What parents send their children off for the day without proper clothes, food and other supplies? All good parents ensure that their kids are physically cared for, but sending kids into the world without spiritual protection can be just as scary. Sadly, evil influences abound.
Prayer won't ensure that bad things won't ever happen; one of the purposes of life is to face opposition. But it will provide an extra cushion. We can be assured that God cares about our children and their well-being. We need only ask.
When Jesus arrived in Judea, he had multitudes of people trailing behind him (King James Version Matthew 19:13-15). He allowed the children to approach him and he prayed over them. If Jesus prayed for these children, doesn't that teach us that we should pray over our kids?
As parents, we can request specific blessings for our individual kids. Here is how to make praying for our children a daily ritual.
1. Set your alarm for five minutes earlier
Before leaving your bedroom in the morning, kneel down. You can even do this as you roll out of bed. Silently or out loud, humbly address God. This simple act of kneeling right out of bed will help you form a wonderful new habit.
2. Express your gratitude
Thank God for your blessings and include each of your children by name. Thank him for their health, intelligence, spunk and all the things you cherish about them. Gratefully thank him for allowing you to be their parent.
As you express gratitude, your love for your kids will increase. Even if your offspring currently exasperate you, praying for them will help you face them with composure and kindness.
3. Seek specific blessings
Ask God to bless your kids with their individual needs for that day. Ask that Nathan's mind will be clear as he takes his geometry test, that Marie will be more honest with you, that Claire will drive her car safely. Pray for your kids' success and protection for that day.
If you struggle with a child's behavior, pray for the strength and wisdom to deal with his issues. If your son is addicted to drugs, for example, ask that he will resolve to break his habit and that you'll be guided to help him.
4. Keep a prayer in your heart
Once you've left your bedside and begun your day, don't hang up the phone. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 counsels to "Pray without ceasing." In the quiet moments of your day, while driving, showering or sitting at a desk, communicate with heaven.
I constantly offer 10 second prayers on my kids' behalf. They do so much to worry me that I can't help myself. At the pool, I ask that my son's crazy dives won't result in a broken neck. As my daughter leaves to meet a friend, I pray that she'll be safe and make sound decisions.
5. Consult God about your kids' doings
I have a wise friend who taught me a valuable lesson. When her teenage daughter asks permission to go to a party, for example, sometimes she feels uneasy. So she excuses herself for a few minutes, heads to her bedroom, and seeks God's counsel. She asks specifically, "Dear God, should I allow my daughter to go to this party?" If she feels calm and peaceful, the answer is yes. But if her heart feels confused or anxious, she knows the party isn't a good idea.
Trust your feelings and have faith that God answers your prayers. Don't deny his communications with you; the feelings you receive are divine answers. Believe it or not, he loves your children even more than you do.