speak to the teacher? Did she work it out with her friend? Who will he ask to the dance? Will she get invited to the prom? Where will he go to college? Will she ever learn to tie her shoe?
I confess that sometimes my parental musings are not always filled with hope, but rather worry and fear. I can let the thoughts run rampant, and, on those days, anxiety is overwhelming. By the time my teenager steps into the car after school, I am geared up and ready to play Twenty Questions. Of course, this game is without my son’s consent. We pull into our home, and he hops out of the truck so fast one would think it is on fire.
One of my future parenting goals is to have a healthy, mature, peer-to-peer relationship with each of my sons. When I spend the day tossing worry and fear around like a salad, I am unable to achieve these aspirations, so I created a way to turn thoughts into assets rather than liabilities.
If you have ever worried about your kids, you are not alone. Worry seems to come with the job description of Parent. This struggle is why I share 8 ways to pray for your children and teenagers. Use this guide and watch yourself replace worry with confidence. Your foundation of parenting will evolve into parenting from a place of love rather than a place of fear.
Lord, May My Child/Teen Thrive In:
Thank you, LORD, for giving me (Insert Name Here). You gave them to me as an inheritance, and they are a special gift (Psalm 127:3).
You love my children and are their Shepherd. Please comfort them as a kind Shepherd would to His sheep.
Settle their souls by meeting all their needs today (Psalm 23:1-2).
Encourage my heart that I may believe they will not fear the darkest of evils because your Comforting Presence is so real to them (Psalm 23:4).
Jesus, I ask that you dispatch angels to stand guard around them. Consecrate the ground they walk on with your Holiness.
Silence the voices of your enemy, so my children and teens may see, hear, and know your love (Ephesians 3:19).
Keep your enemy far from them (Luke 10:19-20/John 17:15).
As they fall short of your Standard with their fleshly desires, Jesus, be their Advocate and Helper and Lawyer in the Spirit world.
Thank you for appeasing any wrath and bringing reconciliation for them (I John 2:1-2).
Thank you for not condemning them but offering them kindness and mercy (Romans 2:4).
Remind them and myself of this truth when others choose to judge or condemn them.
You made them, and they are your idea. I did nothing to bring them forth. You creatively pieced them together during the womb and never made a mistake (Psalm 139:15).
Open their eyes, ears, mind, and heart to uncover their God-given uniqueness. Silence the beating drum of culture and the pretense of social media so they may receive the words of encouragement from you and me.
Help them embrace the way you made them and help them to be kind to themselves. Help them avoid the deathly traps of comparison but rather take responsibility for doing the creative best with their own life (Galatians 6:4).
Would you grow them to be children and teens of character? Guide, nurture and parent me so I may teach them about responsibility, limits, and grit (Romans 5:2-4).
Help me, Father, learn how to create an environment that fosters character.
Would you grant them adults and peers along the way who strive for these values also? May the presence of hard times and trials be a call to bravery rather than defeat.
6. YOUR WORD
Holy Spirit, as they hear you speak, may your Word fall upon a soft and nurtured heart ready to receive your Word. Keep your enemy at bay and in silence to keep them from stealing the Seed.
Keep temptations away, so the Seed has time to grow strong. Weed out the thorns of worry, so the Seed has space to mature (Luke 8:11-15).
May the fruit be bountiful.
Thank you for being a treasure living inside of them. Open their eyes to see and heart to understand that you are their single source of power. Remind me today that:
- In affliction, they will not be crushed
- As they are perplexed, they do not have to despair
- During persecution for being a follower of Christ, they will not be abandoned by you
- When life strikes them down, they will not be destroyed
Jesus, you live in them; therefore, you meet all trials with your Comforting Presence, Power, and the miracle of Restoration (2 Corinthians 4:7-9, 12: 9-10, Romans 8:28).
Lord, thank you for the spiritual groundwork you are laying in our family. You fight for us (Exodus 14:14). If there are any spiritual strongholds, we and the past generations have knowingly or unknowingly allowed in, expose them, so it ends with us (Exodus 20:5).
May truth and grace be declared over the unbelief. Thank you for gifting us your powerful weapons so we can offer a spiritual inheritance to our children and their children (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
For from you and through you and to you are all things (Romans 11:36).
As for me and my house, we will choose to follow you (Joshua 24:15).
Too tired to pray?
There are moments when anxiety riddles me paralyzed as a parent, and I no longer make the wisest decisions, much less have the comprehension to pray these words I have shared above.
In those moments, I follow the example of a dad whose son has been so sick he is beyond exhausted. When the possibility of hope shimmered before him, he uttered with a cry, “I do believe; help my unbelief” (Mark 9: 24).
There are days when I SO GET HIM.
Sometimes the dark is so dark that the possibility of light (hope) hurts. If there are days, weeks, or perhaps years where worry for your kids has left you unable to think or pray clearly, then utter these simple words from your heart:
Oh, LORD. I do believe. Help my unbelief.
CREATIVE IDEAS FOR ON-THE-GO
- Take a few keywords from one of the prayers. Write them on the back of a small business-like card along with your child or teenager’s name. Place it in your wallet near your bank card. As you use your card throughout the week, the card can recall a time to pray those words.
- Grab some other parents/couples/friends and schedule a date to a local Pottery Place. Take a few keywords from one of the prayers. Decorate an item such as a coffee mug or coaster with one word from the prayer and your kids’ name. As you work or run errands, you will recall what to pray.
- My personal favorite: the Word Swag App. Take a picture of your child or teen, or use an old image as a background, and place a keyword. Make this design the wallpaper for your phone.
Elisabeth Lee is the Content Director for Ministry to Parents with more than twenty-four years of ministry experience, including student ministry, women’s ministry, and speaking for Bible study conferences. She enjoys SEC football, espresso, and artisan papers. Her heart and home are husband Jeremy, two sons, and a bearded dragon. You can contact Elisabeth at www.ministrytoparents.com.
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