Collin, my almost-three-year-old grandson, held up a purple stuffed hippo. “Gigi, he’s sad.”
“Why is Hippo sad, Collin?”
“He hurt his leg.”
“Oh, I’m so sorry,” I replied. “Maybe you could sing to him. Music helps me feel better when I’m sad.”
He looked at me, his big eyes wide and thoughtful, and nodded. Drawing Hippo close, he tucked him under his chin and began to sing, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”
Father, I prayed, blinking back tears, help this little boy to always know that Jesus loves him. Help him love your Word and never doubt it. Protect him from anyone who would lead him astray. Make him a mighty man of God for Your glory. Amen.
Now more than ever, parents, grandparents, family members, and friends bear the privilege and responsibility of praying for the children. It’s easy to become lazy or even negligent about praying for the children in our lives, so here are seven suggestions for how to pray over them:
1. Pray for God to open their hearts to believe as He did with Lydia in Acts 16:14. When I awaken in the middle of the night, I often pray the prayer pastor and teacher John Piper prayed over his children,
“Lord, even in their sleep, draw their hearts to You.”
2. Pray for God to use the witness of godly parents and grandparents to point them to Christ. Timothy, the pastor of the church at Ephesus, came to faith through the influence of his grandmother, Lois, and his mother, Eunice (2 Timothy 1:5). Godly influences of loving Christians make it easier for the next generation to follow Jesus.
Father, help me be ever mindful of my responsibility to point my children/grandchildren to Jesus. Give my daughter, son-in-law, and other believing parents wisdom to raise their children in the training and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4).
3. Pray for God to give them tender hearts toward spiritual things, and make them spiritually curious. I pray for my grands to love God’s Word (Psalm 19:10) and learn to recognize the voice of the Holy Spirit in their hearts.
God, make them tender hearted and sensitive to the voice of your Holy Spirit. Help them confess sin quickly and always desire to please You.
4. Pray God will surround them with believers. While parents and grandparents are the greatest spiritual influences, I pray for God to bring other Christians into my grandchildren’s lives. Friends, teachers, mentors, coaches, and Sunday school teachers can support and water the faith seeds we’re sowing into their lives.
Lord, surround my grandchildren with Christians who will love them in Jesus’ name.
5. Pray for God’s protection against Satan’s schemes and the world’s evil influence. Remember, our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, authorities, the powers of this dark world, and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12). The world’s anti-God philosophy, society’s pleasure-first mentality, and their own sin nature's attempt to lure our children away from what is good and right. Thankfully, God is greater (1 John 4:4).
Father, protect these children from the evil influences that surround them. Help them to never be deceived by Satan’s lies, the world’s schemes, or their own sinful desires.
6. Pray for God to place godly men and women in positions of authority in their lives. My husband was discipled by a Christian shop teacher after he came to faith in Christ during his senior year of high school. I benefited from the teaching and example of two Christian college professors. My grandchildren thrive in a Christian homeschool co-op where like-minded families work together to educate their children.
Lord, call godly men and women to be teachers, civil servants, coaches, and mentors. Give them the vision to be salt and light in dark places.
7. Pray for God to give them the courage to do what’s right. In an increasingly godless society, Christian kids are more likely to be challenged when they stand for biblical principles. It takes courage to say no when everyone is saying yes (Philippians 3:9). As Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego, three God-fearing youths, stood for what they believed, so our children can stand with the courage God provides.
Father, fill them with the courage to stand for truth and do what’s right, even when it costs them.
It’s easy for Christians to feel as though we’re sending our children out into the world defenseless. Thankfully, God provides us with a powerful weapon to fight for the physical and spiritual health of our children—the sword of prayer. If you believe this, then pick it up.
“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective,” James 5:16.
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