When you pray over your children, do you ever pray specific verses from the Bible? Do you find it difficult to locate passages that can assist you with this? Do you find that you pray in a way that is both mundane and’small’ a lot of the time? As a parent who prays, I can attest to the fact that I’ve struggled with each of these issues.
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A more senior woman attended our church and participated in a bible study a few years ago. During the course of the study, she shared a biblical passage with the group that she had always relied on when praying for her children. It struck a chord deep within me, and in the years that have passed, it has evolved into a TGBC[[[[=689UI8JUPU-0 passage that we frequently refer back to. Our children are very accustomed to hearing about it at this point.
This passage comes from the epistle that the Apostle Paul wrote to the Colossians.
Colossians 1:9-12 (ESV)
9 And so, from the day that we heard, we have not stopped praying for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in your knowledge of God; 11 being strengthened with all power, according to the glorious might that he possesses, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to receive glory and honor
When I pray, I always find myself going back to the book of Colossians. This book is so uplifting, full of wisdom and instruction for how we ought to live as children of light, and it is a book that I highly recommend.
I pray for each of my children during the time that I set aside each morning for prayer, but I make it a point to offer longer and more detailed prayers for just one of them each day. In this manner, I am able to spend time interceding on behalf of each of them in the manners that are necessary for them.
If you have never prayed using the scriptures before, you may find that doing so is strange and uncomfortable. However, there are a number of reasons why developing this habit is beneficial to one’s health.
- Scripture itself provides the illustration for us to follow. There are numerous examples of God’s people praying back to him the words that he has spoken throughout both the Old and New Testaments. If you go through the Psalms and read them all, you’ll notice that the majority of them are actually prayers. Scripture records show that Jesus Himself prayed various passages of the Bible. What other example could there possibly be?
- The word of God maintains the vibrancy and vigor of our prayers. John Piper writes that “if we don’t form the habit of praying the Scriptures, our prayers will almost certainly degenerate into meaningless repetitions that eventually revolve entirely around our immediate private concerns, rather than God’s larger purposes.” If we don’t make praying the Scriptures a habit, our prayers will almost certainly degenerate into meaningless repetitions. If we want to know and see the purpose that God has for our children, we need to find that purpose in the holy word that God has given us.
- The scriptures themselves, as well as the One who penned them, become more dear to us as we pray over them. It not only helps us become more familiar with the word of God, but it also helps us memorize it.
- Scripture is without error and absolutely reliable. Reciting it back to the Father in prayer instills the truth in our hearts and minds and brings joy to our very beings.
- The Bible is a powerful book. I hunger and thirst for the Holy Spirit to make his presence known in the lives of my children. What more effective way is there to ask for that power than by praying the very words of God over the people I care about the most?
How To Pray The Scriptures?
For those of you for whom this is a novel idea, allow me to provide a brief illustration of one way in which you can easily and naturally incorporate scripture into your prayer time.
This is an additional passage from the book of Colossians, chapter 3:12-17.
13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. 14 Above all else, put on love, for it is love that brings everything into complete harmony with one another. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts, for this is the calling to which you were all assembled into one body. And remember to be grateful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God for what he has done for you. 17 And whatever it is that you say or do, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. This applies to both your words and your actions.
If I were praying for my oldest child, Noah, it might sound something like this:
“Father, please make it clear to Noah that he is the son you have chosen; he is holy and he is loved. Let him have a compassionate heart and exhibit kindness, meekness, and patience when dealing with others. As he works to forgive others, remember to forgive him as well. I pray that Noah will put on love, because love is the glue that holds everything together and ensures that there is perfect harmony. And may the peace that comes from Christ, to which he was called together as one body, rule in his heart. Let him express his gratitude. Let the word of Christ take up residence in him fully so that it may guide, instruct, and admonish him in all knowledge. Instill in his heart psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, along with an attitude of gratitude to God. No matter what he says or does, may he always do it in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through him. ” Amen.
This is only an example of how I pray a passage of scripture; yours can be prayed in whatever way you feel led to do so. Place an open copy of the Bible in front of you. If you find yourself stumbling over your words, just pray about it. Both the song that is in your heart and the prayer that is on your lips are heard by the Holy Spirit. And when you find yourself at a loss for words, He will pray on your behalf.
If you are in need of some additional suggestions for scriptures to pray with, I have placed some of them here for you. On the other hand, the Psalms are always a good place to start.
- Jeremiah 29:11-14
- Psalm 139
- Psalm 23
- Psalm 91 (my favorite)
- Ephesians 6:12-13
- 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
- Romans 8:12-17
Scripture prayer is a spiritual discipline that is worthy of being cultivated in daily quiet time, and it is recommended that you do so. As you get started, pray that the Holy Spirit will implant his word deep within your heart.