Regular readers of our blog will know that we are thinking a lot about parenting these days as we prepare to bring Ethan home from Korea. Part of our thinking recently has been about how best to pray for him — now and in the years to come!
Randy recently posted several prayers for the journey. These will be good, especially down the road as Ethan begins to make more decisions for himself. “Praying the scriptures is a powerful way to pray!”
We’ve just begun to gather some scriptures that we want to incorporate into our prayers for Ethan. Here’s what we’ve collected so far …
For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. (Zephaniah 3.17)
Ephesians 6.1-4 offers some valuable praying material. Here, Paul admonishes children, “obey your parents,” and “honor your father and mother,” noting that “this is the first commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother, ‘things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.’” But Paul also cautions parents, “do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.” Good stuff to pray.
I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 1.16-20
When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3.14-21)
A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. (Ephesians 6.10-18)
Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen. (Jude 1.24-25)
Well, this should get us started. We believe that praying the scriptures is a powerful way to pray. If praying the scriptures is unfamiliar to you, here’s an example …
O God, we give you all the glory, for who you who and for all you have blessed us with. Thank you so much for blessing us with Ethan. God, you are able to keep Ethan from falling away. We trust, O God, that you will bring him with great joy into your glorious presence without a single fault. All glory to you, who alone are God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are yours before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen.
The idea is simply to incorporate the language of scripture into your prayers. In some cases you can use the actual language; other times, you may need to change it into the form of a prayer.
Some resources we found online (although we know little about them) that look like they might be worth checking out if you’d like more resources: Praying the Scriptures for Your Children (2001) and Praying the Scriptures for Your Teenager: Discover How to Pray God’s Will for Their Lives (2007), both by Jodie Berndt.
Also check out Kevin Martineau’s recent piece on praying for our children.
What do you pray when you pray for your children? What Scriptures do you pray for them? Feel free to share in the comments section.