A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children. Proverbs 13:22
My grandmother prayed for her children, my mother prayed for her children, my wife and I pray for our children and our grandchildren. An inheritance to children’s children’s children’s children – five generations!
What I have learned about praying for children:
Take the generational perspective. Pray for your children and their children. I was rebellious when I was a teenager. Many have told me that I was saved through the prayers of my mother. I believe that I was rescued by the prayers of both my mother and grandmother.
Prayer influences, not forces, a matter. God allows disobedience. He is patient not wanting any to be lost. Parents praying for children, especially teenagers, must have a faith that gives parents peace. Understand – patient praying takes away the impatience often used in reactions with children. Prayer chisels away obstinance while parental frustration reinforces it.
Tell them. I remember my grandmother telling me that she prayed for me; I remember my mother telling me often, almost every day, that she was praying for me. Really, it was a nuisance – there I was, planning a night of sin as a teenager, and I had to begin the evening as I left the house with my mother telling me that she was praying for me.
I have watched parents interact with children for decades. I’ve read many books on parenting and have been asked for advice or “what to do” often.
The most essential act or qualification is learning to pray. Not just for children, but Kingdom prayers.
The faith that comes from moving mountains creates subtle confidence during a moment of sickness, danger, or insubordination – that God has this. Anxiety never helps, while peace builds faith.
Also – learn to worship.
You will never be great at praying if you’re not great at worshipping. A concern now is that too many parents are canceling attending church. You cannot learn to worship by yourself, and you can’t learn to pray without experiencing the grandeur of God experienced in worship.
Let’s throw into this mix of parents praying for children – the principle of two or three parents who worship together and then pray together. Jesus gives a promise for this type of praying:
Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Matthew 18:18
Pray and worship – together!