A Year of Praying For Your Kids
I am crazy for New Years resolutions. Since I was old enough to write, I have filled giant journal pages with optimistic hopes and dreams and goals for the year ahead. And many years, okay most years, I failed to complete all of my goals.
This year is different. I still have a list of goals and dreams and hopes for this next year, but for the first time I have one that trumps them all, only one that really matters. This year, God has woke my heart up to something that I just cannot ignore or start only to give up before February. This year, I will consistently pray for my kids. This year I will make prayer for my children a non-negotiable part of each day. Starting today, I will decide to never let another day go by where I don’t pray for my children.
You see, I have wasted too much time in motherhood worrying about my kids. I have spent way too many hours trying to be everything for my kids. As I laid in bed tonight nursing my sleeping newborn, I was googling 3 month feeding schedules, reminding myself to do flashcards with my 4 year old, thinking about the cupcake I would make for my 2 year olds little half birthday celebration. Suddenly, I felt an urge to toss my phone away. I held my sweet baby close and spent a few minutes just praying over his life. . I felt sad at how foreign it felt--how few times in his life I have spent time praying for his life, his future, his heart.
There is an ancient true story recorded in 1 Samuel about a mother named Hannah who prayed fervently for her child. Hannah was married to Elkanah and was barren. However, Elkanah had another wife named Peninnah, who had many children. Year after year, Elkanah and his family would go to sacrifice to the Lord together and Peninnah provoked Hannah and bullied her about not having children. In grief, Hannah prayed persistently and boldly for a child. The priest, Eli, noticed Hannah and blessed her as she left. She became pregnant and gave birth to Samuel. She committed Samuel to the Lord and promised that when she weaned him, she would present him to the temple to live there forever. Hannah kept her promise and she gave her son in service to the Lord. Imagine a year or two of nursing your baby, knowing you would eventually have to give him up, it is heartbreaking and amazing.
When Hannah presents Samuel to Eli she says these famous words, “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him” (v. 27). But the, often overlooked, words to follow are so remarkable, “So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” (v. 28)
Our children are not our own. God has entrusted us with them to love them, care for them, raise them, and teach them about him. But ultimately, they are God’s. We are God’s. Hannah recognized that in an extreme way. The Lord gave Hannah the son she asked for so she gave him back to the Lord. We will not be dropping our newly weaned toddler off at our local church in order for him or her to grow up working in ministry, that is not the way our world works. But we can commit them to the Lord.
One of the first steps to doing that is to pray for them. Hannah is a perfect example of a persistent praying parent. God calls us to pray without ceasing and he is faithful to us. I want my kids to be filled with the fruit of the Spirit and the attributes of Christ and I pray for them often, but my short attention span kicks in and I find myself praying for random things. It can be hard to focus or remember what I even prayed for, mom-brain and all. There is something to be said about focused and intentional prayer, about really committing to a thought and asking the Lord boldly for it.
This year, let’s remember that praying for our kids is the very best thing you can do for them. Praying for them impacts their lives forever and is the only thing that really matters.
This year I am finally convinced of what is true: God doesn’t want me to be a perfect person or a perfect parent, he wants me to be a praying person and a praying parent.
What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ. Philippians 3:8
We created a FREE prayer calendar to help with that. There is one thing to pray over your kids for each month of 2019 and a bible verse to go along with it. Pray this one thing each day of each month out loud over your kids and with your kids. Have them pray about the one thing too. One thing, each month. Consistent prayer. Imagine what will happen to our children and to us as we pray for and with them. I am confident that God will move in our family and in yours as we pray together.
Let’s join together and make a commitment to pray for our kids every single day. Let’s be a part of changing the world, not just this year, but for generations to come.
Click here to download our FREE 12 month guide to praying for your kids.