We all pray for our children. We want them to do well in school, or to get a good job, or to stay healthy. But their greatest need for prayer is their spiritual lives.
The longer I am a parent, the more I see the truth in the Apostle John’s words:
I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth. —3 John 4
If our children have a genuine walk with God, they will be better equipped to make wise choices throughout their lives. Our challenge, then, is how to pray for our children in this way.
When our daughters were only toddlers, Cathy and I participated an excellent parenting class that gave us a handout called: “How to Pray for Your Children.” We prayed through this list for years. In fact, as I read through each point today, I can remember specific instances in which God answered the prayers. He is still answering them.
I have edited the list and added some verses to it. I have also made a PDF you can download and print to keep in your Bible or prayer journal.
It’s never too late to begin praying for your children—and your grandchildren.
It is one of the greatest investments you will ever make into their lives.
How to Pray for Your Children and Grandchildren
Because there are 12 prayers in this list, you could concentrate on one prayer per month. Within a year you will have consistently prayed the entire list.
1. That they will know Christ as Savior early in life.
Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. —Romans 10:1
From infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. —2 Timothy 3:15
2. That they will have a hatred for sin.
Let those who love the LORD hate evil, for He guards the lives of His faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked. —Psalm 97:10
3. That they will be caught when guilty.
It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. —Psalm 119:71
4. That they will be protected from the evil one in each area of their lives: spiritual, physical, emotional, social.
And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. —Luke 2:52
My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. —John 17:15
5. That they will have a responsible attitude in all their interpersonal relationships.
Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. —Daniel 6:3
6. That they will respect those in authority over them.
Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. —Romans 13:1
7. That they will desire the right kind of friends and be protected from the wrong friends.
My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them. If they say, “Come along with us; let’s lie in wait for someone’s blood, let’s waylay some harmless soul.” —Proverbs 1:10-11
8. That they will be kept from the wrong mate and directed to the right one.
Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? —2 Corinthians 6:14
Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” —Genesis 2:18
9. That they, as well as the one they marry, will remain pure before and after marriage.
Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. —1 Corinthians 6:18-20
Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge. —Hebrews 13:4
10. That they will learn to submit completely to God and actively resist Satan in all circumstances.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. —James 4:7
11. That they will be single-hearted, willing to be sold out to Jesus Christ.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God –this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. —Romans 12:1-2
12. That they will be hedged in so they cannot find their way to wrong people or wrong places and that the wrong people cannot find their way to them.
Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes; I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way. —Hosea 2:6
You can download this list here.
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