When you pray, you get to talk with God, but did you know that you are also modeling prayer to young children? They watch what you do. When you pray for them, you give them a gift. Here are ways that other parents have prayed for their infants, toddlers and preschoolers:
Prayers for Little Ears to Hear
When my son was only a few months old, I realized that I needed to model prayer for him; my silent prayers throughout the day weren't going to be enough.
So I began praying aloud. Even when my son was too young to understand, I took his little hand and prayed over our meals, thanking God for His provision and blessings. I enjoyed these sweet times but couldn't help wondering, Is he really learning anything?
When my son was about a year old, I got my answer. We sat down for lunch, and he held his hand out to me with a single word — "Pray." My heart soared as I realized that, even at a young age, he was learning to talk with God as part of his daily routine.
Our family has grown, but prayer is still a vital part of each day. We thank God for blessings, pray for strangers when we see ambulances, ask for help when problems arise and pray for Daddy's safety at work.
The Gift of Prayer
Don't wait for a crisis to pray for your children. You have an opportunity to give them a gift beyond compare by taking their current and future needs to God.
Pray they will…
- Enjoy their God-given life.
- Learn and grow.
- Have God's wisdom to handle life's challenges.
- Pursue a personal relationship with Christ.
- Learn from their mistakes.
- God will be their guide.
- God will help them love who He has created them to be.
- God's glory will permeate their lives.
Pray for their future…
Pray for Your Kids
I was touched, almost stunned. We sat on a train — Dad, my wife and I — ready to travel from our house in the northwest suburbs down to Chicago for the day. The incident occurred a few months before my wife, Angela, became pregnant, but we had been quietly thinking of starting a family.
Dad began talking to Angela. I was reading a book but caught snippets of their conversation. "You were exactly the girl I prayed Daniel would marry.…"
I put down my book and looked over at Dad. I had never heard him say this before. I knew he loved and admired Angela, but this was new information. Dad began to share his personal prayer journey. He had started making requests to the Lord — for me — before I was even born.
In the past, I'd heard parents talk about praying for their kids like this, but each time I thought, What good does it do when the child is still in the womb, swimming in amniotic fluid? I understood the usual prayer that accompanies childbirth: the health of mother and baby. To me, anything beyond that seemed over-the-top. But since that day on the train, Dad's words have lingered in my heart. His words made me realize that the life I now live is largely a result of Dad's quiet faith.
My daughter, Grace, is only 1 year old, yet I've begun to see the wisdom of Dad's prayer principle. So often I find myself getting caught in the tangle of the everyday that I lose perspective. Prayer settles me down and brings me back to my purpose as a parent. I'm passing the torch of faith to my daughter.
Now I know that many of my father's earnest prayer sessions were not for his own welfare but heartfelt entreaties sent to the heavenly Father just for me. Can a son ask for anything more? And so I want Grace to have the same story and continue the generational journey with God. That's why I pray for her — early and often.
—Daniel Michael Darling