We moms have a zillion concerns for our kids. It doesn’t take long to discover that we as parents need all the help we can get.

But an interesting transition occurs when your children get older, starting in the middle teen years. Our direct teaching and training opportunities begin to decrease. Or they should. Most teens are not too fond of heavy directives. Influence, persuasion, and coaching are more effective. And prayer.

I’ve prayed fervently for my kids for their safety while driving and dating, for tests and reports, and for a host of other daily needs. As children go off to college, parents know less and less about the daily activities and thus have fewer urgent prayers to offer. Then when they are on their own, unless they are living at home, parents know even less about their day-to-day lives. This, too, is good for both, though I really don’t like it all the time. Being “in the know” feels good … most of the time.

So I’ve discovered a great prayer for my adult children, which works for teens, too. One of the wisest men who ever lived prayed this for his kids. We know he was without fault, well-known in his community, and had a large family. This is what he did: Early in the morning, he rose and made offerings before God and then prayed, “It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts” (Job 1:5).

Job did this continually.

I do not know what is happening in my child’s heart, but there is One who does. The details of Job’s actions aren’t for us today—that is, the offering of literal sacrifices—but his continual prayer for his children that they would be aware of sin and would deal with it immediately is worth noting and following.

When I don’t know of specifics regarding the daily details of my children’s lives, I pray that they would hear God’s voice speaking to them about any sin, that they would be quick to seek and grant forgiveness, and that they would follow Him faithfully. Nothing is more important than hearts that are clean and teachable, ready to do what is right and good. “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 1:4).