An article authored by Ray Hughes in The Morning Star Journal changed my prayer life forever. Its was entitled The Forgotten Legacy of Sam Jones and told about an almost forgotten evangelist who grew up to be labeled by a Southern newspaper as “the most famous man in America.” Jones was born in 1847, the same year as Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Alva Edison.
The article related how Sam Jones became a hopeless drunkard by the age of twenty-five. His health was wrecked and an untimely death faced him when his dying father made him promise to change. Then the article said:
“Sam declared, ‘I yield, I yield,’ determining right then and there that every remaining step of his life would be an honest effort to fulfill that promise to his father. But Sam’s father wasn’t the only one shouting that day; his saintly grandmother was another. She was said to have read the Bible from cover to cover thirty-eight times while on her knees, applying the promises of God in prayer for Sam’s wayward life.”
Click! The light switched on inside me. I knew that I knew that Scripture was a powerful spiritual tool in praying for people, especially our children.
There is only one book where the words in it are “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and able to discern the thoughts and intentions of a person’s heart.”
That one book is the Bible.
It should be everyone’s favorite prayer book because what is our biggest struggle in praying for our children? I would guess that it centers on whether God will actually answer our prayers.
And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him. (1 John 5:14-15)
Scripture is God’s revealed will to His believers. Thus, by praying Scripture, we are praying the Father’s will back to the Father so He can move in our children’s lives.
It’s a win/win deal for us parents.
But yet, there is still another benefit of praying Scripture for our children.
Bless the LORD, you His angels, mighty in strength, who perform His word, obeying the voice of His word! (Psalm 103:20 NKJV)
When we pray Scripture for our children, God’s angels are put to work, bringing the prayers to pass in their lives. We can think of ourselves as “spiritual labor bosses” if we pray Scripture, sending angels out to their jobs: our children.
There are hundreds of Bible verses, which make great prayers for our children. You can choose your own as you study the Bible, but here’s a few of the ones I pray along with examples of how I pray them.
The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 NKJV)
“Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart [or hearing heart] to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” (1 Kings 3:9 NKJV)
This is one of my favorite prayers in which I combine the above two verses.
My prayer: “Lord, give (child’s name) an understanding and hearing heart so that he/she receives the love of the truth and is saved in all situations he/she might face.”
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. (Luke 9:23)
My prayer: “Lord, I pray that (child’s name) would deny himself/herself, take up his/her cross daily, and follow Jesus.”
Your word is a lamp to my feet and light to my path.(Psalm 119:105)
My prayer: “Lord, I pray that Your word is a lamp to (child’s name) feet and a light to his/her path.”
Send out Your light andYour truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your dwelling. (Psalm 43:3)
My prayer: “Lord, send Your light and Your truth to (child’s name); let them lead him/her to Your holy hill and to Your dwelling.”
I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. (Matthew 3:11)
My prayer: “Lord, I pray that You baptize (child’s name) with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:11-12, 21)
My prayer: “Lord, I pray that (child’s name) is not slothful in zeal, but fervent in spirit, serving You; that he/she rejoices in hope, is patient in tribulation and constant in prayer; and that he/she is not overcome by evil, but overcomes evil with good.”
That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His suffering, being conformed to His death. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:10, 13-14 NKJV)
My prayer: “Lord, I pray that (child’s name) knows You and the power of Your resurrection, and the fellowship of Your suffering, being conformed to Your death. And that one thing he/she would do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, that he/she would press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.(1 Corinthians 14:1)
My prayer: “Lord, I pray that (child’s name) pursues love, earnestly desires the spiritual gifts, especially that he/she may prophesy.”
So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. (2 Timothy 2:22)
My prayer: “Lord, I pray that (child’s name) flees youthful passions and pursues righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all things shall be added to you. (Matthew 6:33)
My prayer:“Lord, I pray that (child’s name) seeks first the kingdom of God and Your righteousness so that all things are added to him/her.”
These ten examples should give all of us a good idea on how to pray Scriptures for our children. All we have to do is read our Bibles and when we see a verse with a promise, pray it for our children.
Praying the word for our children moves our prayers from being passive into being powerfully active with all of heaven working to bring the prayers to pass.
(The above is an excerpt from Praying for the Frozen Chosen: Our Children by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2016, Amazon eBook)
(Continued in Part 6)