Do we pray for our children? I’m sure we do. But what do we pray for them? Do we pray that they do well in school because we worry about their performance? Do we lift our concerns to God that our kids be ‘good kids’? We can’t help but worry about them. Don’t we, Moms?
Don’t Worry, Pray for our Children
Philippians 4:6 comes to mind, which says,
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
First of all, Paul tells us to pray about everything… as in everything! We don’t just pray that our kids do well in school or be good people, but pray for every aspect of their lives. The basis for this blog post is Luke 2:52, which describes Jesus as an adult.
“Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.”
How did He become the man who the world came to know? I am sure Jesus’s parents prayed for him a lot because they knew the task that was set before him. His parents prayed that Jesus develops physically, mentally, spiritually, and socially. Likewise, we need to pray for these for our children.
How do we pray for our children’s physical growth? First, it is important to remember what the Bible says that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19) What we do with our bodies is our way of worshipping our Father.
Jesus grew up in Nazareth, a small town in Galilee, which is a hill country. He probably walked up and down that hill daily. His physical strength was developed because of their geographical location. Added to this was his work as a carpenter. They also lived near the Sea of Galilee so fish was probably a staple food in their home as he was growing up.
We pray that our children develop their bodies physically either through sports or any regular activity. How do we do that? How do we take them off their gadgets? It has to start with us. We have to model engaging in physical activity with them.
Though it may take a while and some hesitation on their part, but be patient. They will learn to adapt eventually. My kids are not into sports especially our eldest child. Recently, because he has seen me walking and exercising the dog every morning, he too got involved. He took the initiative to walk the dog when we were out without being told. He does this on a regular basis now.
We also help them make good food choices. Not that chips, chocolates, and ice cream are off the table. As we serve them healthy and balanced food every day, they learn to enjoy these healthy staples. Let us make sure that we are serving them freshly prepared meals. Of course, Moms have days when we don’t want to cook. We’d rather have food delivered or open a can of corned beef or meatloaf. That’s totally fine! As long as this doesn’t happen all the time.
What is so fascinating about Jesus was He always knew what he was talking about. Like any Jew during his time, He knew by heart the Old Testament. That is why He could answer any question thrown at him. Jesus remained unfazed by their trick questions.
At this stage in the lives of our children, they are forming their own sets of values and beliefs. Of course, they get those from us but the world can also influence them. We cannot shield them from any evil of this world.
Let us pray that our children embrace Romans 12:2 which says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
How will they renew their minds? How will they be able to discern? Having deep conversations with our kids will allow us to get to know them well. We ask open-ended questions, more whys, and hows. We share the wisdom that comes from the Bible and not from the world. Preaching down on them doesn’t work nor does ramming verses down their throats won’t. We are their living Bible. Do we live what we say?
We pray that our kids be wise to reject beliefs and ideas that contradict God’s Word. It is our goal as parents to raise independent and analytical thinkers. Let us pray that they be not too proud to the point of being disrespectful, arrogant, and judgmental.
Relating to God
Jesus often withdrew from his disciples or the crowd to talk to God. He never neglected to spend time communing with this Father. Jesus knew his priorities. His priority was listening to God.
What do our children see in us? Do they see us reading the Bible or praying silently? Do they know that we prioritize God above them or even about our husbands?
Our kids know that we are not perfect parents. They don’t expect us to be. Our children want us to be authentic. They need models who will teach them not only about life in general. But they need spiritual mentors who will disciple them well.
Let us pray that our children develop not only a curiosity for God but a hunger to know who God is. May this hunger lead them to have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
Relating with Others
Jesus had his disciples as his inner circle. He was with them all the time. But He also had people who hated him and wanted to get rid of him. He did not treat his “enemies” what they deserved. In fact, he teaches us to love our enemies.
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. Matthew 5:44-45
Let us pray that despite the threat of losing face to face contact, our children will remain grounded in the real world. That they know how to choose friends who will influence them for good. May they learn loyalty and love as well as extend kindness and compassion to others who are difficult to get along with.
Bottomline is our kids receive both inspiration and discouragement from us parents. The way we live our lives affect them. We set the tone for how they will live as adults. Yes, we need to pray for our children, but we need to pray that the Lord will help us better people first so we can affect these changes in the lives of our children. Again, don’t worry, but pray about everything.