Think about how your child needs prayer. Narrow it down to one idea. Then write your child’s name and theme in the back of your Bible. For example: Ryan | laziness | “In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty” (Prov. 14:23). By writing this in your Bible, you’ll always have it before you. Then pray it privately and publicly and watch God answer.
Every Christian parent knows they should pray for their children. Job prayed for his children, even in their adulthood. He would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings on their behalf (Job 1:5). But praying for children is easier said than done.
A parent’s prayers may fall into several ruts. There’s the Vague Ditch (“Lord, bless Johnny”), the Redundant Ditch (“Lord, help Johnny”), the Trivial Ditch, (“Lord, be with Johnny”), and the Carnal Ditch (“Lord, give Johnny good grades”).
There’s a place for all of these prayers, for sure, just as there’s a place for dessert. But you can’t live on dessert. Dessert prayers shouldn’t dominate your intercession for children any more than ice cream should dominate your dinner.
If the prayers for your children lack meat and potatoes vitality, here’s a practical solution. Choose a theme verse for each child, then pray that verse over them all year long.
Fathers should consider following this exercise each year. This is a big part of being a leader in the home. Dad must shepherd the heart of his children. He plans ahead. He has forethought. He knows his little lambs. “Know well the condition of your flocks”, Solomon says (Pr. 27:23).
Find a verse that touches an important need. For example, suppose your son is nearing conversion. In his battle with sin he cannot determine if he’s a Christian. Consider choosing as his theme verse 2 Corinthians 13:5. “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.”
If your daughter is sweet but you’re burdened that she remains that way, make this year’s theme verse 1 Peter 3:4. “Let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”
Then tell your children this is their verse for the year. Tell them you wrote it down and you’ll be praying it over them.