A Prayer for Our Children — and Ourselves

I wish I had noticed more fully a prayer of Paul’s while we were raising our six children. I would have memorized it. I would have prayed it — every day. 

I can still pray it — for my adult children, for myself and my husband, for my grandchildren, and for my fellow believers in Christ.

Paul is writing to the believers in Philippi, his beloved, his joy and crown. He prays for them as a father might pray for his children:

PrayerForOurChildrenAnd it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God (Philippians 1:9-11, ESV).

Let’s take this prayer and claim it for our children.

Lord, we pray that our children’s love for God and for each other would grow and increase.

We pray that this ever-growing love would be rooted in a vigorous knowledge of God and His truth as it is revealed in their study of His Word.

We pray that they will understand God’s love for them and that His love will inspire, motivate, and drive them to share that love with others. Give them insight into loving others in a godly Christ-like way.

We pray that they will test and approve the things that are excellent, that they will know what is best and what is true. Please give them wisdom to choose rightly between morality and grace, between the teachings of men and the teachings of God, between the earthly and the heavenly, between the temporal and the eternal.

We pray that their faith will be sincere and without hypocrisy or pretense. May their repentance be accompanied by the fruits of true repentance, and may they live with consciences that are free from offenses against you and others as they confess and forsake their sins.

We pray that their lives will be filled with good works — the fruits of Christ’s righteousness in them. Help them to live lives of fruitfulness and obedience, not to earn your favor or to gain the approval of men, but to glorify You as they live and serve in Your strength.

In Your precious Son’s name,




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  1. Just wanted you to know my recent post on wordpress included 3 links to your site!

  2. Sometimes I struggle to find the right words to pray for my children. I so desperately want their little hearts to yearn for the Lord. I feel that I fail them in so many ways. Not being a good Godly example. I desire to be, and yet I live with so much sin. When I read that verse, I have always loved it. Reading how you phrased it when praying for our children brought a whole new understanding. And I know that in praying back scripture, I am praying His will and I can pray it in confidence knowing His love for my children is even greater than my own. Thank you for everything that you do. Thank you for loving God so much that you put aside all else to dig and find so many treasures to help you along your parenting journey. And thank you for taking the time to share it all with us.

  3. Pam, Thank you for your faithfulness, so blessed by it.

  4. I too struggle with the “right” words to pray for my children. A few years ago I found a wonderful little book that helps tremendously! “Praying the Scriptures for your Children” by Jodie Berndt. And now I have it on my phone/kindle too!!

  5. Yes, yes, yes, and Amen! You so well verbalized my heart’s desire for my son to long for God. Most days I feel more than inadequate as a parent and Christ-follower, but this is my prayer. I feel parents need more help than ever in our world today. I’m always looking for encouraging words like these and resources to help me grow as a follower and parent. My new favorite is a brand new book by Dr. Tony Evans called “Raising Kingdom Kids: Giving Your Child a Living Faith.” He says, “It’s far easier to SHAPE A CHILD than to REPAIR AN ADULT. Raising kids who recognize and retain their identity as children of the King launches healthy adults who have the capacity to stand strong in their faith.” Equipping and guiding our children starts with us, parents! This is the most solid, thorough, inspirational and affirming parent book you’ll ever read! I love it and HIGHLY recommend it for all parents!

  6. This is great! I have printed it out to use with my kids. Thank you so much for your ministry. Since the spring I’ve done your Colossians study, Psalm 37 and now I’m near the end of Proverbs 31. Each one has increased my knowledge of Scripture, including memorization, but more importantly has nourished my spirit deeply. Thank you.

  7. I too love praying scripture for my children in this way. How powerful! I have blessed with a Mother-in-law who has modeled and taught me how to pray some of Paul’s fabulous prayers for our loved ones (including this one.) She often uses this one. This past summer our pastor also used this prayer to encourage us as a body of Christ to pray this for others in our church fellowship. I don’t have it memorized perfectly, but hope that I pray it in a way that honors God when he brings others to my mind. How awesome that now you can pray it for your children, grandchildren and model it for younger family members and others in your life. May God bless you as you’ve encouraged me and strengthened me in the Lord.

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