“The effective prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16)
“A young single preacher took his first part-time church while he was going to seminary. He preached a message one Sunday called, “10 Facts on How to Raise Perfect Children.” A few years later, he got married and they had their first child. He pulled out the old sermon to preach it again, but decided to title it, “10 Suggestions on How to Raise Healthy Children.”
After the second child was born a couple of years later, it was time to preach it again. This time he titled it, “10 Possibilities for Parenting Children.” Well, the third child came. This time he revised the whole thing and called it “10 Prayers for Parents.” Several years later when they became teenagers, he burned the message and wrote a new one simply titled, “Help Me Jesus.” By no stretch of the imagination is parenting an easy job.
While we cannot hide our children away from the world, we can guard them and shield them as we pray. You and I must pray for our children. We must intercede for our children, praying for wisdom, protection, peace, and strength. This fall all three of my sons will be college students: Josh in pharmacy school, Jordan studying architecture, and Andrew learning the field of mechanics. They will always need their parents praying over their lives.
Pastor Mark Batterson says, “If you determine to circle your children in prayer, you will shape their destinies … your prayers will live on in their lives long after you die.” In fact, it brings me great comfort to know that Jesus hears our prayers and intercedes on our behalf before God. So, let me pass on to you a wonderful prayer guide for parents as you pray over your children.
Specific Things to Pray for your Children
By John Piper
1. That Jesus will call them and no one will hinder them from coming.
“Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.’ And he laid his hands on them and went away.” (Matthew 19:13–15)
2. That they will respond in faith to Jesus’ faithful, persistent call. “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
3. That they will experience sanctification through the transforming work of the Holy Spirit and will increasingly desire to fulfill the greatest commandments. And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)
4. That they will not be unequally yoked in intimate relationships, especially marriage. “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14)
5. That their thoughts will be pure. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
6. That their hearts will be stirred to give generously to the Lord’s work. “All the men and women, the people of Israel, whose heart moved them to bring anything for the work that the Lord had commanded by Moses to be done, brought it as a freewill offering to the Lord.” (Exodus 35:29)
7. That when the time is right, they will GO! “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)