As with most items related to discipleship—and parenting is definitely a God-ordained and commanded aspect of discipleship (Eph. 6:1–4)—prayer plays a vital role.
When our children were younger, they would frequently accompany me many places I went, including the seminary where I taught. I was asked dozens of times, “How do you get kids at that age to be so well-behaved and be such a blessing?”Always the answer from the heart would be, “My wife and I are not perfect parents, and our children are not perfect children.” Though we certainly did see God’s blessing on our children, we knew they were still quite young and had not yet faced the teenage and adult years with all the temptations and snares and dangers ahead of them (Prov. 1–9).
While seeing God’s hand of blessing, I realized the battle was only just beginning for us—and at times it was indeed a battle, and a very intense one at that, as both the world and the evil one actively worked to attract them to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life (1 John 2:16).
Part of my answer to those who asked me about raising our children would be that we repeatedly prayed for them and tried to raise them as God would have us do, especially as shown in Scripture. Even then, my wife and I knew we were not in full control; you cannot save your own children; you cannot live their lives for them…
As I talked to other parents about raising children, a similar question would repeatedly be raised, especially by younger parents:
“What do you pray for your children when you pray for them?”
(From, “I Pray This for My Children” at www.tms.edu)Read the entire article here, which includes an excellent list of specifically focused prayers.
(Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)