How do we pray for our children when our words seem to run dry? How do we faithfully lift them before the Lord with confidence that our prayers match his desires for them? When we’re not sure of how to pray, God’s word enables us to stand with him and lift our children before his throne with confidence.
As a parent, I long to pray for my kids more faithfully. I long to stand in agreement with my Savior, and pray bold and powerful prayers for my kids. But sometimes I get stuck. Sometimes I can’t find the words. Paul’s words to the Colossian church offer eight spiritual truths to pray over my children, and yours.
“And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.” (Colossians 1:9-12)
In the end, God doesn’t care about the eloquence of our prayers — always knowing the perfect words to say for our children — so much as the condition of our hearts. Offering these prayers for my kids daily has centered my focus and blessed my prayer life, molding my heart to want the things God wants for my children.
1. Pray they will be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. (Colossians 1:9)
Jesus models this prayer when asked how we ought to pray: “Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). When we follow his example and pray that our children will know God’s will, we pray according to the example Christ himself set for us.
2. Pray they will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. (Colossians 1:10)
While it’s tempting for parents to spend excessive time praying for the behavior of our children, we honor God when we remember to pray that their behavior will not just be obedient, but will glorify him. This goes for our spouses, friends, parents, and other loved ones as well. When we ask God to intrude in their lives in such a way that they honor him in the way they live, we are praying godly prayers for godly behavior with godly motives.
3. Pray they will please God in all respects. (Colossians 1:10)
I have prayed this prayer often during seasons when my children were struggling with sin. Whether it’s a child with a sudden inclination to fabricate information, a child who is struggling with an ungodly temptation, or a little one who is struggling with sadness, this is a relevant and powerful prayer. It’s a prayer God loves to honor, because it is the desire of his heart as well.
4. Pray they will bear fruit. (Colossians 1:10)
When the good deeds of our lives overflow with positive spiritual outcomes, we bear good fruit. When I pray for my kids to bear fruit in their works, I pray for each of them differently. I pray my daughter will interact with her schoolmates with compassion and kindness. I pray my toddler will see the benefits of treating others with love and respect.
5. Pray they will increase in their knowledge of God. (Colossians 1:10)