A 50 day guide to pray for prodigals!
A powerful and effective way to pray is to remind God of His promises and His faithfulness to fulfill them. He says that He watches over His word to fulfill it (Jeremiah 1:12). One of the roles we play in prayer is to remind Him of such promises (Isaiah 62:6-7). Parents especially have authority to pray for their children, and declare these promises over their lives. If parents are walking with the Lord they can ask God to release powerful weaponry against the darkness that may be coming at their children. Even when the children are in sin, parent’s faith-filled prayers make a difference and cut to the heart of the Father! Please use the following prayer points and accompanying scriptures as a launch pad to fight the good fight on behalf of your children! There are fifty different prayer focuses (though many are similar and definitely overlap), when you finish simply start it over and do it again.
Trust in God!
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)
If you are feeling anxiety, fear or worry about your child, you are not trusting them to the Lord. Proclaim to the Lord that you release them into His hands and choose to trust Him for His best in their life. Proclaim that you choose not to make judgment based on what your eyes see or your ears hear, even any reaction your child may make. Proclaim that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Lord over your children. Declare that God will make their paths straight!
Break curses and weapons formed against them!
“’But I promise you, no weapon meant to hurt you will succeed, and you will refuteevery accusing word spoken against you. This promise is the inheritance of Yahweh’s servants, and their vindication is from Me,’ says Yahweh.” Isaiah 54:17 (TPT)
As you proclaim this passage over your prodigal allow faith to arise in you. Declare by the blood of Jesus that every weapon formed, made, designed, fashion, etc. against your child will fail. Announce that every curse, whether self-imposed or from others would be nullified! Declare that every fiery dart, every hex, every accusing word, etc., would simply fall to the ground, in Jesus name! Proclaim God’s blessing over their life!!!
Your tears matter!
“Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!” Psalm 126:5 (ESV)
Your tears are powerful. And God notices and collects every one of them (Psalm 56:8). What you sow in tears, you will reap in a harvest of joy. In fact, tears can be a form of intercession in themselves. We are told that the Holy Spirit is moving within us in groans that words don’t express (Romans 8:26). Sounds like tears to me. Hannah cried out before the Lord, silently with tears, and God heard her cry… and brought one of the greatest prophets into the world (1 Samuel 1:11). All that to say, by faith, ask the Lord to take these tears and pour out His harvest upon your child.
The blessing of a thousand generations!
“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments.” Deuteronomy 7:9 (NIV)
If you love God and are walking in obedience to His word, you can ask Him to release His blessing upon your children! He is faithful to His covenantal promises and is obliged to honor it. Even call on the blessings from your forefathers who knew, loved and obeyed God to be released over yourself and your children!
Sins of our forefathers!
“The Lord passed in front of Moses, calling out, ‘Yahweh! The Lord! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin. But I do not excuse the guilty. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children and grandchildren; the entire family is affected— even children in the third and fourth generations.’” Exodus 34:6-7 (NLT)
Not only does God bless the family lines of those who love Him, the sin of our forefathers can inhibit us and our children today. Simply ask God to cover the sin of your forefathers with the blood of Jesus. Cry out for Him to remove every curse released by their iniquities and transgressions. If you are aware of what they were, be specific! Ask Him to remove the curse from those who hated Him (Deuteronomy 7:10). Ask Him to pour out grace on your family line so that His desired blessing upon your children could flow freely!
A full quiver of useful arrows!
“Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.” Psalm 127:4 (NLT)
This passage talks about children being a blessing and are arrows in our quiver. Your children are meant to be in your quiver. Proclaim that the arrows in your quiver will be straight, sharp and solid as they are intended to be and prepared for the day of battle. Declare that your children are arrows in your quiver.
God will fight for your children!
“But the Lord says, ‘The captives of warriors will be released, and the plunder of tyrants will be retrieved. For I will fight those who fight you, and I will save your children.’” Isaiah 49:25 (NLT)
Did you get that? God will contend/fight against those who fight against you, and will see to it that those who fight for Him, His warriors, that their captives will be released, their plunder will be returned and their children will be saved! Declare that God promises to fight for you and save your children. Thank the Lord for this promise and then declare every plunder of the enemy shall be retrieved! Declare that your children will be saved!
A righteous harvest!
“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” Galatians 6:7 (ESV)
One of the first laws of the universe that God gave was we will reap what we sow. It is called Seed – Plant – Harvest. It is inescapable! That was given to Adam in the garden. The seeds we plant, whether good or not, will bring forth a harvest. Declare that every seed of truth that has been planted in your children’s hearts will bring forth a harvest of righteousness, and that every unholy seed that has been planted will be nullified. Ask the Lord to show you any place where you have planted any bad seeds and repent of it. Then ask God to remove the impact of that seed!
The Spirit of Elijah!
“And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.” Malachi 4:6 (ESV)
Declare the promise of the Spirit of Elijah over your children, specifically that He would turn their hearts back to Him and to bring any reconciliation needed between them and their physical father.
God to honor His word!
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (ESV)
Proclaim the truth that training up your children in the way they are to go will bear the godly fruit of them not turning from it when they are older. Declare that you believe this, even if you are not seeing it in the moment! Declare that they will walk with the Lord, that the seeds you have planted within them will bear a righteous harvest!!!
Oaks of righteousness!
“… that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” Isaiah 63:3b (ESV)
Proclaim that your children are oaks of righteous, plantings for the Lord as displays of His splendor and glory. God has planted destiny in your children and desires for them to bring glory to His name through them being who He created them to be. They are unique, so pray that God would uniquely nurture and call forth their destiny. It is said that an oak is simply an acorn that endured. Ask God to use the things in their life to strengthen and shape them for His purposes!
“I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten…” Joel 2:25a (ESV)
Cry out for God to restore what has been stolen from you and your children. Be specific, and then ask Him to pour out His Spirit upon them as He has promised to do upon our sons and daughters! (Joel 2:28)
“His head and hair were white as snow, and His eyes were like blazing fire… His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.” Revelation 1:14&16b (NIV)
Most kids who turn away from the Lord simply need fresh revelation of who He really is. So many reject Him because of who they think He is as taught on or displayed through their church experience. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal Jesus, the Lion and the Lamb, our Savior, Lord and King of Kings, the One who has a two-edged sword coming out of His mouth and an iron scepter in His hand. Ask God to show them who Jesus is in all His glory and majesty. Ask the Lord to remove every false image they have of Jesus!
God is watching over His word!
“Then the Lord said to me, ‘You have seen well, for I am watching over My word to perform it.’” Jeremiah 1:12 (ESV)
God’s word that has been planted in your children is not simply buried among other things. God’s word in your kids is powerful, alive, and will not return void. Thank the Lord for watching over the word that has been planted in your children, in order to fulfill it in His time. His seeds do not go amiss (Hebrews 4:12, Isaiah 55:11)!
“Look and see, for everyone is coming home! Your sons are coming from distant lands; your little daughters will be carried home.” Isaiah 60:4 (NLT)
No distance is too far for God to move. Remind God of His promise of bringing sons and daughters from wherever they may be and declare that your children will return home. Thank Him for faithfully honoring His word!
Rend the veil!
“Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:4 (NLT)
Declare that every veil of confusion or blindness to the Gospel and/or place of deception would be removed from your children so that they can see and hear clearly both the Gospel and their Great Shepherd’s voice calling them home (John 10:27, Matthew 27:51).
Tear down strongholds!
“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.” 2 Corinthians 10:4 (ESV)
In Jesus name, break every siege and stronghold that is set up against your children. The purpose of a siege is to wear down the occupants of a city by surrounding it and cutting off its supplies until they are compelled to surrender. Declare every stronghold that is operating in their minds would be torn down and completely removed by truth. A stronghold is an argument or pretense that sets itself up against the knowledge of God. Ask God to teach them how to take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Coming to their senses!
“When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger!’” Luke 15:17 (NLT)
No matter where your children are or what they are involved in, ask God to allow them to come to their senses and humbly return to their heavenly Father and their earthly home. Ask God to blow away the confusion that surrounds them, and the shame that binds and blinds them. Ask God for a grace to cloak them to step out of the pit and self-pity and get back on the right path homeward!
The right path!
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” Proverbs14:12 (ESV)
Ask God to make them miserable on the wrong path. Cry out for the Holy Spirit to show them the destination of where they are going if they stay on the path they are on. Even practically, ask God to show them where will they be in ten years, physically, emotionally, relationally and spiritually, if they stay on this path. Ask God to pour out courage to get off the wrong path and onto the right, life giving path!
Prophesy to the dry bones!
“Then He said to me, ‘Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.’” Ezekiel 37:4 (ESV)
Cry out for God to breathe His lifegiving wind over your children’s lives causing the dryness to turn into life and restoring the calling and destiny that He originally put within them. Ask God to restore everything that has looked dead in their life, and re-enlist them in His great army!
A new heart!
“And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.” Ezekiel 36:26 (ESV)
Ask God to give your children a new heart that beats for Him and new spirit that yearns to know Him. Ask God to remove every place of hardness in their heart and in its place tenderize their heart to break over the things that breaks His and a desire to be obedient to Him!
There is a hope!
“Thus says the Lord: ‘Keep your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears, for there is a reward for your work, declares the Lord, and they shall come back from the land of the enemy. There is hope for your future, declares the Lord, and your children shall come back to their own country.’” Jeremiah 31:16-17 (ESV)
Though our tears matter, we must not whine or complain to God about our children. God will reward your diligence, your work, your faith and trust in Him. All that you poured into your children is still there. Ask God to release the hope for their future, and stir them to come home!
A heart that recognizes God!
“I will give them hearts that recognize Me as the Lord. They will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me wholeheartedly.” Jeremiah 24:7 (NLT)
Ask God to give your children hearts that recognize and seek Him. Ask Him to awaken within them today a desire to know Him, to seek Him and to return to Him, no matter what it takes! Ask God for a grace over them to desire Him.
A good future!
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’” Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)
Thank the Lord that He has an amazing plan for your children. It is so good. He brought them into the world to fulfill with a purpose. Ask God to reveal Himself and His amazing plans of hope for their future. Declare that they have a beautiful future laying before them! Ask God to allow them to have a glimpse of the unimaginably awesome things He has planned for them (1 Corinthians 2:9).
“I will restore the fortunes of Judah and Israel and rebuild their towns.I will cleanse them of their sins against Me and forgive all their sins of rebellion.” Jeremiah 33:7-8 (NLT)
Thank the Lord for His promise to completely cleanse and forgive your children for whatever they may have done, and will restore all He has purposed for and through them! When God forgives He removes our transgressions as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12)). That’s why Paul wrote that there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). Declare this cleansing power over your children.
Taught by God!
“All your children will be taught by the Lord, and great will be their peace.” Isaiah 54:13 (NIV)
Thank the Lord for the promise that He Himself will teach your children, and bring them to a place of great peace. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Cry out for them to come to know Him as such, and that they would become carriers of His peace to others!
Future generations will hear!
“Our children will also serve Him. Future generations will hear about the wonders of the Lord.” Psalm 22:30 (NLT)
Declare that your children will know and serve the Lord and have stories of their own to share about God’s power operating through them. Cry out for God to stir your children to see and to truly care that what they do now will impact their children’s children.
“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1 (NLT)
Shame and condemnation will keep your children from returning home or coming back to Jesus. So, the enemy will use this relentlessly against them. The Holy Spirit will convict them of their sin, but the enemy reminds them of it. Ask God to set them free of this shame and condemnation and release the truth that God’s grace is enough and Jesus’ blood covers all their sin, completely washing them as if they had never sinned!
A thriving inheritance!
“The children of your people will live in security. Their children’s children will thrive in your presence.” Psalm 102:28 (NLT)
Thank the Lord for His plan and ability to protect your children and bring them into a safe and secure environment. Thank Him for the promise of your children’s children being close to you! Ask Him now to remember His promises of a thriving inheritance of grandchildren.
Distaste for sin!
“He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.” Hebrews 11:25 (NIV)
Moses willingly gave up the pleasures of sin for a higher purpose. Sin may be fun for a season, but its satisfaction is not lasting. Pray that your children would see that anything less than God’s best is worthless. Ask God to put on their heart the value of serving, walking in holiness and a hatred for sin!
Hunger for spiritual things!
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Matthew 5:6 (ESV)
Pray for your children to develop a true and deep hunger and thirst for righteousness. Developing a taste for godly and wholesome things often starts in small bits. Ask God to bring the taste of heaven into their lives, and increase their desire for it until the lessor tastes are no longer desired! Ask God to remove the toxic things and friends that are like fast food, they may satisfy a need, but really have not good healthy value.
“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Psalm 27:13 (NIV)
No matter where your children are and/or what they may be doing or involved in, thank the Lord that you can be confident they will see His goodness in the land of the living. Pray that God would open their eyes to see His goodness all around them. Ask God to allow them to taste and see that He is good (Psalm 34:8). Ask Him to release them from their stale and stinky bread of past wounds and bad experiences and that He would stir their senses for the delightful scent of fresh bread from heaven, that is available for them!!!
They were not in vain!
“They shall not labor in vain or bear children for calamity, for they shall be the offspring of the blessed of the Lord, and their descendants with them.” Isaiah 65:23 (ESV)
God brought your children into this world for a reason. He chose you to be their parents. He did not allow you to go through the challenges of raising them, only to see them fall into the ways of the world. His purpose is to see them blessed and to release that blessing into their own children someday. Proclaim that your children have a purpose and destiny. Declare that God chose you to raise them. Declare that His purpose will prevail. Thank Him for entrusting them to you as your children.
“Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is trustworthy in all He promises and faithful in all He does.” Psalm 145:13 (NIV)
God is faithful! His kingdom and dominion will endure through every generation, meaning, it will endure through your children’s as well. And most importantly, as His kingdom endures, He is faithful and trustworthy in all His promises. God does not lie or renege on what He has said. Remind Him of the promises He made over your children, whether prophetically, or through His word.
God’s enduring love!
“But the love of the Lord remains forever with those who fear Him. His salvation extends to the children’s children of those who are faithful to His covenant, of those who obey His commandments!” Psalm 103:17-18 (NLT)
God’s promise of enduring love and salvation, extends even to the children and their children, of those who are faithful to Him. In other words, our faithfulness to God impacts our grandkids. Because you are walking with God, appeal to Him to pour out His covenantal enduring love on your children today.
“I have heard all about You, Lord. I am filled with awe by your amazing works. In this time of our deep need, help us again as You did in years gone by. And in Your anger, remember Your mercy.” Habakkuk 3:2 (NLT)
It is a biblical truth that mercy triumphs over judgment (James 2:3). Cry out for God to pour out His mercy over every place where your children have rebelled and deserve judgment. Ask Him to fill them with an awe of who He is and what He does. Ask Him to revive your child and help them acknowledge their desperate need for Him. Oh God, in wrath, remember mercy!
Formers becoming reformers!
“Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing!” Isaiah 43:18-19a (NIV)
The very chains of the past can become weapons for the future. Where your children have been bound and chained up, are the very areas God may have them minister in. The weapons used against them are to become weapons in their hands against the enemy. Cry out for God to change them from formers to reformers, from prisoners to liberators, from captives to warriors! Ask God to show them their destiny, their calling and their purpose. Ask Him to call them from the former things to the new and amazing things He has for them!
“And the priest could not enter the House of the LORD because the glory of the LORD filled the LORD’s house.” 2 Chronicles 7:2 (ESV)
When God’s glory falls, there is a weightiness that comes with it. The priests were not able to enter the room after Solomon prayed because of the glory had filled it. When the glory falls the atmosphere shakes (Isaiah 6:1-4). When the glory is revealed all people bow down in worship to Him (2 Chronicles 7:3). Pray that God’s glory would fall upon your children, that they would be overwhelmed today by the weight and the shaking that comes with His glory. Pray that everything not of Him would be shaken off of them and that they would fall down on the faces to worship Him.
Grace to repent!
“In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent.” Acts 17:30 (NIV)
Ask God to release a grace over your children to repent, that is, to turn from their rebellion and wayward ways, to wholehearted devotion to Jesus. Pray that their eyes would be opened to their ignorance and willfully independent thinking. Ask God to bring people their way today to shine and speak the truth, the gospel, into their lives.
Wisdom & revelation!
“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better.” Ephesians 1:17 (NIV)
As you pray for your children, please remember that God is not after them to adhere to a law or a code of rules. His desire for them is to know Him, to hear His voice and follow Him (John 10:27). In other words, He desires a relationship with them. Pray that indeed, the Holy Spirit would release heavenly wisdom and revelation in their lives so that they would KNOW Him better!
“This is good, and pleases our God and Savior, who wants all men to be saved.” 1 Timothy 2:3-4 (NIV)
Elsewhere we are told that God is patient not wanting anyone to perish but for everyone to come to a saving relationship with Him through repentance (2 Peter 3:9). God is patient with your children and totally understands where they are at. He may not approve of it, but He is not angry nor has He given up on them. Thank Him for His great love for them. Declare that they will be saved because of His great love for them!
Oh that they would know how much the Father loves them, that He calls them His own beloved children (1 John 3:1)!!!
“As for what was sown among thorns, this is he who hears the Word, but the cares of the world and the pleasure and delight and glamour and deceitfulness of riches choke and suffocate the Word, and it yields no fruit.” Matthew 13:22 (AMP)
In the parable of the sower, Jesus unpacks how seeds are planted in various soils. For those children who have grown up in a home where good seeds have been planted, but are being choked, out pray this…
In Jesus Name, I take authority over every “thorn” that has found a place in my child’s soul, all the “cares of this world,” all the “pleasures,” “delights,” “glamour” and deceitfulness of riches” that have enticed their attentions and affections from Jesus Christ, I bind them up and uproot them now! I declare, no longer will those “thorns” be tolerated to choke out and suffocate the Word of the Lord. I declare the Word of the Lord will grow, thrive and multiple in their souls for the glory and honor of the One Who purchased them with His blood and destroyed the curse of death from their lives that they may be free! For who the Son sets free is free indeed! This is the will of the Lord!
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.” Ephesians 1:18-19a (NSAB95)
The Apostle Paul gave us an amazing prayer. Read it and personalize it for your child.
“Father, I pray for my son/daughter, asking You to enlighten their heart so that they would know the hope and destiny of His calling in their life. Awaken that it their life today! I ask that they would know the fullness of richness of their inheritance in Jesus Christ, and to experience the surpassing greatness of His power that is available for all who believe in Him. May they know the power for Your Holy Spirit in their life to free them, and to lead them into victory today!”
A righteous promise!
“For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has promised him.” Genesis 18:19 (ESV)
Like Abraham, we have been called and chosen to command our children and the generations to come, to keep the way of the LORD! God’s promises are conditional upon our obedience, but when we do obey, His promises are sure. God wants to bless you, your children and their children, so forth.
Ask God to establish a righteous root in your family line. If you are first generation followers of Jesus Christ, thank Him and ask Him to continue it through your children and their children, and their children. If you are carrying on the righteous family line from those before you, thank the Lord for every one of them. Ask God to release His promises through your forefathers, to your children, wherever they may be today. Remind God of His promises to those who obey Him!
Rooted in love!
“And I pray that you being rooted and established in love…” Ephesians 3:17 (NIV)
These verses are powerful to pray over your child (Ephesians 3:16-19). Join Paul in praying that your child would be strengthened with Holy Spirit power in their inner being so that their heart would be filled with faith in Christ (v.17). Pray that the love that surpasses understanding would fill your child’s heart and mind in Christ Jesus (v.19). Ask the Holy Spirit to allow your child today, to grasp how wide, and high and long and deep the love of Christ is from them (v.18), and that He would establish and cause their roots to go deep in Jesus! Thank the Lord for doing this out of His glorious riches (v.16)!
“Their offspring shall be known among the nations, and their descendants in the midst of the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge them, that they are an offspring the LORD has blessed.” Isaiah 61:9 (ESV)
Ask God for your children to be bright beacons of light to all around them. Cry out for God to stir your child to seek Him and obey Him so that their friends would see the bright light within them. Ask God to release His blessing in their life, so much so that their friends would take note, and speak out the godly destiny of your children, even if right now they are wandering in the opposite direction. Ask God to show everyone that your child is an offspring of His, one whom He has blessed, whom He deeply loves. Speak that blessing over their life!
“Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do.” Ephesians 6:1-3 (NLT)
This is an amazing passage of promise. Paul tells us that children who belong to the Lord are to obey their parents. It’s the right thing to do! Then he says that all of us are to honor our father and mother, and when we do, God promises a long, abundant life (v2-3). Our kids are watching how we treat our parents. If you have not honored your parents, why should you expect your kids to honor you?
Ask the Lord for a grace over your children to obey you, and if they haven’t been, for Him to bring conviction over them to make it right. Ask the Lord to forgive you for any place you have not honored your parents. Take a few moments and ask the Holy Spirit to specifically remind you of anything, then respond to Him. Now pray that your children, would honor and respect you, and that God would release His promise of life over them!!!
He is with them!
“Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ And to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring My sons from afar and My daughters from the ends of the earth, everyone who is called by My name, and whom I have created for My glory, whom I have formed, even whom I have made.’” Isaiah 43:5-7 (NASB95)
Strong words, “Fear not, I am with you!” Not only is God with you, He is with your children, even in their wandering! Fear has such a paralyzing impact on us. We so easily start to worry and get anxious when there is silence. In the dark hours of silence, we tend to think of the worst-case scenario. Today, turn off the lies and fears that the enemy spews into your thoughts.
Thank the Lord for being with your child today, no matter where they may be! Cast your fear and cares upon Him (1 Peter 5:7). Remind Him of His promise to call and bring back your children, for they have been created for His glory! Acknowledge that He formed and created them for Him. Put your trust in the Lord, instead of whatever things you may be thinking about (Proverbs 3:5-6). Thank Him for making their path straight!
You are blessed!
“And when Esau lifted up his eyes and saw the women and children, he said, ‘Who are these with you?’ Jacob said, ‘The children whom God has graciously given your servant.’” Genesis 33:5 (ESV)
Children are a blessing from God! Solomon told us that “children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward” (Psalm 127:3 ESV). He goes on to say that they are like arrows in a warrior’s quiver!
Take time today to simply thank the LORD for your children, whether they are wandering or not! Praise God for entrusting them you. Ask God to grant a shift in your thinking about them, that they would be seen as gifts, not burdens or worries! Proclaim them by name that God has “graciously given” them to you!
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4 (ESV)
Another translation says, do not exasperate your children (NIV). Other words for this include infuriate, incense, annoy, irate, madden and enrage. Interestingly, though it definitely applies to mothers as well, this instruction is to fathers! Fathers just have a way of pushing those buttons!
Take this opportunity to ask the Lord to show you any place you have provoked your children to anger, that is, where you have reacted in the flesh instead of in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. If the Lord shows you any places, pray about it. Ask the Lord to pour out grace in these places in your child’s life. Ask Him if you need to speak out and apologize to your child. Humbling oneself and asking forgiveness is a powerful way to nullify the impact of exasperating your child!
“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (ESV)
God never intended us to hand over to other people, the responsibility of teaching our children His ways. But sadly, too many parents simply trust their church to do the Biblical educating. God said that we were to make His word central in our homes, and to intentionally teach our children both by word and deed. For many, their wandering children are simply the fruit of neglecting the spiritual orchard of their children’s hearts.
Ask God to come in and clean up wherever there has been Biblical neglect. It could have been that you didn’t know Jesus yet, or that you simply were not walking in obedience to Him. Ask God to awaken wholehearted love in their heart (v.5), even where it was barren. Ask the Holy Spirit to draw their attention to Jesus today. Ask God to give you opportunities to impress it upon them (v.8), to talk to them about Jesus on the road and when they sit at home, even to write notes that would turn their thoughts told Him (v.9). Thank the Father, for taking the crumbs we have left and making it into a feast in their life!
“‘And this is my covenant with them,’ says the LORD. ‘My Spirit will not leave them, and neither will these words I have given you. They will be on your lips and on the lips of your children and your children’s children forever. I, the LORD, have spoken!’” Isaiah 59:21 (NLT)
God’s word is eternal (Psalm 119:89-90), it is living and active (Hebrews 4:12), it does not return void, but will accomplish all that He desires it to achieve (Isaiah 55:11). His Spirit, who is in you is in and/or after them. The words you have implanted in your children will bear a harvest. Jeremiah says that God watches over His word to fulfill it (1:12). This is a powerful promise to proclaim over your children, whether they are walking with the Lord or wandering away.
Thank Him for His eternal covenant and that He is faithful to all He promises! Proclaim that God’s word is living and active today in your child’s life! Thank the Lord for protecting, nurturing and bringing forth the harvest of His seed, when the time is right. Declare that you trust Him for how and when He chooses to move upon their lives. Pray that the Holy Spirit would bring thoughts about Jesus today, and conversations about Him with even their most unlikely friends.