“You don’t have to do everything right as a parent, but there is one thing you cannot afford to get wrong…prayer. You’ll never be a perfect parent, but you can be a praying parent. Prayer is your highest privilege as a parent. Prayer turns ordinary parents into prophets who shape the destinies of their children, grandchildren and every generation that follows.”
—Excerpt from “Praying Circles Around Your Children”.
My husband, Joshua, and I have three amazing children: Simeon (6), Selah (4), and Malakai (2). As you might imagine, life is incredibly full and rewarding, if not also, at times, challenging and exhausting. About a year ago my sister mailed me a little book titled, “Praying Circles Around Your Children.” My husband and I had always prayed for our children—short prayers on the way to school, before naps, bed times, ect.—, but everything changed when I read this little book.
My eyes were opened; my heart stirred. I shared the amazing insights from the book with my husband and we changed our prayers from, “Lord let them follow you all the days of their lives” to “Lord, let them want to know you more each and every day of their lives.” we didn’t want them to just be followers; we wanted them to be lovers of Him. I finished this small book soaking in each and every word, hungry to start this new prayer journey with my family.
So we sat down and tailored a prayer list for each child. We listed their strengths and struggles, as well as what the Lord had spoken to us about them. Then we found Bible verses to go with each topic area (e.g., fear, love, grace, anger, etc.). We incorporated these verses into our family prayer time, which was becoming more intentional and powerful. We prayed over our children with a greater passion, a greater purpose. We understood we were shaping their destinies and pushing back the powers of darkness, which would have all people be fearful—afraid of not being liked, accepted or loved. We were laying the foundation of God’s perfect love, which drives out all fear.
Honestly, I don’t know what I am doing as a parent most of the time and often fail miserably. I sometimes get overly mad about trivial things: cluttered rooms, spilled cereal, and soiled carpet—and that’s just from this morning alone! I forget to extend the grace that has been so beautifully given to me. I know there are so many that feel this same way. I encourage you to stop, plant your feet and pray for your children. Prayer helps focus your priorities on the eternally significant, and in doing provides peace (both to your child and you).
“[I]f you are willing to interrupt your sleep cycle, if you are willing to get on your knees and intercede for your family, God will answer your prayers long after you are long gone. Don’t lose heart. Don’t lose hope. Don’t lose faith.”
– Tonya Clark