Battle Plan: Praying Strategically for Your Children

By Jacqui Jackson
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Mother praying for child
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

In a previous article, we explored the need to battle for the hearts of our children. As we dig deeper into this idea, I want to start by sharing one of our family’s favorite verses, Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

I have leaned on this verse throughout my motherhood, and one I will cling to when my children eventually launch from their safe home into the unpredictable world. But I want you to consider the unsettling idea that while our loving Father has good plans for our children – we also have an enemy who has his kind of battle plans for them. Yes, I know that may be terrifying, but we do not need to feel overwhelmed because Jesus has “overcome the world” (John 16:33).

However, we do need to be willing to surrender to our Father God, who loves these kiddos even more than we do. The idea of surrender often brings up connotations of vulnerability. Yes, vulnerability can feel uncomfortable, especially for those in the First World who desire to be autonomous and independent. But when it comes to any plan that can impact the children we are parenting – the wise parent hits their knees. Gratefully, you and I can be in communion with the One who is omniscient, omnipresent, and eternally focused on being in a relationship with His children.

Prayers of Revelation

One of the things I have learned in the trenches of parenting is to pray the prayers of revelation. I began this shortly after the adoption of my oldest child. Nothing can make a formerly handle-all-the things-type-person hit their knees faster than a baby intent on forgoing sleep all night long. From that first fervent prayer through all the ones I’ve already prayed over our whole tribe up until this very morning, I have learned a few things about storming the gates of heaven on behalf of my young children.

Here are four things I have found to be true as I battle on my knees for the trajectory of the kids I love.

praying family over bible

A Prayerful Parents’ Battle Plan:

1. God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)

So Mommas and Dads, if you feel the Holy Spirit awaken you at 2 am with one of your kids burdening your heart – hop up, hit your knees, and start praying for wisdom, revelation, and insight that will help you parent that child well.

2. “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) 

When trouble strikes, it rarely sets up a mutually beneficial time, nor does it announce its presence until we’re neck-deep in fertilizer. Lately, I’ve realized that the trouble we’ve been facing hasn’t been aimed at the hubby and me, but rather our family. Trouble aimed right at the eyes of the children you love can send a momma into an anxiety attack, but take heart, parents – He has overcome the world! He’s overcome the world we are living in, parenting in, and praying in. In the world, he’s tantalizing and tempting all of our kiddos – no matter how or when they joined the family. He sees it, He gets it, and God is NOT afraid of the mess. 

3. Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

So I’ve gone around the bend on this truth- part of me has held on to it as a promise that as long as I’ve prayed for my kids and introduced them to Jesus, they will not go off the rails. The truth is the verse says- “When he is old…. he will not depart.” Even though a teen would say achieving their 13th year equals adulthood – you and I know the truth: Adulting is hard, and learning takes a lot of trial and error.

As our children find their way, they may bump up against our hard and fast belief systems, questioning their faith. That is a fiery dart that sends my pulse skyward – but it is a rite of passage – especially for kiddos who have gone through some hard things. The ability to trust and surrender fully when those who should have been most trust-worthy were anything but – that is a God-level Gift. So get down on those prayerful knees and ask God to move on behalf of these kids. Ask Him to pursue them and woo them to Himself and save them from being drawn to the things of the world. Be real and know that the real God who loves you – loves these kids even more than you do.

4. Rejoice always; pray without ceasing. “(1 Thessalonians 5:16-17.)

The more time you spend in the throne room getting real with your God about your kids – the more time you will want to be there. As you partner with the God of Angel Armies, you will realize that even though you may not be ever-present – He is!

Your Battle Plan

Maybe you have certain verses that God has placed upon your heart for your specific kids. Perhaps in certain seasons, one child or another needs a more in-depth battle plan because of temptations, friends, past circumstances, or trauma. Lean into the Holy Spirit and allow Him to lead you in your prayer time. Ask Him to bring to mind each child that you have the privilege of parenting – for a season or a lifetime. As you receive a Word for each kid – consider sharing that with them, and letting them know that you and Jesus are prepared to pray over the trajectory of their life – in the good and the messy.

Copyright © 2020, Focus on the Family

Wait No More
Focus on the Family’s Wait No More program prepares hearts and homes for children in foster care. Everyone who feels called to foster, adopt or support a foster/adoptive family can be involved through our nationwide events and resources. Each day, we help advocate for kids in foster care to experience the love of family, no matter how long they’ve waited.
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