The Importance of Praying Scripture for Our Kids
… I know I need to pray for my child more than worry about my child. I need to pray for God to do what he has promised rather than presume upon him to do it. I need to talk to God about what only he can do in my child’s life more than I talk to others about my anxieties about my child’s life. But over the years, my prayers have tended to be more self-directed than Scripture-saturated, which means I pray the same things over and over. My prayers have often been shaped by my stinted and sometimes selfish desires for my child rather than God’s grand purposes for all his children. So I need the Scriptures to inform and direct my prayers and to encourage me to persevere in prayer. I need the Word of God to provide me with fresh words and renewed passion to pray for my child day by day…
What I don’t need is another list of things I’ve got to be or do if I want my child to turn out “right.” I don’t need a how-to guide to getting my child to have self-confidence, avoid drugs, say no to premarital sex, and keep the faith. It’s not that I don’t want those things or that I’m not open to fresh ideas or expert advice about how to approach this difficult job of parenting. It’s that I’ve seen too many great and godly parents bring up children who struggle significantly or walk away from faith, and too many less-than-great- dare I say ungodly- parents raise terrific kids. As a result, I know there is no simplistic formula for parenting.
I need much more than good advice. I need the commands and expectation of Scripture to keep me from complacency in parenting, and the grace and mercy presented in Scripture to save me from guilt in parenting. I needs Scripture to puncture the pride that rises up in me when my child is doing well and I’m tempted to take the credit. And I need Scripture to save me from the despair that threatens to sink me when my child is floundering and I’m tempted to take all the blame.
I need the constant reminder that while I have influence and responsibility, I don’t have control over my child or everything about his or her world. While I can teach my child the Scriptures, I can’t be the Holy Spirit in my child’s life. While I can confront sinful patterns that need to change, I can’t generate spiritual life in my child that will lead to lasting change. Only the Holy Spirit can do that. What I can do is pray for my child and parent my child the best I know how, which will always be imperfectly. I can seek to trust God and keep trusting God to do what I cannot.
At this point in parenting I recognize that the things I want most for my child are only things God can do. And I want to be faithful and persistent in asking him to do them.
Please see our review of this excellent devotional here.