Praying For Your Kids the “Right” Way

At 1:09 p.m. on February 17, 2000, Dr. Richmond said, “Scott and Teri Lynne, meet Casiday Hope!” He held up our eight-pound bundle of joy and tears fell from both Scott’s and my eyes.  She was the most beautiful thing we’d ever seen.

Later that evening, as Scott slept in the chair next to my bed, I held our daughter and again the tears came. She was still the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen but as I looked into her eyes there was one thing I knew for certain — I had no idea how to raise this girl God had given us.

Caught somewhere in-between terrified and scared to death, I whispered the only thought running through my brain, “Lord, I need you!”

Now, seventeen-and-a-half years later, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I still pray those same four words at least ten times a day. 

Dear Mom, You Don’t Have to Be a Perfect Pray-er

Prayer has never come easily to me. In fact, it’s usually just plain hard. I’ve often longed to be one of those people for whom praying is as natural as breathing.  I’m not.

And, if the past twenty-plus years of being a pastor’s wife and mentoring women has taught me anything — I’m not alone.

Prayer can be intimidating. Many of us feel overwhelmed and uncertain.  We aren’t sure what or how to pray and we sure don’t want to let anyone know how inadequate we feel.

But here’s what I’ve learned:

“We don’t have to be perfect pray-ers, nor do our prayers have to be perfect, because the God who hears us and loves us — and our girls — is perfect and perfectly able.” (Praying for Girls, p. 13)

I don’t know about you, but for me that was a freeing realization! There’s no one “right” way to pray for your kids.

Praying Scripture is one way I’ve found to experience more confidence in how and what to pray.  As I study and read God’s Word, I turn those verses and passages into the prayers I lift for myself and my daughter.

And, I believe this same practice can help you experience boldness and confidence as you pray as well.  Praying Scripture helps us align our prayers with the revealed character and purposes of God.  It offers us the opportunity to submit our own desires to His plans. And, most of all, praying Scripture gives us insight to pray over areas we may not otherwise consider or recognize.

My daughter’s senior year will begin in just a few weeks. I look at her now and see the incredible young woman she is becoming. But I also see that swaddled baby, looking intently into my eyes in a hospital room in Sheffield, Alabama.

I was right that day, I needed the Lord in order to parent her. And I’ve needed Him every day since.  He’s filled in every gap; His grace has covered every mistake.  I’m not a perfect mom and I’m sure not a perfect pray-er.  And, friend, you don’t have to be either.

Because our imperfect prayers are heard by the Perfect Father. And we can trust Him always.

How have you experienced the grace of God in your parenting? Have there been specific verses you have prayed over your child?

{My new book, Praying for Girls: Asking God for the Things They Need Most, releases today from Bethany House Publishers.  Designed to encourage and equip moms to pray with boldness and confidence over five key areas of their daughters’ lives, this book contains a blend of Bible teaching, Scripture-based prayers, and interactive ideas for sharing what you pray with your daughter whether she’s a toddler or a teenager.}

Teri Lynne Underwood
Teri Lynne Underwood
Teri Lynne Underwood is a pastor’s wife, ministry speaker, and Bible teacher. As the founder of, Teri Lynne is a cheerleader for girl moms and the author of Praying for Girls: Asking God for the Things They Need Most.

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