At some point, every parent reaches that place of realizing that we can’t control everything, and we can’t produce a lifetime of happy endings for our kids. But rather than throwing up our hands in defeat, a wise mom gets on her knees and seeks the wisdom and help of God: the one who created your child, and loves him even more than you do (it’s true!). Here are some specific ways you can pray for your child and Scripture references to help you.
We do what we can to give our children a steady diet of the truth, but at some point they must embrace a relationship with God on their own. (Luke 2:52 “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and all the people.” John 10:27 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”)
2. Pray for health.
It’s something that moms of healthy kids naturally take for granted, but that moms of kids with serious health challenges value above all else. (Psalm 103:2-3 “Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases…”)
3. Pray for friendships.
Good friends are an important part of your child’s social and emotional development, and can play a major role in shaping their views. (Proverbs 12:26 “The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.”)
4. Pray for a future.
Your little one may still be a part of the crayons-and-paste set now, but the years go by quickly and they’re suddenly out there making a life for themselves. Pray now for their preparation for what lies ahead and God’s blessing. (Jeremiah 29:11 “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”)
5. Pray for character.
A child with a strong sense of right and wrong will make better choices and be spared many of the potential sorrows of poorer ones. Pray that they will embrace a life of integrity and goodness, even in childhood. (1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”)
6. Pray for safety.
Even as they suffer playground bullies and struggle to ride a two-wheeler, asking for God’s hand of protection—physical, emotional and spiritual—over your child is always a good idea. (Psalm 4:8 “I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.” Proverbs 18:10 “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”)
7. Pray for joy and peace.
No amount of money or success will ever bring your child happiness unless they learn to be content in a variety of circumstances. Real joy is found in our perspective, rather than our situations. (Philippians 4:11 “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” 1 Timothy 6:6 “But godliness with contentment is great gain.”)
8. Pray for their desire for the things that matter.
It’s hard to articulate to younger children why the things of the world are fleeting, and that eternal things are those you can build a meaningful life around. Pray for God to show you how to live this idea daily in front of them and for them to be able to understand it. (Matthew 5:16 “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”)
9. Pray for purity.
For children, the battle for purity is largely a battle for their minds: keeping the multitude of negative influences and ideas that are shouted at them daily by the media at bay. Pray for God’s guidance and help in keeping your kids pure in thought and deed. (Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”)
10. Pray for their future spouses.
It may sound crazy to pray about something that’s twenty years in the future, but out there, somewhere, is another child who may one day bring all of their baggage, good and bad, into your child’s life. Pray for God to provide the right mate for your child, and that they would enjoy a healthy marriage rooted in a strong common faith. (James 5:16 “…Pray for each other…The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”)
We also have a printable version of this list that can be downloaded here.