My wife and I are expecting our first child this summer. Our world is about to change forever. There is nothing quite like the pressure, fear, and feelings of inadequacy that come when you know that you are now responsible for another human being. I admit I am a control freak. God is breaking me of the fear that comes as I realize that the decisions my child will make are out of my control. So I pray, all the time.
These things I will continue to pray for my daughter as she grows, until I leave this earth. If you have kids of any age or gender, maybe these will help direct your prayers:
This is the most important decision our kids can ever make. I want my child to understand the love of Jesus, how it frees us from death and sin. I pray even now before her birth that God will lead her to a place of surrender. I don’t want her to pray a prayer; I want her to be set on fire for a new life. I want my daughter to understand what it means follow Jesus with her whole life, to be radically different because she has been changed forever by a God who loves radically. It is scary to think about how little control we have over eternal matters, no control really. But I am begging God daily to give my daughter a new life (Mark 5:40-42).
I want my daughter to love being generous, to give her time and money away freely. There is so much joy in generosity. I want her to experience that joy and I want her to know what it feels like to not have to worry about money or possessions because she has a good Father that promises to take care of her (Luke 12:22-32).
How many poor decisions and bad circumstances could we have avoided in our own past if we just used better judgment? I don’t want to force my daughter in to making good decisions, because I know there will come a day when I am not there to guide her. She has to be able to make decisions on her own.
I want my child to understand that spending time with God every day and reading her Bible is the best way to gain wisdom. The best way for me or you not to feel the heartache that comes with a rebellious child is to beg God to give our kids wisdom and a heart that loves Scripture.
I want my daughter to have bold faith: the kind of faith that walks into burning furnaces (Daniel 3), the kind of faith written about in Hebrews 11. I want my daughter to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is good, and God can be trusted. I know that if my child ever grasps that concept it will change the way she lives. I want her to live the adventure of faith, with a willingness to follow God to the end of the earth. I want my daughter to get so caught up in chasing a cause God places in her heart that nothing else matters.
I hope you can take some of these prayers and pray them over your own children. Pray with full confidence that we serve a good Heavenly Father, and He wants what is best for all of His kids.