When I was only twelve weeks along with my first-born son, the doctor called us with some devastating news. The baby’s tiny bladder was blocked meaning he couldn’t process amniotic fluid and wasn’t expected to survive the pregnancy. My husband and I immediately decided that I would carry the baby to term despite the diagnosis. That decision launched us into a season of prayer unlike anything we had every experienced before.
I quickly realized that I didn’t have the words to ask God to respond the way I wanted Him too. All I could pray was “don’t let him die!” but that didn’t really capture the mighty work I was asking God to do.
So I started praying Scriptures for my son.
I often prayed “Lord, every good and perfect gift is from you (James 1:17). Please let this gift be born perfect, and without defects.” Many, many days I prayed Psalm 139 which promises that God was forming my son in the depths of my womb and had His hand on even my baby’s inmost parts. I asked God to make the “inmost parts” of my baby’s bladder and kidneys whole and healthy. I quoted James 5:15 often to God. That verse says, “And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up.” I also prayed Romans 8:28 and asked God to work the entire situation for my good.
During that season of intense prayer, when I didn’t know what words to say, I learned the power of praying the Scriptures for my children.
When my baby was born, Nancy mailed me a book titled Praying the Scriptures for your Children. It has been an invaluable resource in teaching me how to pray for my kids. It outlines specific passages of Scripture to pray for your child in areas like your child’s salvation, spiritual protection, your child’s marriage and purpose in life.
In the forward for that book, Fern Nichols writes:
“I believe the greatest influence a mom can have in the life of her child is through prayer. As she stands in the gap for her beloved child, the Sovereign Lord of heaven and earth hears and answers her prayers . . . One of the most powerful [prayer] principles is Scripture praying. When we pray the promises of God for our children, our faith increases because we are praying back the very words of God.”
I now pray God’s Word for my kids as often as possible.
When they are struggling in an area of behavior I don’t just say, “God, make them behave!” instead I pray “Lord, I know that lacking self control makes my kids vulnerable to the Enemy (Proverbs 25:28). Self-control comes from your Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:23); please teach them self-control through your Spirit.”
Instead of saying, “keep them pure,” I pray, “Lord, hide your word in their hearts so that they don’t want to sin against you” (Psalm 119:11).
Do you see how that works? Instead of just asking God to change my kids, I find Scriptures that apply to my children’s needs and then turn my heart toward those specific truths.
Does it work? You betcha. In fact, allow me introduce you to some proof. Meet Elisha. My strong, happy three-year-old with a healthy bladder and near-perfect kidneys. He’s a good and perfect gift alright, formed by the hand of an exceedingly loving God.