As some are heading back to school, it is a great time to hit restart on a number of family discipleship habits. Taking your children out for donut dates is one great habit.
But even more foundational is praying for your children.
In Chapter 20 of The Disciple-Making Parent I have a whole chapter on praying for our children. Prayer is both a duty (as in difficult work) and a delight. So as you head back to school, head back to prayer as well.
Seven Suggested Ways to Pray for Your Children
1. Pray with thanksgiving. Paul began his letters with giving thanks. Thanksgiving has a way of altering our perspective. Make sure you are spending time thanking the Lord for your children and even the problems you are facing.
2. Pray for yourself, “Lord, show me my sin.” We can pray this humbling prayer because we are accepted in Christ and want to grow. The Lord will answer this prayer every time!
3. Pray for wisdom in the decisions both of you will face. As parents we face a myriad of decisions. Often we are making the large decisions on the fly. How much better to take a little time and actually pray about those bigger items.
4. Pray for secret things to be brought to light. This is a scary prayer to pray. But we do want them to grow in sanctification don’t we?
5. Pray Jesus’ high priestly prayer. On his final night, Jesus prayed that his disciples would be protected from the evil one, sanctified by the truth, and unified (John 17). Those are great things to ask for your family.
6. Pray as they ask you to pray. For our older children, a great question is, “What would you like me to pray for you?”
7. Pray they would see their need of Christ. The most foundational need our children have is the gospel. We can hold out the gospel but they must see their need.
Our Lord offers us a profound privilege in prayer. Let’s go before the throne of grace for our children (Heb 4:15-16).