Parents Prayer for an Unsaved Child
Five Prayers Every Christian Momma Should Pray For Her Kids
Guest Post by Rebekah of Surviving Toddlerhood
If you are me, busy momma, then there are things that you want to work on in your relationship with both Christ and your children.
Over the past year, I have realized that one of the areas that needs the most work in my relationship with the Lord is my prayer life.
While I do pray daily, it tends to be prayers : “Thank you God for our food and that our morning went well. Please help me to be patient with the boys. Please help the boys to get well. Amen.”
And while there is nothing wrong with those types of prayers, they don’t even scratch the surface of all that our prayers can do.
Through a prayer of faith, we have the power to move mountains, bind up demons, resist the devil, and affect all types of situations.
Our prayers are one of the most important weapons we have in our arsenal as Christians and what better thing to do as parents than to lift up our children in prayer?So I’ve set out to find how we can pray for our children that goes beyond “Help Jimmy to learn his lessons in school and help him to show Your love.” Here are five new ways that you can pray for your children.
* See Also: 5 Powerful Prayers Every Wife Should Pray Over Her Husband
If you’re serious about praying for your kids more regularly — I have just the thing that will help! Jump to the end of this post to learn how you can make your own Mini Prayer Book to remind you to pray deep prayers for your children!
1. That the Devil Would Not Outwit Them
In 2 Corinthians 2:11, it says: “So that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.”
We need to pray that our children would have eyes open to see the designs of the devil. That they would realize that he comes as a wolf disguised as a sheep and that he is scheming ways to entrap them. We need to pray that they would see the devil’s work for what it is and that they would not be outwitted by him.
2. That They Would Use Their Armor Effectively
In Ephesians 6, Paul writes to the Ephesians about their spiritual armor. This armor is something that everyone who is in Christ will have. If your child is a disciple of Christ then they have this armor at their disposal. But any soldier, they must learn to use their armor effectively in order to survive battle with the least amount of injury.
3. That They Would Keep the Faith
When I think of shipwrecks, I think of the Titanic. It seemed unsinkable. In fact one of the selling points for passage was that is WAS unsinkable. People bought their tickets this “fact.” The fear that there must have been when the unsinkable ship sunk!
Teaching our children about our faith and how to stand strong in the face of adversity is the most important job that we have as parents. Helping them to live out their faith and to have a good conscience at the end of the day is possibly the second most important job.
No Christian is unsinkable. It doesn’t matter how strong our faith looks to others. It doesn’t matter how good our lives may look to outsiders. What matters is that we are taking time to build our ship, to reinforce the seam, to patch the leaks and to replace the rotting logs so that we don’t end up dashed against the rocks of worldliness and unbelief.
*Related: Three Ways to Help Your Children Make Their Faith Their Own
4. For Our Unsaved Children, that the Father Would Gently Woo Them to His Side
Pray that God would make Himself visible to our unsaved children. That one day they would respond to his daily calling and come to know the joy and peace that can be found in him.
*See Also: How Can I Get My Kids Excited About Church?
5. That We Would Set a Positive Example
I’m not sure about you, but I fail daily, in many ways. One of my hopes is that through me my children would see God’s redemption and love, but I also fear at times that what they see in me may chase them away. The world will call it hypocrisy; I call it sinning. Those times when I speak out so loudly and fervently against something yet then go and do the exact same thing.
I pray that my children would see God’s mercy, grace and forgiveness played out in my own life and would not be hardened by my human struggles.
These are some of the new ways that I will be praying for my children over the years. As I draw closer to the Father in prayer I hope that I will find many more ways every year to best pray for my children; I also hope that you have found these five ways to pray for your children inspiring and maybe as convicting as I have.
Want to Get in the Habit of Praying Deep Prayers for Your Children? Learn how to make your own mini prayer book below!
How to Make Your Own Mini Prayer Book
1. Print out the Prayer Card Printables or write your own if you’d rather. Writing your own is a great way to personalize your prayers for your individual family’s needs. But… then you also run the risk of not knowing what to write, procrastinating and not really doing it. If you grab the pretty ones I’ve already made–you’re far more ly to actually USE them.
Parenting unsaved adult children with prayer, hope, relationship limitations
I looked at the row of velvet boxes and noticed a cross with a rose nestled next to it. I asked to see the attractive silver ring and bought it minutes later. For the first time in days, I felt a gentle touch of peace.
I'd been feeling only fear and grief as I watched my youngest daughter denounce her faith and rush into sin. Now I had a symbol of hope to cling to. As the father of the prodigal son placed a ring on his son's finger at a «coming home» celebration, one day I hope to do the same for my daughter.
It has been years since my daughter walked away from Jesus Christ. Today we call and visit each other, but it has not been easy. The Bible asks, «What fellowship can light have with darkness?» (2 Cor. 6:14, NIV).
Since the obvious answer to this is none, how do parents maintain relationships with their adult, unsaved children? I have had to find answers because my daughter does not want to be estranged from her family.
No parent can be blamed for backing away from the incredible hurt a sinning child brings. Watching my baby girl turn into a streetwise woman produced the worst pain of my life.
Even losing my husband to cancer did not bring the kind of anguish this evil has brought. I had to make heartbreaking decisions, and at times I wanted to cut off my feelings for my daughter to ease the pain.
My desire scared me, and I pleaded with God to keep my love for her safe.
He did, and today love is what holds my youngest to our family. Despite the fact that I have had her admitted to a lockdown drug facility, told her to leave my home, and refused to let her move back except for a temporary emergency, she has told me, «I've always known that you love me.»
Accept the relationship's limits
Accepting a shallow relationship with someone who is literally flesh of our flesh is difficult, but sharing our inner selves is rarely possible with unsaved adult children. Since God is the basis of our lives, and they usually don't want to hear about Him, relationships tend to stay on the surface.
My daughter and I often deal with this, especially when either of us is experiencing problems. The comfort one offers doesn't fit the other. Recently my daughter was struggling, and I could only listen and tell her, «I just don't know what to say.»
After I made that statement several times, she snapped, «I know, Mom. You never know what to say to me.»
I could only answer, «Honey, everything I would say to someone going through what you are, I can't say to you. I can't offer to pray or to share Scripture verses that have helped me. I'm at a loss.»
Realize it has all been said
Christian parents of unsaved children earnestly want their sons and daughters to come back to the Lord. As a result, our greatest temptation is to quote one more verse, to say one more God thing, and to remind them one more time that we are praying for them. But they've heard it all.
My daughter grew up in church. She won AWANA awards, performed in church plays, did sign language in worship services, had quiet times, and even led to Christ a friend who today is in Bible college. She knows the truth about God. Nothing I can say or do will push a spiritual button that will «fix» her. Her relationship with God is literally my hands.
Draw the line in your home
Just as parents must respect their adult children's desire not to hear about God, sons and daughters must respect parents. They need to leave their lifestyles outside our homes.
Whether living near or far, my daughter has worked at respecting my home. She knows how I live and rarely pushes the limits. She smokes outside, turns off her foul language, and doesn't bring boyfriends around. But once in a while something happens, and I have to speak to her. I dread it.Our relationship is so fragile that I'm never sure if it will endure the confrontation. I also know it will not survive if she does not respect me and my home.
One counselor at the drug rehabilitation center put it this way: «You cannot control your daughter, but you can control your life and your home.»
Keep communication open
When a relationship has pain in its past and shallowness in its present, maintaining communication is difficult. A wrong word or a thoughtless act easily breaks it. Sometimes this means estrangement. Other times it means an inner shutdown; we talk, but there is no heart behind our words. Either way, communication stops.
The only person who has ever cussed at me or slammed a phone down in my ear is my youngest daughter. The pain and anger this behavior triggers does not make me want to call her back. And for a while, sometimes for days, I don't.
God never lets it end there. At some point after our emotions cool, one of us calls the other. I call to ask her to forgive me for what provoked her behavior, or she calls to apologize for her actions.
I pray that no matter what lies ahead this will always be the case. No matter who is right or wrong, I pray that I, the one who knows God's love, will set the example of keeping the communication open.
Be diligent in prayer
Continuing to pray year after year is not easy. The words we say become rote. The faith to believe them grows weak. The discipline to keep going fades as there is no evidence of change. Prayer is our only place of power. It is one thing we can do that will make a difference. Regardless of how much time passes, that truth does not change.
all parents dealing with a son's or daughter's extended rejection of God, I have said rote words, prayed in unbelief, and lacked discipline. God always gives me a way them. He pricks my conscious, brings a person of prayer into my life, or allows trouble. He knows, even if I forget that, «The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective» (Jas. 5:16, NIV).
Find common ground
With our hearts confined to prayer and our words stuck on surface issues, time with our unsaved children can often be stressful. What do we say? What do we do? How do we react? I have found no easy answers to these questions. Even though I pray a lot before my daughter visits me or I visit her, I can still fret about spending time together. Looking for common ground has helped.
We both 1960s music and dolls. We enjoy doing crafts, shopping, and eating at fun restaurants. These are the things I concentrate on when we are together. They strengthen our limited bond instead of taxing it.
Not long ago, I found the cross and rose ring I bought for my daughter 10 years ago. Black tarnish covered its once shiny surface. Staring at it, I half prayed and half cried, «Oh God, it's just her. So much darkness.»My pain made me think of cleaning the ring and giving to my other daughter who loves God. But immediately He stopped my thought and reminded me of my hope. Brushing my tears away, I said, «You're right, Lord. This ring is for my daughter's coming home party.»