One of the regular features on All Pro Dad is their daily Top Ten List which provides daily tips on topics such as raising children, improving your relationship with your wife and living your faith each day. I posted in its entirety the 10 Things to pray for and with your child. It is based on the Our Father and is contains great advice on not only what we as dads should pray for, but what we can teach our children to focus their prayers on. Please visit All Pro Dad and pass it along to others.
We all want the best for our children, and prayer can be an important part of helping them to grow up. But how should we pray for them and with them?
Well, there's no better guide for prayer than listening to Jesus. When His friends asked him how to pray, He suggested an outline we have come to know as “The Lord's Prayer.”
This “10-Ways” list is based on these words of Jesus:
“Our Father in heaven, may your name be honored. Your kingdom come, Your will be done - in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, as we forgive the sins of others. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory. Forever and ever. Amen.”
Pray that your kids make a real connection with God: this is the starting place. The fact of prayer assumes a God who is not distant. This is where we all must begin.
Pray that your children honor the Creator: It's important that kids learn to believe in a real God, a Being of light and power who we can't help but respect and honor – a Creator they can revere rather than the light-weight “Heavenly Santa Clause” of myth. Prayer becomes more meaningful in the context of respect and reverence.
Pray they translate that honor into action: Kids who honor God are more inclined to participate in their Creator's work. It's the way “Thy will be done” turns into, “Yes, and we'll do it every day.”
Pray that they are well-equipped to meet every daily need: Prayer as a vehicle to honoring God, is less concerned with “God - give me what I want”, or “me, me, me” as a matter of course. But it is absolutely appropriate to pray that our kids acquire the wisdom and the skills to live in freedom, without going hungry and without fear.
Pray that they your children understand the power of forgiveness: Our kids certainly don't need to be saddled with the baggage so many of us carry around. So let's pray that they understand and live in the knowledge that forgiveness and hope are always on the table.
Pray that they are well-equipped to deal with temptation: We already know how difficult it is to live with integrity in a world loaded with stumbling blocks that trip us at every turn. So pray with and for your children - that they have the necessary tools (faith, education, family support, good friends, tenacity etc.) to resist.
Pray that they will have the resources to defeat everything negative: “Evil” is more than just temptation. Sometimes evil is direct opposition, confusion, disappointment, worry, stress, people who hate, people who always try to break down what is right and oppose goodness. We need to be serious about our commitment to pray about these things. For ourselves as well as for and with our children.
Pray that they will develop relationships that serve to strengthen them: This prayer – “The Lord's Prayer” – suggests an approach to life that values balanced relationships. We were not created to live alone, without support. So let's pray that our children develop the kind of relationships that will give them strength and, especially, choose well when it comes to a spouse.
Pray that love will define them: The reason we pray at all is the belief that our Creator cares. God cares because God is love. So we should pray that our children learn to live with love as their defining value.
Pray for the strength of the family: Our children are on the front lines of the new generation. Anything can be lost in one generation of disinterest, including the family. Pray that our children help to turn the tide.