We should consider praying for our children a necessity. Our attitude towards praying for our children will depend on our worldview about children and prayers. How do you view children? We take measures to protect what we consider valuable but only through means we see as capable or having the power to protect it. Thus, we will pray for our children if we consider them valuable and believe in the efficacy of prayer to achieve all we desire in our children.

God refers to our children as gifts and rewards in Psalm 127: 3-5, and we know that our God gives only good gifts (James 1:17).  We know we are to pray for children but sometimes, we struggle about what, when and how we are to pray for them. We will consider these questions in this article.

When are we to pray for our children?

A short answer to that question is before they are born until we die. If we are fortunate to know the Lord before we have children, we need to begin praying for them even before they are conceived. Prayers continue when they are in the womb and do not stop while we have breath. Life does not begin when children are born, it begins long before then. Long before they arrive in our homes as bundles of joy who keep us on night duties, we need to commit their being – physically, mentally, emotionally, intellectually, etc. into the hands of God. We need to pray for wisdom to raise them right, finances, good health, support, etc. long before they are born. It is a life-long commission.

How do we pray for them?

We should pray for our children on our own, with them, and with other people. Our children should always be on our prayer list. Our children need to see us actively pray. One of the observed failings we have as Christian parents is separating our faith lives from our ‘normal’ lives. They should be one and the same and our children need to see this.  

Develop the practice of speaking with your children to know what is going on in their lives and praying about those things together. It is always a joy when a child says to a parent, ‘Remember that thing we prayed about? God has answered. It develops their faith. Ask your children to tell you specific things they would want you to pray about for them. We need to pray and cultivate a relationship with our children so that they can speak to us and feel confident that we are praying for them.

It is amazing how easy it is for us to form community patrol teams but find it difficult as Christian parents to come together to pray for our children.   Iron sharpens iron and deep calls to deep (Proverbs 27:17) If one will chase a thousand and two will chase 10 thousand, imagine how many a group will chase. There is power in prayer for our children as a group (Matthew 18:18-20; James 5:16). Consider praying together in your churches and schools.

When you pray for your children on your own, pray about what things you have observed and things they have asked you to pray about. The Holy Spirit has a way of bringing things to mind about each parent. Pray about them and praise God when you receive answers.

What are we to pray for?

The answer to that is everything (Philippians 4:6). We can divide our prayers into three categories: generic, specific, and the word of God. Let’s have a look at each.

Generic prayers for our children

These are stock prayers that we pray every day for our children. They include:

That our children will be healthy – Exodus 15:26

Protection from all harm  – Psalm 121:7-8

Learn easily – have teachable spirits – Daniel 6:3

Know the Lord  Acts –  16:31-33

Spouse – no matter their age – Isaiah 34:16

Excellence in all ways – Philippians 1:9-10

Attract good friends and be one – Proverbs 13:20

Be favoured – Psalm 5:12

Be wise – Proverbs 19:20

The list goes on ….   

There are many books and online resources that can be of help in this area.

Specific prayers for our children

These are prayer points specific to each child. There may be concerns you have observed in a child, something you need to thank God for, or a request that the child has asked you to pray about. A good practice writing these prayer points down and follow up with the child in question. It may be that difficult subject or teacher, making friends, or anything that concerns the child. It is crucial to pray for your children’s friends and teachers. They spend a lot of time with them and exert a huge influence on them.

 Remember to give thanks when answers come your way.

Praying the word of God over our children

The word of God is living, active, and achieves results (Hebrews 4:12). It is good practice to pray and envelop our children in the word of God. God invites us in Isaiah 43:26 to remind Him about His word. Let’s take Him up on that offer concerning our children. There are so many Bible verses that we can pray over our children. It is interesting how God directs us to certain ones to pray for each child. Below are some verses that we can pray over our children. The list is not exhaustive.

Proverbs 22:6

Isaiah 49:25

Isaiah 54:13

1 Kings 4:31

Proverbs 2:6

John 14:26

Phil 4:6-7

Ps 32:8

Isaiah 61:9

Isaiah 65:23

I encourage you to begin praying for your children if you were not before and to continue more intently if you have been doing so before. May the Lord hear our prayers over our children in Jesus’ name.