Do you pray for your kids?
Those of you who are parents, do you find yourself praying for your kids? In my world, prayer and children really go hand in hand. No one told us when we became parents how hard it was going to be, right? Wow. Parenthood it the biggest blessing on the planet, but it is also one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. So afraid of doing it wrong or screwing my children up or doing something that would hurt them in the long run… I know for me, I lean on God all the time to ask if I’m doing this right, or that right.
One of the things I wanted to talk about today is, do you pray FOR them? I want to talk about the difference between praying for your children and praying WITH your children. When I sit and pray for my children, I pray for them in all aspects of their life. My boys are 8 and 6 years old and I am already praying for their spouse. I know that may sound a little crazy to some of you, but I pray for their spouse because I pray that they find a woman who will love them for exactly who they are, who will compliment their personality, who will love them in return, who can support them and lift them up and make their life even better. I want her to be Godly and have faith, and I want her to be kind and strong, and I want her to appreciate him exactly as he is, the good, the bad and the ugly. We all know it’s hard. Love can be hard and it’s sometimes difficult to accept people for all that they are. That’s one of the things I sit and pray for daily when I pray for my kids.
I also pray for their lives. I pray for the dreams that they have, the skills that they have, and the ambitions they have. Their character. Oh my gosh, I pray for their character! There is so much peer pressure in the world and so many ways to get sucked into making bad decisions. My 6-year-old struggles with this already because he likes everyone! He wants everyone to like him. Sometimes he’ll make the incorrect decision because he wants to fit in and he doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. We’re trying to teach him now how important it is to stand on his own two feet and stand his ground. We’re trying to teach him that when he knows something is wrong, he should be comfortable saying, “No, I’m not going to do that with you.”
There are going to be so many things that happen in their lives that I’m not going to be there for. During the day, I’m separate from them most of the time. I pray that they know that God is with them every single second, walking with them every single step they take. I pray they know that they are never alone. I want them to know that no matter what emotion they may be experiencing, whether it be sad or frustrated or happy, they can celebrate that moment with God if we’re not there.
I pray that they have a guarded heart. Not that I don’t want them to love everyone and let everyone in, but I worry about them being taken advantage of. Because they are so caring and sensitive and loving, I worry that they could be taken advantage of at some point down the road. I pray for them to be able to guard their hearts just enough to know when people are genuine and when they’re not. I could go on and on all day about the things I pray for when it comes to my children.
The other aspect of children and prayer that I wanted to touch on today is- do you pray WITH them? We have always prayed with our kids from the day they were born, basically. We always pray with them before they go to bed at night? My children have known the Lord’s Prayer their whole lives. When we pray with them, we also pray for our family. We have the same list and we go down the list each night praying for our immediate family and grandmas and aunts and uncles and cousins, and everyone really.
We always pray before dinner when we eat as a family, but we don’t always pray before breakfast and lunch. Obviously, we’re not together for lunch most of the time, but that’s something I want to improve on. We need to give thanks for every single meal that we have. At dinner though, our kids know that we’re going to pray and they’ll often get excited about it before dinner, asking who will get to say the prayer that night. They’re excited to pray. They’re excited to bow their heads and thank God for their food and for their family and the time that we have together. That warms my heart.
The other thing I’ve started doing just this week, is to grab my boys one at a time before they leave for school, wrap my arms around them and say a prayer for each of them, out loud, before they leave. I pray that they have a great day, that they be a good friend, that they be a great learner. I wanted to let them know that mommy and daddy love them and that they’re going to have a wonderful day. I want to make sure that I pray for each of them separately. I think there’s just something about that to let them know that I have separate but equal prayers for each of them as they go through their day.
A few days ago we were at my youngest son’s baseball game and after the game, the coach asked all of the boys if anyone wanted to say the prayer. My 6-year-old, jumped up and volunteered and there he sat with the whole team, parents all around, and just said the sweetest little prayer about the game and the beautiful day. I was so proud. And I was so happy that praying with his team brought him comfort.
So, what does all this mean? The reason children and prayer go hand in hand is because I want my kids to know that they’re never alone and that they can always lean on God and Jesus because they’re always with them. I believe it’s my responsibility as a mom to expose them to different circumstances for prayer, to different ways to pray. I want them to know that there’s not a right or wrong time to pray- God is there any time you want to talk to him.
Honestly, I couldn’t get through this parenting thing without prayer. There are some days that it’s all I can do to make sure that I’m making the right decisions and keeping my patience (which I don’t always succeed at), and to have a better perspective, a bigger perspective. Prayer is a tool I use to help give me that bigger perspective and help me get through whatever we’re dealing with. Isn’t it funny how you get over one hurdle and then there’s another one right in your path. That’s just the cycle of life.
I hope this helps you a little bit with your own kids if you’re a parent. Are there other things you do with your kiddos? If so, I would LOVE to hear about them. Please comment below and let me know. I’d love to know more about ways you integrate prayer into your children’s lives and the results that have come from that. I think it’s super, super awesome to see how other families use prayer in their households.
Each morning when your kids are about to get out of your car or walk out the front door, they’re about to be out of your hands. But the important thing that prayer teaches all of us, is that they’re not out of God’s hands. They’re never out of God’s hands. Sending them off with a prayer seems so perfect to me. Filling them up with love and joy right before they walk away. What a great way to start the day. It’s a wonderful way to bless the relationship you have with your kids and to bless their relationship with God and your own relationship with God.
Remember that there is no perfect when it comes to prayer. It doesn’t have to be the perfect time or setting, and you don’t have to have the perfect words. He’s our friend, He’s our Father, He’s there for us to talk to any time we want.
Y’all have a blessed day!