Can I just start this whole thing by saying I’m NOT a shining example of a prayerful mother? I struggle to train my mind, focus my heart. I’ve let entire days go by without lifting my sons up to the all-powerful, mind-bogglingly good God. Ok, I’m sure I shot up a couple prayers like, “Help him with such and such” or “Bless him with blahdy blah.” And I certainly begged God to help them sleep! 😉
But seriously, I have neglected my greatest tool and greatest privileged as a mother; beseeching the only One who changes hearts.
If I just sit down to pray, I tend to ramble and get lost along the way. So I’ve picked 10 things to focus on. It is by no means an exhaustive list. It certainly is not the only things I pray for my children. But it’s a launching point. It reigns in my mind when I’ve gone off on another tangent. I have it posted around my house, in my prayer journal, printed on my stroller, on my to-do list app. And now here on the internet. Talk about accountability!
Here’s my ten prayer requests for young children…
1. Grow in understanding the reality of God and his desire for a real relationship.
My boys are young. My oldest is just starting to understand that somethings are pretend. He tells made up stories. He’s starting to realize that many of the books we read are just fanciful. But I’m desperate for him to know that God does not fall into that category. He’s the author, creator of life. He’s truth, He’s reality. But that’s hard for a child to understand when they can’t see what they’re believing in. And so I pray.
2. Know their need for a Savior.
We’re bucking the culture on this one. My boys are not “little angels”. My boys are not “good”. They, along with the rest of us, have chosen to rebel against God. I want them to know that they don’t just make “oopsies”, they sin. And that sin puts them in grave danger. That sin has twisted their hearts. I pray that they know they’re incapable of fixing themselves. But of course there’s good news! Jesus pays our penalty. Jesus changes hearts.
Please note that I teach them all this mostly by letting them see MY need for a Savior. My boys have ample opportunities to see me fail. I admit to them that I do evil things. I show them I can’t just will myself to be better. And I give glory to my Savior when I have victories.
I can’t convince my boys they need a Savior. Remember, it’s God who changes hearts. And so I pray.
3. Living a life of repentance.
I’m starting to see hard hearts in my children. They may say sorry with their lips, but they rarely show sorrow over their choices. I tend to get angry when I see that callous attitude. But I can’t change them. And so I pray.
4. Hunger for the Word of God.
I want God’s Word to be my kids final authority in life. I want them to mine the riches of the Bible. I want to yearn for it like the bread of life that it is. My mother prayed that I would have a longing for the Word since before my birth (I found out about it because she kept a prayer journal for me.) While I’m also not flawless in this area, I certainly see the influence of her prayers in this area on my life. (Thank you, Mom!) And so I pray.
5. Attracted to holiness and purity.
These characteristics are not esteemed by our society. They don’t come to us naturally. But oh how the Lord wants to see them in us. He wants to set us apart. There will be a battle in my boys hearts. And if they’re drawn to holiness, they WILL be drawn to the Lord! And so I pray.
6. Respect for authority.
have a three year old, of course I’m praying about this! We all have this desire to be in charge. I keep telling my boys that God is in charge because he made us. We can rejoice that He is good and that he puts other human figures in our lives as authorities to protect us. Stickin’ it to the man is seen as exemplary these days. And so I pray.
7. A sound mind.
Growing up, my parents continually emphasized the need for a critical mind so as to know truth and effectively interact with the world. Secondly, this is a rather personal prayer. At least one of my children has an uphill battle with a neurological disorder (SPD) that will make his life a battle. I desire him to have optimal health and that can only come from God. The last reason I pray for mental health is that depression runs in our family. I’ve walked that road and wish it on no one. I don’t want my boys to have to face that struggle if at all possible. And so I pray.
8. Freedom from fear.
Lately, my oldest child has been gripped with fear. A lot of his aversions come from his inner ear issues and other sensory processing triggers. He often can’t help but respond with a fight or flight response to innocent things most other kids don’t even notice. I want him to be “strong and courageous”. I want him to know the trustworthy God. And so I pray.
9. Compassion for the hurting and lost.
I started praying this in earnest when my son started hitting and showing no remorse. Let me tell you something, you can’t force a kid to care. God has already begun answering this in a big way. Loopy’s heart is far more soft towards his brother or anyone that’s in distress (usually). And he gives God the credit for changing his heart! I continue to pray that my boys’ eyes would be open to the hurting world around them. I desire for them to be a tangible salve on the world’s gaping wounds. I pray that they will have a burden for those who don’t yet believe Jesus is the Savior. May they not rest until the nations know. Especially those who have never heard. It seems overwhelming, impossible. It’s so beyond little ole me. And so I pray.
10. A heart for leading others to the truth.
This request comes from Malachi 2: 5-6 “He stood in awe of my name. True instruction was in his mouth, and no wrong was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and he turned many from iniquity.” If I’m shooting for something, it’s for my boys to grow up to be men like this. What a gift to be able to lovingly guide people to the truth! What a privilege! And it comes from a relationship with God grounded in humility and obedience. And so I pray.
So I made my first attempt at offering a free printable of these 10 prayer requests. Here’s the link to the dropbox file.
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Jennifer Dawn says
What a beautiful post! I truly believe that God honors the prayers of a mother for her children. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for reading! Yes, what a privilege we have to partner with Him!
I love these, Julie. I have found that I do best when I have a stockpile of scriptures to pray for my kids. Because of this, I prepared a set of scripture prayer cards that I hang around my house on mirrors, doors, above the sink, etc. They can be found here if any of your readers are interested: http://arabahjoy.com/praying-scripture-children-resource-list/ This post also includes a list of other prayer printable resources 🙂