I pray for my kids.
I imagine that if you have kids or grandkids or nieces and nephews – you pray for them, too.
And the way this world is going, there is a ton to pray for – isn’t there?
Interceding for our children in prayer is the most important, consequential, and life-impacting assignment we have as parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and guardians.
I really believe that.
But what do we pray?
Like I shared – there is sooooo much to pray about for our kids, isn’t there?
Where do we start?
One mama prays for her son to grow in sincerity of character.
Another mom is praying for her daughter’s choice of university.
A brand new mommy prays in desperation for her newborn to sleep through the night.
A dad prays his son will develop his aptitude and skill in pitching a baseball – dreaming of future opportunities.
A dad and mom beg for their son to stop drinking his problems away.
A father and mother celebrate their five-year old’s success as she rides her bike for the first time.
A mom prays for her son’s safety as he serves with courageous distinction in a war-torn land.
A family rejoices in their son’s and brother’s new job.
A mama collapses to her knees in prayer upon prayer for her runaway child – she just wants him to come home.
Two parents beg for their God to heal their son of a debilitating and reoccurring illness.
Countless parents pray for their children and their worries about today and tomorrow.
Grandparents pray for their kids and grand-kids to know and trust Jesus.
And we all pray for so much, much, much, much, much more…..
Our prayers for our children never cease.
For our family, our eldest son, Micah, is living life in Australia for the year – far far far away from us. Our other two children are still at home. Jake and Caleb are attending our home school, Jubilant Academy, and continuing to grow in physical, social, and emotional ways even as we address their autism and other associative needs.
All three of our sons are growing in their spiritual lives – learning to trust Jesus more and more – according to their different contexts. For Micah, he especially, is developing a greater trust and assurance of faith in Christ as a result of living a more independent life.
And so we pray.
And we pray some more.
As followers of Christ, we desire our kids – regardless of their age, interest, and need – to enjoy a personal, genuine and ever-growing relationship with Jesus.
I know I do.
So how do we pray for that – for them?
I have an answer.
There is a three-fold gift found in Scripture that will help our children experience the power, joy, and rich understanding of living in Christ – despite the present and future challenges they will undoubtedly experience in this world.
We can experience these gifts too, for that matter. These amazing gifts are available to all who profess faith in Jesus Christ.
There is an amazing, empowering, and sustaining spiritual force living inside every believer through the indwelling gift of the Holy Spirit:
For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a strong mind.
New International Version, 2 Timothy 1:7
What do we pray for our children?
Paul gives us the answer.
We pray that our sons and daughters draw upon the inherent power of the Holy Spirit and the fruits of the Spirit of love and discipline in every aspect of their lives.
The Greek transliterated word for power is dunamis. This power is incomparable. This power is great. This is a moral power and excellence of soul which enables our children to walk forward steady and strong in life with confidence and assurance of faith. It is a radical, strengthening power that makes our kids bold when facing condemnation, when encountering danger, when bearing difficult burdens, and when experiencing the trials of life. This is a triumphant, overcoming power that inspires holy hope and courage. This dunamis power is a game-changer in how our kids respond to life and all that this world will throw at them – because it will throw every possible danger and discouragement their way.
Don’t we want our children to draw from this inherent, inspired power from the Holy Spirit?
Then, we pray for this power!
We pray for our children to experience the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives.
The second gift that is offered us is love. Agape is the Greek transliterated word for love and it means to love dearly and completely. Agape love enables us to be kind, loving and charitable to everyone – even those we don’t like very much. This was a big deal in the Early Church. It’s not so easy to love or be around others who we don’t know, don’t understand, and don’t appreciate. For the Early Church which once followed the Law, the faithful believed that to be holy and pure was to keep oneself separate from anyone who was unclean and definitely unlike them – like the Gentile, like the Samaritan, like the shepherd, like the leper. Thus, to offer love to a Gentile wasn’t desired and certainly wasn’t comfortable for them. And it’s not so easy now, either. Is it?
But the gift of love casts out all fear, all discomfort, and all prejudice. Agape love seeks the way of God – releasing every worrisome, worldly entanglement.
Don’t we want our children to experience the divine gift of love that banishes all fear?
Then we pray for this love!
We pray for our children to experience the abiding, strengthening, and compassionate love of Christ.
The third gift that we receive is a sound mind. If ever there was a gift our children need right now, it’s a self-controlled, prudent, and discerning mind.
This may sound like a mouthful of words – but to cultivate this Fruit of the Spirit of wisdom and clear understanding may be the most beneficial gift of all to our children. This world throws caution to the wind as it tempts our kids to catch a lift upon its dangerous, wayward breeze – encouraging indulgence, agitating addiction, demanding control and instilling fear upon fear. Our children need discipline and discretion to refuse such temptations. They need good sense.
How is this possible?
They can experience the wind and breath of the Holy Spirit which animates and gives life to their mind and body of choice and discretion as they draw upon and depend upon the strength and power of Christ.
Don’t we desire that our children to demonstrate discipline, discernment, and self-control in their lives?
Then, we pray for them to receive and cultivate a sound mind!
We pray for our children to be wise, prudent, and self-controlled in their relationships, with their decisions, and as they pursue their hopes and dreams.
We pray for each of these gifts – power, love, and discipline – to be ignited and lived out in our children’s hearts, souls and minds. It doesn’t matter how young or old they are!
The power is lying in wait already – if our children have declared faith in Jesus Christ. This power, love, and self-control doesn’t need to remain dormant and untested.
We can pray for these gifts to be received, opened, and experienced!!!!
So, what do we pray for our children?
We pray for the power, love, and sound mind that will embolden them to live life for Christ today, tomorrow, and forever – enabling them to face their fears and worries, endure their struggles, and experience liberation and triumph in every possible hardship.
Wouldn’t this be a wondrous way to live?
Don’t we want to pray for this way of life for our children?
Don’t we want this power, love and discipline for our lives, too?
We just need to receive. The power, love and sound mind of Christ is already given to us all!
How do I know?
It’s a promise:
For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a strong mind!
Pray for it.