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Ten Ways to Pray for Your Children

By Dr. Don Dunlap
Pastoral Counselor
Wise parents do not attempt to raise children without praying for them regularly and specifically.


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Despite our best efforts, we sometimes make a mess of the parenting process. In the tenth article of an eleven part series on parenting, Dr. Don Dunlap explains that prayer is the most important parenting technique we will ever employ. He suggests the first 5 of 10 ways to pray specifically for our children as we seek to raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Parents are charged with the solemn responsibility of raising their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. A vital part of that task includes praying for your children.

God promises us in Romans 10:11,

Everyone who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.

 

Because parents know their children better than anyone else does, they are the most likely candidates to pray for spiritual needs in their children’s lives.

 

Children are encouraged and comforted to know that their parents pray for them regularly. When children misbehave, their parents should administer appropriate discipline, and then pray earnestly that God will convict their children’s hearts of their sinfulness. If a child demonstrates a sour attitude, the parent should not fail to firmly address the problem, and then petition God to change the child’s heart.

 

Parents should understand that God, alone, is able to change hearts. When parents neglect the ingredient of prayer, they rob themselves of the most powerful parenting tool available to them. They may, of course, achieve behavioral results, but they should never forget that God is interested in heart submission, as well as external obedience.

 

I suggest that parents consistently pray for their children in the following ten areas:

1.     Ask God to lead your child to hate what is evil and cling to what is good, according to Romans 10:9.

Seize opportunities to teach your child to develop a keen sense of what is right and wrong. Pray that God will protect your child’s mind from the deceptions of secular humanism, situational ethics, where each person decides for himself or herself what is right and wrong. Challenge your children to go to God’s Word as their ultimate authority throughout their lives.

2.      Ask God to confirm in your child’s heart a strong sense of belonging, both to his or her earthly family, and to the Family of God, according to Colossians 3:12-14.

Be certain that your child grows up in a church that honors God’s Word supremely. He or she should experience the “perfect bond of unity” that this passage in Colossians refers to.

    3.  Pray that your child will have a grateful spirit.

Teach your child to give thanks in every situation. Lead your child to understand the truth of Romans 8:28, that “God works all things together for good for those who love God.” Then he or she can find a reason to praise God for everything that happens in his or her life.

4.      Pray that your child will come to know Jesus Christ as his or her Savior, early in life, and that he or she will grow up to be a great man or woman of God.

Jesus says, in Matthew 19:14, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Children are never too young to hear the glorious gospel message.

5.     Ask God to protect your child from Satan, and to deliver him or her from any weaknesses, such as lying or selfishness.

The Psalmist prays, in Psalm 120:2,

 Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips.

Our children fight a three-fold battle against the temptation of their sinful hearts, the world’s enticement, and Satan’s desire to devour them. Every parent should regularly pray the prayer found in John 17:15, “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one.”

 




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