How I Pray for My Children

When I was 16, I went down an aisle during a mission’s conference and told Jesus I would follow Him to the ends of the earth, I said “yes” to go wherever He said to go. I thought back then that looked like a remote village in Africa, with children from the orphanage all piled up in my lap, and red dirt covering my clothes. And while my heart beats wildly for those children, my mission field is in my living room.

I was wiping bottoms one day and sweeping goldfish off the floor, and God reminded me of that fall day all those years ago, when I said yes to Him. And I realized I didn’t have to go to the nations to mother the vulnerable, I was staring them right in the face.

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One of the most devastating passages in the Old Testament to me is Joshua 2:10, “And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel.”

I am standing on the ceiling of those that have gone before me. My deep history with Jesus is a result of my mom and grandma’s prayers. I’ve found places in God they haven’t found, and it’s because they paved the way for me. I want the same for my children. I want the depths of God’s heart to be the very beginning of their stories with them.

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It can be overwhelming though sometimes, right? How do we get them there?

Well first, we have to become daughters before we’re able to be mothers. We have to know who we are in Christ Jesus, and walk unwavering in that identity. We mother them from our own relationship with Father God. We let them watch us love Him, sing to Him, spend time with Him, serve them, love their Daddy. And explain. Explain to them why you do the things you do. My kids have watched me time and time again stop to pray for someone on the side of the road, or in the middle of a restaurant. And over time, they’ve learned how to join in.

But I spend a lot of my time fighting for my children in prayer. I remember holding baby Selah and thinking, “How can I possibly pray all the things I desire over her?” I’m not exactly sure where I heard this, but it’s been a sweet way I pray for my children and I feel like it encompasses my deepest desires for them. I hope it will be helpful to you too, as you pray for your children.

I do this either as I’m rocking them at night before bed, or sometimes I’ll go back in their rooms after they’ve fallen asleep, I’ll anoint their heads with oil, and I start praying for them from the “top of their head, to the bottom of the toes.”

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It goes something like this…

“Father, thank you for Selah (or the name of your other children).

Thank you for your great love for her. Thank you for the destiny and calling you’ve placed on her life. Help me, Holy Spirit to shepherd her heart in such a way that leads her deeper into Yours.

(Head) May she always know of your great love. May she renew her mind with the truth of Your Word, and that truth be what she believes louder than any lie. May your thoughts about her be the only ones she entertains. Guard her mind with the helmet of your salvation. May she know you, really know you. And may her heart take her places, her brain never can.

(Eyes) Father, give her eyes to see what you see. Help her to see the friend sitting alone and join her there. Help her to see the broken and the rejected so she can be you to them. Help her to see with eyes of faith. Let the reality of who you are be more true to her than what she sees with her eyes. Give her your eyes, Father, your vintage point. Let her always see higher, from your perspective.

(Ears) Holy Spirit, let yours be the only voice she hears. Let your words be the words that are louder than all the rest. Let her know intimately the sound of your voice, so when you speak she listens and obeys. Let her hear clearly from you, unobstructed from the chaos of the world, drowning it all out, until only yours is the voice she hears.

(Nose) Father, give her supernatural discernment. That she detects danger, manipulation, unjust, and deception in the spirit. Holy Spirit, make her aware of the enemy’s tactics, but fully covered under the protection of her identity in you.

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(Mouth) Jesus, let your praise always be on her lips. Make her words sweet like honey and refreshing to others. Let her lips decree and declare your goodness. May she use her words as weapons, calling into being things that were not. May she know in her words, she holds the very power of life or death. May she always choose life, building up, calling forth, and declaring hope with her words. May her words bring healing. And may it be your name and your goodness, Jesus, that she speaks of all the days of her life.

(Shoulders) Jesus, your yoke is easy and your burden light. May her shoulders never carry the weight of her world. But may she always find the fullness of joy in your presence.

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(Heart) Oh Father, may her heart truly know you. Yada know you, in an intimate way. May you be the lover of her soul before any boy or man. May you capture her heart, Jesus, all the days of her life. Be her gatekeeper, Jesus, guard this precious garden with the power of your blood. When she gets hurt, may it be your arms, Father, she runs to. May nothing in her heart be hidden from you, but you occupy every room. Be the King, ruling and reigning in her very being. Make her heart break, Father, for what breaks yours.

(Hands) Jesus, may her hands be calloused always serving as if she was serving unto you. May she never be scared to step in and get her hands dirty with your love. Let her reach down and pick up the broken, walking with them hand in hand to get to you. Let everything she touches prosper. Let the work of her hands be blessed. May her hands lay on the sick and see them healed, pray for the oppressed and see them set free, and release the fire of Holy Spirit onto those whom she prays.

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(Feet) Jesus, may she follow you all the days of her life. If she ever starts to stray from your narrow road, Papa, call her name and she’ll sing her way back to you. May she trust you with every step she takes, even if she can’t see far ahead, let her next step be full of your light for her path. Send her to the broken, the ones who need You, even if it means she has to lay her life down for you. Make her a path paver, a pioneer for her generation. May she take others with her in the Kingdom and pave the way for those coming behind. May she follow you, beautiful Jesus, all of her days.”

Not always do I go into such great detail, but for the most part this is a simple pattern I use to pray for my children. “From the top of their heads, to the bottom of their toes.”

photos by sophie brendle photography photos by sophie brendle photography

photos by sophie brendle photography

You might feel like you’re in the thick of goldfish messes and wiping bottoms, but every prayer you pray is growing interest in heaven. It matters, Mamas, what you’re doing now, it matters so much.

We have the opportunity to mother generations if we’ll take it.

And I don’t know about you, but it’s my deepest desire and highest calling.