I’ve been trying to do better lately about praying for my kids. My attempts at praying for my kids often lapse into brief prayers like this: “Please Lord, help them to obey. Change their hearts so that they love you with all of their heart from an early age. And please, help them to obey. Please.”
What I’ve been doing recently is using a notebook from two years ago when I studied the book “31 Days of Prayer for My Child” by Susan Alexander Yates and Allison Yates Gaskins. (Yates also wrote “31 Days of Prayer for My Teen” if that’s where you are. And if that’s where you are, I would guess you really need that book!) The book goes through 31 topics to guide you in thoroughly praying for aspects of your children’s life, from your own shortcomings as a parent, to their future spouse and friendships, to their spiritual life.
When I read the book a couple of years ago, I got a small notebook and for each chapter, I summarized what I wanted to pray regarding that topic, an attribute of God that relates to it, and a relevant Scripture passage, usually one of the several referenced by the authors. (This was suggested by the authors, not a brilliant idea of my own.)
For example, on the chapter about Sibling Rivalry, I wrote: “Praying that Christopher and Will would be lifelong friends, not for outward appearances, but for Your glory. God is triune–our perfect model of unity. Romans 15:5-6: May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Now that I have all 31 days recorded in my notebook, I can use it each month. I look at the listing for that date and pray about that topic for my kids. If you don’t want to buy the book or feel overwhelmed by the thought, you could simply brainstorm 31 prayer topics, perhaps with Scripture references, and create your own prayer list.
What I love about my notebook is that when I inevitably miss a day, I just keep on going and hope that I don’t miss again on the same date next month! Surely over the course of a few months I’ll get all 31 topics covered with prayer.