Then Manoah prayed to the LORD and said, “O Lord, please let the man of God whom you sent come again to us and teach us what we are to do with the child who will be born.” ESV Judges 13:8
I’ve always prayed for my kids I guess. Obviously when I’m desperate (like when they won’t go to sleep at night, or have been crying for an hour). I pray they don’t get in trouble at school and church (mostly because that reflects badly on me). Over the years, however, I’ve been increasingly burdened that I’m not praying for them enough. If I really believe in an all-powerful God who wants to shape and influence my children, why am I not taking full advantage of His power through constantly entreating Him on behalf of my kids?
By God’s grace, my prayer life changed a few years ago. I now pray for my children several times a day. First is morning prayer. Usually this is on my run or after my Bible reading. It’s a short prayer, just lifting their names before the Father. The second prayer for my family is my mid-day prayer. I’m blessed to pastor a wonderful congregation, and part of my job description calls me to be devoted to prayer. Hence, each day (usually around the middle of the day) when I pray for each church member, I pray for my family as well. At night, two of our kids have taken to coming to me for an evening blessing before bed. It’s usually just a sentence or two, but it’s spoken aloud as I hug them and bless them in Jesus’ name. Finally, before bed, I visit each child in their room and pray over them while they sleep. Sometimes I kneel briefly and just beg God to draw their hearts close to Him.
Most of my prayers are only a few seconds, but it’s not the length that count. My children’s names have been taken before almighty God in the name of His Son Jesus. I commit them to Him and entrust Him to their care. I share this about my prayer life not as the example to follow, but merely to give you some ideas of how to pray for your kids. To modify a quote from Truett Cathy: “Prayer is essential to life. Therefore make it good.”