5 Scriptures to Pray Over Your Children
Praying over your children is a very important role for you as a parent. Of course it doesn’t happen every day for me, or even multiple times a week … or even weekly, if I’m being completely honest, but when I find myself sometimes during the day or during the dreaded 2 am feeding looking down at my son wondering who he will be when he grows up, I like to say a prayer over his life. What I pray over him varies. Sometimes I pray for him to be a light to the world. Sometimes I pray that he achieves all of his dreams and that he dreams big! Sometimes I pray for his future wife and children. Many times I pray that my husband and I raise him so that his life glorifies God (click here to see my blog post about praying to be a “Good” parent rather than a “good” parent).
In my early twenties, it hit me that some scriptures are just prayers that someone else has written and shared with us. Psalms are love songs written by David and were — and still are to some extent — sung by Jews during important holidays. Job is a prayer of desperation to God during a very difficult time. We learn the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 and the prayer that begins “The Lord is My Shepherd” in Psalm 23.
During pregnancy, I wrote down 5 verses in my phone that stood out to me about what I wanted to pray over Joshua for his life. When he was born, I wrote the verses on index cards and hung them in his room over his crib. When I’m changing his diaper, I can look up and see the verses above his head. (Check out Project Inspired‘s ideas for areas to hang prayers and scripture.) I encourage you to choose verses that speak to you about your own children. Maybe you will find different verses for each child if you have more than one kid, or maybe all of your children will have the same verses. Maybe you will find dozens of verses and fill up a notebook, or maybe you will find just one verse that you hold near and dear to your heart.
Here are the 5 verses I chose for Joshua:
I have known for a few years that I would name my first son Joshua. I had already planned early on that I would have Joshua 1:9 on his nursery wall in some way. But this verse is even more important to me now than it was when I chose it 3 years before he was born.
My husband and I tried to get pregnant for almost a year. Because I am a two-time cancer survivor, we really had no idea if it would happen. A month before I found out I was pregnant, my verse-of-the-day app started glitching on my phone and I began getting the same verse every day: Joshua 1:9. For some reason, this didn’t hit me that this could be a sign. The morning I found out I was pregnant, I began to weep realizing that God had been trying to tell me for a month that I was pregnant. But still, silly me wondered if it would be a boy or a girl. When we found out the gender, I realized yet again that God had already told me what I wanted to know.
When you pray this verse over your child, you are praying that they will have the strength to follow God all the days of their life and that they will not be dismayed if and when they make mistakes. You are praying that they know God is always with them no matter what.
1 Samuel 1:27-28
As we were trying to get pregnant, I thought a lot about Hannah, the mother of Samuel. She prayed so hard to become pregnant and promised God that she would give her son back to the Lord. She did this by leaving her child at the temple to learn to be a priest. Though I don’t plan to leave Joshua on my preacher’s doorstep at a young age for him to learn to preach, I do pray this verse over my son to dedicate his life to God. I have a burp cloth that I was given after he was born that has this verse on it. I lay it under his head when I change his diaper because the changing pad gets cold, but I also love the symbolism of his head laying on the verse multiple times a day.
Praying this verse is thanking God for the gift He has given you and petitioning Him to help you do all you can to raise your children in His Ways. You are praying that your child sees God’s love in all of your actions, and that even when you are not mindfully raising him or her up to know God, you are still showing God’s light by just living your life.
You probably know this verse by heart. We tend to see it on graduation cards every year. I love taking the time to really look at this verse because I feel like we tend to take it for granted by seeing it so much.
By praying this verse over your children, you are praying that they know that God loves them enough to have a plan for them. You are praying that they find that calling early on in life and follow that passion all the days of their lives. You are praying that they understand that even when it feels like the whole world is against them, God has something spectacular planned for their lives.
Some versions of this verse say, “fearfully set apart.” It is important to teach your children what it means to be “set apart.” We are called to act differently than those who don’t believe. This doesn’t mean we should act superior, but that we should love all through our actions and words, guard our hearts, and seek God’s Will for our lives.
Praying this verse over your child is praying that they grow up realizing that God is the Creator and He loves each and every one of us individually as a father loves his children. You are praying that your kids know that love from an early age and feel it throughout their lives.
When you pray this verse, you are praying that God guides you in raising your child. You are praying that God helps you to raise up a man or woman of God, and when your child becomes an adult, they will remember how they were raised and use those lessons to guide their decisions. You are also praying that, one day, you will be able to let go and let your children become adults and make their own choices because you know that you have done the best you can do in training them to be a follower of Christ.
This post isn’t meant to stress you out by giving you one more thing to add to your Mommy To-Do List. You don’t need to spend a whole day hunting through your Bible for the perfect verses to match your child.
You can just be mindful when you hear verses you like in church, on a Christian radio station, or scrolling through Facebook, and add them to the notes section on your phone to be able to refer to whenever you think about it. You could keep a Pinterest board of verses you like handy if you are a pin-fanatic like me (click here to follow my “Scriptures to Pray as a Parent” board on Pinterest). Or you can skip the list and just pray over your kids when the thought pops into your head. There is no right way to do this.
You could set an alarm on your phone daily, weekly, or monthly to remind yourself. You could tape an index card with a verse on your bathroom mirror or your sun visor in your car to say out loud when you see it. You could even get your kids involved in the prayer by taking turns praying over everyone’s day on the way to school each morning.
Think of an easy, non-stressful way that works for you to add praying for your kids to your life.
You’ve got this, Mom.