5 Ways to Pray for Your Child When You Don’t Know Where to Start
In the introduction to 31 Days of Prayer for My Child, Allison Yates Gaskins says “No one knows innately how to be a good mom. Every one of us is inadequate. That’s why each of us, in fact every mother who ever lived, desperately needs God.”
I desperately need God. I remember the day I brought my first child home from the hospital. I couldn’t believe they’d actually let me leave with her. They placed this tiny little unique person (who would grow to have very definite thoughts and opinions) in my arms and sent us home. I learned over the next year that everything I thought motherhood would be was a far cry from what the reality of caring for, guiding, and nurturing a child actually entails. I now fully believe that God uses motherhood as a way to bring us to the end of ourselves and highlight our utter need to depend on Him.
Often as mothers we want to pray for our children but we don’t know where to start. Sometimes we get a little too busy with the distractions of this life and even though we know we should pray we don’t. We think that because we don’t wake up before our children and spend an hour in quiet time that we’ve missed our chance to pray for that day. Or we are overwhelmed with our life situations or the struggles our children are going through and we just don’t even know how to pray.
I’ve never considered myself to be much of a prayer warrior or a theologian. My way of praying is typically still and quiet, seeking more to listen than to speak. But if we do not ask, we definitely do not receive. There are so many things we want for our children. We want them to be joyful and kind. We want them to be honest and generous. We want them to be able to withstand the darkness and pressures thrown at them by our culture today. And so very many other things.
So how do we pray when we don’t know how?
• Start by asking God to teach you to pray.
• Read through Proverbs (there are 31 proverbs, one for each day of the month) and pray God’s wisdom over your child.
• Use a book as a guide (suggestions below) to pray for your child.
• Ask your child. Every night before bed we do “highs and lows” with our children. We ask them “when did you feel most loved today? When did you feel least loved?” This gives us a window into our child’s day and gives us ways we can pray for them that we might miss otherwise. Keep a journal or index card box with their responses and pray over your child’s day.
• Check out our MomPrayers. One mom we know forwards them to her spouse and they pray together for their child throughout the day even though they are separated by distance.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
What has helped you learn to pray for your child?