Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Praying For My Child

At Mattis Avenue we have babies on the brain this month! We had a first visit from our tiniest new member this past Sunday morning in worship, two more babies are due within the next few weeks, and we'll be dedicating a special little guy and his sister to the Lord later this month. Oh, and our nursery renovation is almost complete- just in time, I might add!

Photo of infant toes, Credit: Chad Olson

Later this year, we'll be launching a program called "Faith Path" which is a strategy used by churches to help provide birthday-driven coaching kits to parents to create a spiritual milestone or spiritual discipline at the ideal age and stage of development.

Faith Path logo
This training is given for 12 important milestone times in a child's life, from birth to age 18. For example, when a child turns 3, those parenting the child will get a kit of information including a video and some creative idea pointers on the importance of blessing your child. At age 6, the training is on prayer and teaching your child to pray, at 9 you're learning about giving and serving, at 11 preparing for adolescence, and so on. The idea is to provide "just in time" coaching to parents, or those significant in the child's development. We tend to get so busy with all life throws at us, we hope that these kits will help parents be intentional about building faith at home step by step in a way that's not overwhelming, and even fun!  In case you're curious, here's a sneak peek at the Faith Path steps:


As I was reviewing some of the Faith Path information related to dedication, which is typically provided to parents with infants, I found these simple ideas for praying for your child. Even as a parent with school aged children, these really hit home! In fact, at my girls ages, I would enjoy praying them out loud with my kids. I think it would be a great springboard for conversations with them. I thought I'd pass the ideas on for you to ponder, and maybe even try out at home today!

From Faith Path's "Praying for My Child": One of the most impactful investments we can make in our chilren's faith formation is the habit of praying for them. Rather than repeating the same simple prayers asking for health, happiness and safety, consider these ideas to expand your prayer life and establish a meaningful routine of praying for your child.

Prayers from their head to their toes:
You can begin praying for your baby during feedings or while he or she falls asleep in your arms. Side note: I also remember praying some particularly desperate prayers while cajoling a colicky baby! One simple method is to pray "from head to toes" by touching the child gently on the head as you pray and gradully moving your hand all the way down to his or her toes as you pray.

  • Head: "Give my child wisdom, discernment and an understanding of Your Word."
  • Eyes: "Help my child see the truth and guard his/her eyes from impurity."
  • Ears: "Let him/her listen to the Lord and those in authority"
  • Mouth: "Help my child speak with truth and honesty and use his/her words to praise the Lord."
  • Shoulders: "Let my child cast his/her burdens on the Lord and give him/her friends who will help him/her stand strong."
  • Hands: "Help my child learn to work as unto the Lord with a servant's heart."
  • Heart: "Open my child's heart to salvation, a love of scripture and concern for other people."
  • Feet: "Inspire my child to follow the Lord all of his/her days."
Praying Scripture:
Another method is to begin praying scripture over your child, inserting his or her name. For example, pray Psalm 23 by saying "Lord, be NAME'S shepherd so HE/SHE shall not want."Or what about inserting your child's name into 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 in place of love? I pray that NAME would be patient, NAME would be kind, etc." Try it for yourself as well! Jesus modeled the incredible power of combating Satan by speaking scripture aloud in order to align our desires with God's purposes. 

For those who would enjoy further study on this topic, I recommend "Praying the Scriptures for Your Children" by Jodie Berndt.

 A copy was given to us by a friend when our children were born. I wish I could say that it is worn out from excessive use.... I will say that I'm inspired to go crack it open again and get praying for my kiddos. I hope you're inspired by some of these ideas too! Do you have a favorite method of praying for your kids or grandkids?

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