There we were sitting in the car, the husband and I, discussing a problem, with no real answers.
“I know what you should do about it.” Miss 4 chimed in.
“What should we do?” I asked, half tempted to remind her about interrupting adult conversations.
“You should pray and ask God what to do, and then you should look in your Bible for an answer.”
My mummy heart soared. So simple, so concise. I pray it will always be that way for her.
What I want for my children is a steady faith.
I want to raise children who know how to really pray.
(We did pray for that situation, and looked in our Bibles and a few days later a solution came through a friend. Praise Jesus)
I’ve been asking friends and family that have steady adult children, how they raised them to know how to really pray.
We’ve been puzzling over this and I’ve been looking into myself and asking why I know how to really pray, along with asking my siblings. Now we’re bringing our puzzle pieces to the table, though perhaps a few missing and I hope it helps you.
The one that really stood out was honesty.
Parents who honestly admitted when life was a mess but brought it to God and told Him anyway. Because He’s BIG enough to handle it.
I know friends who struggle with talking to God honestly and I can’t say I’ve struggled with this, maybe because that’s all I knew. Bring it to God and dump it at His feet and watch to see what happens.
My sisters and I were encouraged to pray about EVERYTHING. Whether that was a need for matching shoes for a wedding, or something big like the three times prayer saved my life.
We watched Dad hold up two work worn fingers and pray . . . “Two inches and a storm!” He wanted a storm so that the rain came down fast enough to run off and fill his new dam.
I don’t remember how long it took, maybe a few days or a week. The sky turned green. It stormed. The door ripped off the shed, an enormous tree that should have fallen on the house, fell the other way and left a metre deep crater. There were so many trees down that Dad couldn’t even drive up the driveway when he got home from fixing everyone else’s electricity. That storm had ripped powerpoles and trees out all over our shire.
When the deluge had finished, you could hear the water rushing into that new dam. It was filled.
And the rain gauge measured 2 inches.
Be careful what you pray.
My husband and I, our families are like two different cultures. So different. Yet we both saw our parents being honest about prayer issues.
You might be wondering what this really looked like.
- If you’re upset with someone forgive them, confess the sin of unforgivenss and any others ALOUD and see what God does. (At least that’s what my parents made us do.) I’ve written about the importance of confession how I still use this principal in my adult life.
2. When there’s someone sick in the family and you’ve cleared up any mess of unforgiveness, to anoint them with oil and pray for them.
We’ve really made this a big part of life with our little girls. When they hurt themselves we pray that God would fix it. We encourage them to pray for their friends who are sick.
3. Stopping to pray out loud about issues as they come up. If my husband is telling me about an issue at work, I often insist we pray about it then and there, because otherwise I can forget. We see answers. Children model what they see us doing.
4. The parents that I spoke to agreed that there was a regular time each day of communication and prayer, whether that was at the dinner table, and more than just saying grace, or at bedtime, or during the homeschool routine.
Of course there are other influences to raising children of steady faith. Our parents were very strict on what we were allowed to watch and read, and who we hung out with.
And we must never forget to pray for our children.
Amidst wiping their butts and snot, cooking for them and cleaning up after them, we can forget the most important thing of all.
Except for dear God keep them safe as I rescue the one year old from dancing on the kitchen table in slippery socks for the tenth time in an hour.
We pray Scripture over them. Several times I’ve been prompted to pray over my friend’s child the Scripture from Psalm 34:19-20
The righteous person may have many troubles,
but the Lord delivers him from them all;
20 he protects all his bones,
not one of them will be broken.
By prompted I mean, suddenly into my brain will come the thought that I need to pray that such and such will be protected from breaking a bone. And the next day I hear of a near miss where there was protection. That’s God speaking to us.
The promises of God are voice activated. Psalm 91 says I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in Whom I trust. Psalm 91 is an amazing prayer to pray over our children and I love the book Peggy Joyce Ruth has written of testimonies of people who have prayed this Psalm and seen dramatic protection, healing and answers from the home to the battlefield to the airport.
I love learning from other Mums how they make this and discipling their children a priority.
- A beautiful example I saw recently was to make bracelets with letter beads, with one bracelet per child and to put it on say your left wrist and as you prayed for that child to move that bracelet to your other wrist, as a visual reminder. This lady commented that sometimes her children would come up to her and ask if she had prayed for them yet, and if not she would be able to pray for them there. (Like the picture below but with your child’s name on it)
2. A Call to the Secret Place by Michal Ann and James Goll, is an incredible book about how different heroes of our faith made it a priority to spend time with God and in prayer.
In order to remember to pray for her children, busy mother Elizabeth Alves, used to assign each child a chore, and when she was doing the washing she would pray for one and then the washing up another one.
One day she felt an urgency to hang out the washing, and started weeping and interceding for a child who she later discovered had narrowly avoided making a decision that would have sent their life in a downward spiral, at the time she had been praying.
This worked for her as they were all at school, where as I’m always getting distracted doing my chores because the children are ripping the house apart, being toddlers and all.
Another twist on this would be assigning different families members to different days of the week, eg one day I would pray for my side of the family, another day the in-laws etc.
There are brilliant devotional books for praying for your family by Stormie O’Martian and many, many resources on the internet, like this one for 5 daily prayers to pray for your husband.
3. The way I like the best though, is praying in tongues. Early last year I was training myself to pray in tongues 15 minutes a day and I’ve written about how this revolutionised my prayer time. I now naturally start praying in tongues as soon as I sit down to nurse the baby, or drive the car.
As I pray in a language not my own, but given to me by God, I have thoughts and ideas come to my mind of what I’m praying but would have no natural knowledge of.
Like the time I started to pray for my husband and felt that I’d prayed for him to have wise hands around electricity, and him coming home ten minutes later saying he’d been going to finish an electrical job but had felt a strong warning to leave it to the next day.
This gift God has given us has many facets, but two of which are praying for things that we don’t know how to pray for and for self edification, like recharging your batteries, which we badly all need as mothers.
1 Cor 14:4
A person who speaks in tongues is strengthened personally, but one who speaks a word of prophecy strengthens the entire church.
The word strengthen here, to put into a modern term is like charging a battery, or building yourself up in your most holy faith.
I invite you to explore this incredible gift that God has given us.
It’s a precious gift for your children to have too. I’ve heard stories of children singing in a special language to God and it’s the only time they sing in tune, (like me, the only time I sing in tune is actually during the worship service under the anointing, not the practice session.)
My mother-in-law was a wild child and a horror to her older siblings and pets, but after she was filled with the Holy Spirit and began to spoke in tongues her nature completely changed as her spirit was healed from the rejection of nearly being aborted.
Our children are our legacy, they are going to be the ones changing the world, and they can start now if we give them the tools, because they are bold and brave to say things we could only think, under the guise of being polite.
I love Children and the Supernatural exploring what it looks like for our children to move forward into this Holy Spirit life, and how to let them do that as their parents.
I would love to hear how do you remember to pray for your children?
One of the best ways to build a strong foundation in life is to pray for yourself. So often I can’t think what to say though! I’d love to send you 6 powerful and profound prayers for personal growth straight from the New Testament. They cover topics I’d never think to ask for. Just one prayer made into a pretty printable a week. I’ve seen such a growth of discernment in my own life as I’ve been praying them over myself and better understanding God’s plan for me, and I’d love to bless you with them too.
6 thoughts on “3 Ways to Actually Remember to Pray for Your Children”
Thanks so much for this, Lizzy. Being honest in our prayers is a huge one for me to work on. God can certainly take whatever I bring to him and He longs for me to be open and vulnerable and honest with Him. And kids are watching ALL THE TIME… 😉 Stopping by from #ByHisGraceBloggers
Thanks Laura, sometimes I have to work on the reverence part cause I can be a bit brutally honest without stopping to think that He is God.
Love your post and that we share the same interests in books (recommended in your post). I firmly believe in showing our children that life with God is as natural as doing life with them. I pray for my boys at bedtime because that’s when we are the most still and open in our family. I pray over them; we pray for the issues we are facing or things we are trusting God for. I don’t mind that they don’t always pray because I know they are listening with their spirits. I love to show them that prayer is the best way for us to “fix” something. When they’re hurting – not just physically – I’ll offer to pray for them and they always say yes 🙂
I loved your tips and insights.
Absolutely! I don’t force our girls to pray either but they are always perceptive. Sometimes we’ve only been thinking things and they still pick up that that is what we are thinking and speak it out. Blessings, Lizzy A
Mom’s In Prayer International is a group where we meet weekly to pray for our children and or grandchildren. For 27 years I have been praying with this group. MIPI is international, but very personal. We begin by praising God for who He is, a time of silent confession, Thanksgiving to answered prayer, then intercession for our children, our schools, teachers and Mom’s in Prayer. This is a non denominational group. I have seen such answers to prayer over the years. Check out the web site to find a group.
What a fantastic group, and a great way to pray, thanks for sharing!