By Jennifer Waddle, Crosswalk.com
Have you ever reached a point where you just don’t know what to pray? Your petitions seem empty and repetitive, and you wonder if God is tired of hearing the same old thing. If this describes you, please be encouraged today. He hears you, and He knows what is on your mind before you even say a word.
One of the most comforting truths of the Bible is that the Holy Spirit intercede for us. Romans 8:26-27 says, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”
With this powerful passage in mind, here are ten specific ways to pray for your grown children.
1. Pray for Their Heart
Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” This verse is a powerful springboard for our prayers as we ask God to shield, protect, guard, and guide the hearts of our grown children.
Another important heart prayer is to ask the Lord to soften our children’s hearts and turn them toward Him. It might even be helpful to picture our kids as moldable clay in the hands of the Potter as He turns their hearts of stone into hearts of flesh. (See Ezekiel 36:26)
Remember, the Lord does not look at the outward appearance but at the heart. Let’s pray for our grown children to become men and women after God’s own heart.
2. Pray for Their Mind
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Perhaps, unlike any other time in history, the minds of our children are consumed with toxic thoughts and ideas that are leading them down destructive paths. Let’s pray for our grown kids to be transformed by the Holy Spirit, allowing Him to renew their minds and fill them with clarity and peace.
Let’s also pray for them to be able to discern God’s voice and understand what His good, pleasing, and perfect will is.
3. Pray for Their Emotions
Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Along with the constant bombardment of media in our children’s lives, their emotions are being pulled in every direction. They might struggle with sadness, anger, or fear, and they need us to pray for God’s help.
Let’s pray for God to do a mighty work in their emotional stability as He turns their thoughts towards things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Let’s ask Him to replace harmful emotions with feelings that are governed by His love and grace.
4. Pray for Their Physical Bodies
Psalm 91:9-12 says, “If you say, ‘The Lord is my refuge,’ and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”
Praying for our children’s physical well-being is one of the most common prayers for every parent I know - including myself. We want the assurance that they are safe from harm, healthy, and whole.
I suggest praying Psalm 91 aloud, asking God to cover your grown children wherever they are. Try this for 30 days and see how it helps calm your heart concerning your child’s well-being.
5. Pray for Their Careers
Colossians 3:23-24 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
This passage is one that I used to memorize with my kids when they were little. It was a simpler version that said, “In all the work you’re doing, work the best you can, as for God, not man.” Some of my kids can still recall that verse today, which makes this mama’s heart happy.
Let’s pray for our grown children’s careers, that they will be respected at work and find fulfillment in their chosen fields. Let’s ask God for opportunities to grow and improve in their skills and to remember Him as the reason for what they do.
6. Pray for Their Friends
Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Even as adults, our children still need trusted friends who will sharpen them and draw them closer to God. Let’s include our grown kids’ friends in our prayers and ask the Lord to bring faithful believers into their lives.
It’s also okay to ask God to shield our kids from harmful relationships that will lead them astray. Even if we don’t know the names of their friends, we can commit them to the Lord and pray for healthy, vibrant relationships that will strengthen our children’s faith and mature them in the days ahead.
7. Pray for Their Spouses
Ephesians 5:33 says, “Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”
Praying for our children’s spouses is super important - just as important as praying for them. Remember, when they married, they became one in God’s eyes. Let’s be diligent in lifting up our children’s marriages and be faithful to pray for the love, respect, and unity every marriage needs.
Ask God to be the center of their relationship and help them thrive in every aspect as husband and wife.
8. Pray for Their Needs
Philippians 4:19 says, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”
As we pray for our grown children’s well-being, let’s also include their earthly needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter. Today’s economy is hard on young people, and our kids need God’s blessing and provision.
Let’s pray God’s name, Jehovah-Jireh, as we trust Him to be their Provider. He promises to take care of us as we follow after Him. Specifically, ask for financial blessing, hearts of generosity, and for every need to be met by His righteous right hand.
9. Pray for Their Surrender
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
How important it is to pray for our children’s complete surrender to God! Just as we desire to follow Christ in all things, we want our grown children’s ways to be committed to Him so they will walk on straight paths according to His will.
Let’s pray for our kids to surrender everything to God’s control and trust Him to work all things out for their good. We can be faithful examples of surrender and encourage them to do the same.
10. Pray for Their Peace
John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Jesus’ comforting words can be turned into a prayer for peace. By lifting our grown children to Him, we can ask that they will receive His peace and live unafraid in this lost and dying world. So often, our kids are looking for peace in the wrong places. Let’s pray that they will turn their eyes to Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith.
Even when we feel like we’ve run out of words to pray, we can count on the Holy Spirit to intercede on our behalf. We can trust Him to cover our children’s needs - physical, emotional, and spiritual. Remember, God hears your prayers - even the quiet, unspoken petitions of your heart.