My kids know that ever since they were young I’ve prayed that God will help me to catch them if they wander into trouble. And they’ve seen that prayer answered time and time again when their dad or I miraculously catch them breaking the rules though they were sure they were going to get away with it. I’m sure this is the least favorite of all the prayers they know I have for them – but in my mind, it’s one of the most important ones!
The Bible talks about the moral decay that will become rampant as Christ’s return draws nearer. One of the things it mentions in the list of ungodly characteristics is that people will be “scoffing at God” and “disobedient to their parents” (1 Tim 3:2) I do not want my children to fall into either of these categories, not when they’re young and still under my guidance and certainly not when they’re adults and able to make their own decisions.
God gives us our children for just a short time and he charges us with the responsibility of raising them to be godly adults that will eventually raise their children in the same way. This is the only way to guarantee that future generations will be the light of Christ in the increasingly darker world. And when Christ does return to take his church with him – I want more than anything for my children to join him! (And my grandchildren; and great-grandchildren; and so on…)
God quite obviously knew that this job wouldn’t be easy and that we’d need guidance. The Bible has many, many reminders that we are to discipline our children along with many reasons why. (There are more than 20 verses about discipline in the Proverbs, alone!) This task is of eternal importance, and I know that there is no way I can pull it off on my own. That’s why one of the most important areas we can pray for help in is this one.
I encourage you to pray the prayer below (or your own variation of it) for your children every day. If your children are grown and have kids of their own, pray it for them as parents. If you don’t have children of your own, pray it for the parents of children you know. (And tell your kids you’re praying this. It might encourage them to behave!)
Lord, I pray that you will show my children the way out of temptation when it comes. (1 Corinthians 10:13) I pray that you will enable me to catch them quickly if they begin to wander into trouble so that I will be able to discipline and correct them while there is still hope (Proverbs 19:18) and that they will not think it is safe to do wrong. (Ecclesiastes 8:11) Help me to guide them in your Word and give them their own hunger for it as they get older so that your law will be written on their hearts and their conscience will guide them. (Romans 2:15)