We all, as parents, want our children to grow up strong in faith and mighty in the Word. We long for them to be fervent in their walks with God with hearts of passion to serve the Kingdom of God and to love others with that same passion. And our parenting lives are years of trial and error on how to do that.
One thing I’ve found over the past 30 years of parenting is that NONE of us really know what we are doing, and there is NO magic formula to see our children rise up to maturity in Jesus. We search the scriptures to find principles of parenting and then we PRAY like crazy! We pray for:
Mostly those are prayers for US. But what are we praying for them?
Praying their identity in Christ over our children.
I’ve shared before, we have always prayed over our children. As they’ve each come to their own commitment to Jesus, we have also prayed the truth of their new identity in Christ over them.
Understanding our identity in Christ is a struggle for all of us. Growing up for how ever many years with one view of ourselves and then BAM! We come to salvation and have to be retrained to understand and believe the reality of our new natures. Even for adults it is difficult enough. With children it can be even trickier because these are sort of deep ideas.
While we have always prayed these new scriptural truths over our children, this is not a one time thing. As our children grow and mature and come into deeper understanding of life, we need to keep on and persevere!
We are helping them renew their minds so they will not be conformed to this world.
We are helping them to stand firm against the ploys of the enemy to rob them of their hope and joy.
We are helping them to walk fully in the freedom and victory that comes with salvation.
You may find that your children (either young or old) are really struggling with these truths. Take heart and do not stop! Renewing the mind is really about tearing down the old false thoughts (strongholds) and building up a new mental understanding of who we are. Scripture is what binds these truths to our (and our children’s) hearts. Do not be afraid to lay hands on your children and pray scripture over them. Pray boldly the things God has declared for who His children TRULY are.
These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. Deut. 6:6-7
Pray these things as they go to sleep.
Make it a habit to pray God’s message of their new identity in your nighttime prayer with them. Let the truths of God’s Word anoint them like oil as they drift off to sleep, so that His Word is the last thing on their minds.
Pray these things as they arise in the morning.
Greetings of blessing first thing in the morning can really help to set the mindset for the day! Take advantage of this first morning greeting to help establish in your children’s minds who they TRULY are in their relationship with Jesus!
Pray these things at the supper table.
We have often used supper time as an opportunity for more discussion of scripture. You can print out a bunch of scriptures that talk about our identity in Christ, cut them into individual verses/passages and put them in a Scripture Box. Then each night a different child can pull out a paper, read the verse and everyone discuss it as a family!
Pray these things as you live out your day.
When you are out driving about, pray these things over your children, whether they are with you or not. Take advantage of every opportunity to strengthen the spiritual fortress we are helping to erect in the minds of our children.
Letting the Word of God richly dwell within you!
Make sure that you are praying for insight from the Lord on each of your children’s specific needs. As they grow, they struggle with different things. We need to be moving from general to specific prayer needs for our children. Ask the Lord what are the specific things our children are struggling with and pray for THOSE for and over your children. Look for scriptures that address these issues and begin to speak those words of Truth into the hearts and thoughts of your children as you pray them over them.
The Word and Prayer. These are power in the lives of the believer. Use them as parents! Stand firm against the forces of darkness seeking to destroy the lives and effectiveness of he believer. Teach your children how to find Truth for themselves, as you find it yourself. Help them grow strong in their identity in Christ so that they may go out in might and confidence to labor for His Kingdom!
May God bless your ministry to your children with wisdom and power!