As Christians, we can be certain of the power of prayer. As the act of prayer grows us in communion with the Lord, it is also a means by which we can submit to Him our concern for others, including our children.
Philippians 4:6 reminds us not to be anxious about anything, but “in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving,” we can let our requests “be made known to God.” In a world filled with so much wickedness and evil, we would be wise to remember this verse when it comes to bearing and raising children.
So often, Christians are fearful of having children and bringing their babies into this dark world, but Scripture tells us that children are arrows in our bow. Through faith and dependence on the Father and through steadfast prayer, we can be certain that the years we spend raising our children up in the Lord will not be wasted. By God’s grace, we can send them out as arrows into this dark world.
As we prepare to send them out, we should pray for them. I don’t mean generically praying for our children, but intentionally spending time with the Lord and asking Him for His hand to be on our babies. So here are three things I pray for my own newborn son that I hope are an encouragement to you as you pray for your own children.
Although my son will be raised in a Christian home, I know that does not guarantee his eternal security in Christ. I can teach him all the Scripture, preach the Gospel to him every day, sing worship songs with him every evening, and model to him how to glorify the Lord, but ultimately, the fate of his soul rests in the hands of our almighty, sovereign God. That is why I pray for his salvation.
I pray that God will convict him of his sin and bring him burden over his rebellion, and that the sorrow he feels brings him to repentance. I pray that the power of the Gospel transforms his heart to be more like Christ and less like the world, and that the Lord would draw him to Himself as he becomes fully dependent upon His grace.
It is a comfort to know that my son’s salvation is in the hands of the Lord because it means that no matter how many times I fail as a mother, it will not change the state of his soul. So I pray for God’s intervention in his life, knowing full well that it is not within my control. What a relief it is that I can rest in His sovereignty, knowing that my children are not my own.
Perhaps one of the greatest battles we face in this Christian life is resisting temptation. It is a daily battle against our flesh to resist sin and embrace holiness. To put off the old self and put on the new. Next to his salvation, praying for God’s strength to help my son resist temptation might be the most important thing to pray for. In John 17, Jesus Himself prays for His sheep, that they would be kept from evil:–John 17:14-15
“I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.”
If it is in God’s will for my son to be given a saving faith, then I, too, echo this prayer for my own son. I pray that in the face of temptation, persecution, and iniquity, my son will be equipped with wisdom from the Lord to resist and endure. I pray that the Lord gives him strength and the fruit of His Spirit to be set apart from the rest of the world.
When I was in my mother’s womb, my husband was prayed for by my parents, and from the time my husband was born, I was prayed for by his parents. Now, our families didn’t know each other at the time, but, nevertheless, they prayed for the little boy or little girl that would one day grow up to marry their children. There is no sooner time to start praying for this than now.
Perhaps my son’s (future) wife is not yet born, but if she is, my prayer is that she would be born to godly parents who raise her up according to God’s Word. I pray that the Lord would transform her heart and give her a saving faith, so that she may be equally yoked with my son. I pray that her desire is to be a homemaker, a mother, and a helpmate to her husband and that God would prepare her heart for such a task. I pray that my son loves her with a sacrificial love, that she loves him with a faithful love, and that their love for Christ remains the center of it all.
Because we are in Christ, we can be confident that our prayers are heard by the Father. We aren’t just sending “good vibes” into the atmosphere to dissipate and ultimately fall on deaf ears. Our hope remains in the goodness of God and in knowing that our prayers for our children are heard and made intercession for.
So march on, Christian soldier, in prayer and in steadfastness. As the world around you grows more wicked, be a shade for your children as you steward them and submit them to your Creator.
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