A friend found this on the Bible Study Fellowship International website and I wanted to pass it on. What a great way to add to our prayer life and strengthen our families. The author suggests concentrating on one point per month…might be a good resolution for the new year!
Many Christians who previously have neglected to make time for consistent daily prayer find themselves kneeling before God asking for His wisdom, strength and grace to parent their children. Parents often pray for their children’s safety, health, actions and decisions. Yet the Holy Spirit characteristically begins to open our eyes to ways of praying for our own needs and weaknesses.
God encourages the believer to seek Him if they lack any good thing (Psalm 34:10). The following suggestions and Scriptures might be helpful as you pray for yourself in your role as parent. Consider concentrating on one point a month. Within a year, you will have consistently prayed for this entire list. As you pray, ask God to reveal other areas where you need His help and transforming power.
1. Convict me of any personal hypocrisy lived out before my children, which contradicts what I say by what I do. When appropriate, compel me to admit my sin to my children (Matthew 7:3-5).
2. Allow my words, looks and actions to clearly reflect to my children that my mate is loved, honored and cherished (Proverbs 31:10-12; Ephesians 5:25, 28).
3. Help me recognize individual limitations, respect individual differences and have realistic expectations for each child (Colossians 3:21; Ephesians 6:4).
4. Uphold me so I am never too tired, angry or negligent to discipline my children wisely (Proverbs 29:17).
5. Enable me to be a peacemaker, diminishing jealousy and irritations among my children, and allow my example to encourage them to be peacemakers (Proverbs 17:14; Philippians 2:3; Matthew 5:9).
6. Restrain me so I do not spoil my children with too many possessions nor too few expectations and responsibilities (Psalm 37:16).
7. Enable me to shield my children from premature association with sexuality, sophistication in ideas and dress and unfruitful knowledge of the world (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 17).
8. Strengthen me to resist the enticement of popularity for my children and be willing for our family to be different from the world’s standards (1 Samuel 16:7; Psalm 37).
9. Soften me so I am generous in expressing appreciation and approval while holding back reminders about my children’s past failures and mistakes (Psalm 78:38-39; Proverbs 25:11).
10. Give me wisdom to know when to step in and take charge of a situation for my children and when to step back and let them learn for themselves (Proverbs 16:9).
11. Mature me so prayer is my immediate response to family joys and crises (Ephesians 6:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18).
12. Encourage me to remember daily my own need to be taught by God’s Word and filled with His Spirit so I reflect the joy of the Lord before my children (Psalm 16:11).
The day will come when your mature children make their own choices. You may painfully watch them make willful or rebellious decisions. Your years of effort and prayer may seem fruitless. Satan stands ready with taunts and accusations to belittle and mock your efforts of Christian parenting. If this time comes to you, recall your sincere prayers to God for yourself as a parent; remember how He has answered. Trust God even in the most difficult situations. Be strong in prayer and take courage! Christian parents can claim with comfort God’s promise that “the one who believes in him will never be put to shame” (Romans 9:33)