Praying the Scripture Over Our Children

Sermon delivered on May 8th, 2022
Sunday Morning Service

By: Pastor Greg Hocson

Scripture Text: 1 Samuel 12:20-25

 

The nation of Israel has rejected God from being their King and has demanded an earthly king. The people asking for a king was an insult to Samuel as well as to God and God was not pleased. To show His displeasure, God sent a sudden thunder and rain, which did not normally happen at that time of the year, because it was harvest season. And so, as the thunder and rain came, the people were frightened and realized their sin in asking for a king. When the people realized their wickedness, they cried, Pray for thy servants unto the LORD thy God, that we die not: for we have added unto all our sins this evil, to ask us a king.” To which the prophet Samuel responded …

1 Samuel 12:20 And Samuel said unto the people, Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart; 21: And turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain. 22: For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great name's sake: because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people. 23: Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way: 24: Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you. 25: But if ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be consumed, both ye and your king.

 

Introduction

We gather here today for at least three reasons, first is to worship our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ. Secondly, to encourage one another. Thirdly, to honor our moms. We want to honor them whom honor is due. I pray as we grow mature in age, the more we come to realize how precious our moms are. But another thing I want to do this morning, is to remind the mothers in our midst regarding one of their greatest responsibilities to their children, and that is praying for their children. Praying for children is one of the most powerful things we can do as parents. Although praying for our children is clearly a Biblical duty and responsibility, it is sadly neglected in the homes today. Because of all the demands and responsibilities wives and mothers carry, they have a hard time finding time to pray for their children. Many of the wives and mothers today are not staying home moms, but you don't have to quit your job to pray for your children, you don't have to quit being a strong woman to pray for your children, and you don't have to change who you are to pray for your children.

 

Lets look at our text …

1 Samuel 12:22 For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great name's sake: because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people. 23: Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way: 24: Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.

In other words, not praying is sinful. Not praying is sinning against the Lord. “God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you.” Although the context here is regarding praying for the nation of Israel, we could apply this verse to our responsibility to our children. May we not sin against our children and grandchildren by neglecting to lift them up in our prayers. Pray for them daily, pray for them early. Let the Lord hear you early in the morning, praying for your children.

Psalm 5:1 Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation. 2: Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray. 3: My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

 

One good example of one who prayed for his children is Job.

Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil. 2: And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters. 3: His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east. 4: And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them. 5: And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.

 

You may be asking what should I pray for my child/children?” This morning, I will offer some specific things you can pray for your children. Its praying the Scripture over your children. Whether you have little ones, or teenagers, or adult children, who have already moved out of the house, I believe this will help you effectively pray for your children. Using the Scripture to pray over our children can help us focus our prayers on things we know God has promised in His Word. I am aware that some of you dont have children, some are single, and some are too young to think about relationship. Regardless of your status in life, there is something for everyone to take away from this message. If you are single, you could spiritually adopt a child to pray for. If you are too young to think about relationship, then pray these things over for yourself.

 

This morning I will share Ten Scriptures to pray over your child. You can start with this list and as you read and discover more Scriptures, add them to your list. Over the years, your prayer list may change as your childs needs will change as they move into different stages of their life—infancy, toddlerhood, teenage years, young adult, and full adulthood. For every stage of life, they will face different needs and new challenges. And so, the focus of your prayer may also change as your child move from one stage to another. Their needs may change and your prayer list may change over the years but be assured that the Scripture will always be the same. Gods promises will stand and will continue to stand.

 

1. Pray for their salvation

2 Timothy 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15: And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Pray that they will be wise unto salvation. Understand that their soul is much more precious that all the riches of this world. That truth should stir us up to constantly pray for their salvation. That they might come to the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Psalm 63:1 O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; 2: To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. 3: Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. 4: Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. 5: My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:

Pray that they will seek God in truth at an early age and that they will come to know Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord. Pray that they will have a real and intimate personal relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ.

 

2. Pray for their character

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness,  faith, 23: Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Pray that they will bear the fruit of the Spirit. That they will show evidence of their salvation by exhibiting godly character. Prayer for our children should include asking that they will embrace a life of godliness and goodness, even in childhood. Pray that God will so work in their hearts and lives that the fruit of the Spirit will be manifested in their lives, such as love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance (self-control).

 

3. Pray for their conduct

Colossians 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10: That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

Pray that they might walk worthy of the Lord. Pray that they may conduct themselves in a way that will honor and please the Lord. Not simply that their manner of life will please us, but it will please the Lord. It has been well-said, “If you please God, it does not matter whom you displease. And if you displease Him, it does not matter whom you please.” Ask the Lord on behalf of your children to help them lead lives worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.

 

Another Scripture you can use concerning their conduct is …

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2: And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

 

Psalm 101:2 I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.

 

4. Pray for their speech

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

Pray that no corrupt communication proceed out of their mouth. Remember the movie Bambi?” There was a cute rabbit in that movie whose name is Thumper?” Thumper said something in that that movie that is so important and relevant even today. What did he say when his mom asked him, “Thumper, what did your father tell you this morning?” Thumper responded, “If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all.” The grammar may be wrong, but the message is so true. May our children learn this principle and never forget as they grow up into their teens and adulthood.

 

Pray that no unkind words will come out of their mouth, but only that which will build up others and glorify God. There is so much hatred and anger in the world we live in and so pray that our children will be a light and witness in this dark world.

 

5. Pray for their thought life

Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

Pray that they will keep their heart with diligence. That they will guard the thought of their hearts for from our thoughts (hearts) come all the totality of life. Godly Christian character and conduct are not accident; they are the product of right thinking.

 

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 9: Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

Here is a command to fix our thoughts upon the right things, upon right objects and a command to practice the right things. Think on these things and do these things. These are not easy to do in a society that is becoming more and more pagan and unholy. Pray for Gods guidance and help in keeping your children pure in thought and deed.

 

6. Pray that they will have a fear of God

Psalm 86:11 Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.

Pray that God will help them to unite their heart to fear Gods name. The Bible speaks so much about the fear of God.

Proverbs 14:27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.

 

Proverbs 19:23 The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.

 

Psalm 33:8 Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.

 

Psalm 34:9 O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.

 

Fear of God has two important elements, namely awe and dreadReverence and terror. Pray that they will have a reverential fear and healthy fear of God. Respecting God and being afraid of offending Him. Fear of God will lead them to godly character, godly conduct, and godly speech.

 

7. Pray that they will live for eternal things

Colossians 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2: Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

Pray that they will that they set their affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

 

2 Corinthians 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Pray that they will desire for the things that matter. That they will love spiritual things, rather than focus their attention on things that are temporal. Its not easy to communicate to younger children that the things of the world are temporal and fleeting and that eternal things are what really matters in this life. So, pray that God will open their spiritual eyes to see what natural eyes could not see.

 

Mathew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34: Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

 

8. Pray for their friendships

Proverbs 13:20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed (suffers harm).

Pray that they will choose friends who are wise. Wise here doesnt mean smart, for there are many smart kids who are fools. Wise here, are those who fear the Lord.

 

Friends can be either a blessing or a curse. Friends can be a great source of love, joy and encouragement, but they can also be great source of sorrow, heartache and trouble. Good friends are an important part of your childs social and emotional development and can play a major role in shaping their views. So, pray that they will choose their friends carefully, that they will desire the right kind of friends and be protected from the wrong friends.

Proverbs 1:10 My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. 11: If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:

 

Pray also that they will be the kind of friend that build others up. Pray that they will show your love and care to their friendship circle at school, college or university.

 

9. Pray that they will strive for excellence

Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

Pray that whatsoever their hand finds to do, do it with their might. Pray that they will grow up always striving for excellence. Excellence is above and beyond what is expected. Whatever work or task the Lord has called them to do, whether in the home, or in the school, or at work, or in the church, may they learn to do it with all their might. Wise people say, “If it is worth doing, it is worth doing right.” Add to that, If it is worth doing, it is worth giving your very best.”

 

This is so important and so needed specially in a society and culture plagued by a sense of entitlement. Many today have the attitude that unless you give me this much reward, I will only give you this much effort. Pray that our children will reject that attitude and instead to seek and strive for excellence; to go above and beyond what is expected of them.

 

10. Pray they will learn to forgive

Colossians 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13: Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

Pray that they will learn to forbear and to forgive.

 

Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

 

Matthew 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

 

1 Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

Pray that your child will not grow up a bitter person. That he or she will learn to forgive. This will greatly help them with their relationships and in their married lives.

 

There are other things you could pray for the children, such us their safety and protection, their health, their future—school, career, jobs, spouse, etc. As you read your Bible and come across commands and promises that speak to you, add them to your list. Take a few scriptures to pray over your children each day and claim them.

 

Closing Thoughts

Our children are precious to us. As parents who care deeply about our children, we want them to have a life filled with blessings and happiness! But no amount of money or success will ever bring our children joy and happiness. Real joy is found only in the Lord. This is why it is so important to pray for them and the very first thing to pray for them is their salvation. That they would have a real and deep relationship with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. May we say with the prophet Samuel, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you.” In other words, not praying is sinful. Not praying is sinning against the Lord. Not praying for our children is sinning not only against your child but also sinning against God.

 

In closing let me read a quote from our supported Evangelist Paul MershonThe greatest single sinful act that a parent can perpetrate against his child is to NOT pray for him or her. Satans desire is to capture the hearts and minds of our children when they are young and in their formative years. The devil wants to gain complete control of their lives that he might destroy them. He has targeted the current generation of young people as perhaps none other. Our modern day culture is saturated with humanist and occult philosophies designed to enrapture and entice our young people to reject the ways of the Lord for the ways of man. There is a constant tug upon the hearts of our children to accept the music of the world, the dress of the world, the language of the world, the trends of the world and modern-day religious compromise that appeals to the emotions rather than the spirit. Our children are so vulnerable. The devil has lured Christian moms and dads into a sense of naiveté (gullibility) whereby it is often felt that because kids are taken to church, educated in the Christian school, involved in various ministries and Christian pursuits that somehow they will be immune to Satans program. What our children need, more than anything else is praying, weeping parents. If we do not pray for them and over them, we will surely lose them. Mom and dad need to be not only a consistent example to their children in holy living and godliness, but also in their prayer life. There is no power for protection aside from the power of God. Prayer is the answer.”

 

If we do not pray for our children and our grandchildren, who will? May the Lord help us to pray for our children. May the Lord teach us how to pray the Scripture over our children. As I have said earlier, using the Scripture to pray over our children can help us focus our prayers on things we know God has promised in His Word. May we realize that praying for children is one of the most powerful things we can do for them and an amazing opportunity for us to see God work in the lives of our children.

 

God bless you all on this Mothers Day! AMEN!