Parenting is no small task. The privilege and responsibility to train up our children in the ways of the Lord is something that requires our devotion, sacrifice, and intentionality. But God is the One who has called us to this role, and He will give us the grace we need for the journey.
Parenting is multi-faceted in nature and demands our time and attention. It involves patient instruction, healthy discipline, consistent connection, leading by example, and other components. When we parent as unto the Lord, it becomes a form of worship to Him.
One key ingredient that we must not neglect is the necessity of praying regularly for our children. Not only do our kids need our time, attention, and instruction, they desperately need our intercession. Righteous Job gives us a great example of interceding for our children:
And his sons would go and feast in their houses, each on his appointed day, and would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did regularly. (Job 1:4-5)
The apostle Paul prayed for his spiritual son, Timothy, on a regular basis: “…without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day.” (2 Timothy 1:3). He carried a burden of prayer for his spiritual children, and we must carry a burden of prayer for our children as well.
I am so grateful that I have parents who have prayed for me from my childhood, and continue to pray for me to this day. Only in eternity will I fully realize the impact that their prayers have had on my life.
Interceding for our kids is both a great privilege and great responsibility. E.M. Bounds, the 19th century preacher and prolific writer on prayer, had this to say about the importance of praying for our children:
“God shapes the world by prayer…the man of many and acceptable prayers has done the truest and greatest service to the incoming generation. The prayers of God’s saints strengthen the unborn generation against the desolating waves of sin and evil. Woe to the generation of sons who find their censors empty of the rich incense of prayer; whose fathers have been too busy or too unbelieving to pray, and perils inexpressible and consequences untold are their unhappy heritage. Fortunate are they whose fathers and mothers have left them a wealthy patrimony of prayer.”
I want to encourage you to be very intentional in your intercession for your kids. Set aside the time to daily pray for them. This is not an area that we can afford to slack in! While we may not always see the fruit instantly, our prayers are more important than we realize.
Some of the ways that you can pray for your children are:
There are many ways that we can intercede for our kids. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you unique strategies in prayer for your children. He is more than faithful to help us.
No matter what else we do in our parenting, let’s not forget this foundational key. Pray for your children. Pray for them regularly. Don’t stop praying, even when you can’t yet see the fruit of your prayers. God is a God who hears prayer. Let’s bring our children to the throne of grace in prayer regularly!