What is God’s will for 21st century parents toward their children? What a difficult time for the parents of today! We have a nation that continually gets further from God, we have a degraded outlook as to what a family is, and we have laws that encourage abuse of God’s will for the family unit. Broken marriages are rampant, and dysfunctional homes are an evident part of society, resulting in children who are deprived of ever seeing the nature of God in the home.
Mankind as a majority tends to travel away from God, but for the minority, for the Christian, we seek to get closer to Him. The battle for parents today, is to have homes that, God intended and not as the world has fashioned them to be. Truth is, the will of God for the parents toward their children is the same today as it was in the 1st century, as God’s nature does not change with each century.
Here are 31 Biblical virtues to pray for your children:
1. Salvation. “Lord, let salvation spring up within my children, that they may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with external glory” (Is. 45:8, 2 Tim. 2:10) .
2. Growth in grace. “I pray that my children may grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18).
3. Love. “Grant, Lord, that my children may learn to live a life of love, through the Spirit who dwells in them” (Gal. 5:25. Eph. 5:2).
4. Honesty and integrity. “May integrity and honesty be their virtue and their protection” (Ps. 25:21).
5. Self-control. “Father, help my children not to be like many others around them, but let them be alert and self-controlled in all they do” (1 Thes. 5:6)
6. Love for God’s Word. “May my children grow to find Your Word more precious than much pure gold and sweeter than honey from the comb” (Ps. 19:10)
7. Justice. “God, help my children to love justice as You do and act justly in all they do” (Ps. 11:7, Mic. 6:8)
8. Mercy. “May my children always be merciful, just as their Father is merciful: (Lk. 6:36).
9. Respect (for self, others, authority). “Father, grant that my children may show proper respect to everyone, as your Word commands” (1 Pet. 2:17).
10. Biblical self-esteem. “Help my children develop a strong self-esteem that is rooted in the realization that they are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:10).
11. Faithfulness. “Let love and faithfulness never leave my children, but bind these twin virtues around their necks and write them on the tablet of their hearts” (Prov. 3:3).
12. Courage. “May my children always be strong and courageous in their character and in their actions” (Dt. 31:6).
13. Purity. “Create in them a pure heart. O God, and let that purity of heart be shown in their actions” (Ps. 51:10).
14. Kindness. “Lord, may my children always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else” (1 Thess. 5:15).
15. Generosity. “Grant that my children may be generous and willing to share, and so lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age” (1 Tim 6:18-19)
16. Peace-loving. “Father, let my children make every effort to do what leads to peace” (Rom. 14:19).
17. Joy. ” May my children be filled with the joy given by the Holy Spirit” ( 1 Thess. 1:16)
18. Perseverance. “Lord, teach my children perseverance in all they do, and help them especially to run with perseverance the race marked out for them” (Heb. 12:1)
19. Humility. “God, please cultivate in my children the ability to show true humility toward all”(Titus 3:2).
20. Compassion. “Lord, please clothe my children with the virtue of compassion” (Col. 3:12)
21. Responsibility. “Grant that my children may learn responsibility, for each one should carry his own load” (Gal. 6:5)
22. Contentment. Father, teach my children the secret of being content in any and every situation, through Him who give them strength” (Phil 4:12-13)
23. Faith. “I pray that faith will find root and grow in my children’s hearts, that by faith they may gain what has been promised to them” (Lk. 17:5-6, Heb. 11:1-40).
24. A servant’s heart. “God, please help my children develop servant’s hearts, that they may serve wholeheartedly, as if they were serving the Lord, not men” (Eph. 6:7)
25. Hope. “May the God of hope grant that my children may overflow with hope and hopefulness by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Ro. 15: 13)
26. Willingness and ability to work. “Teach my children, Lord, to value work and to work at it with all their heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” (Col. 3:23)
27. Passion for God. “Lord, please instill in my children a soul that ‘followeth hard after thee’ (Ps. 63:8, KJV), one that clings passionately to You.”
28. Self-discipline. “Father, I pray that my children may acquire a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just fair” (Prov. 1:3).
29. Prayerfulness. “Grant, Lord, that my children’s lives may be marked by prayerfulness, that they may learn to pray in the Spirit on all occasions will al kinds of prayers and requests” (Eph. 6:18)
30. Gratitude. “Help my children to live lives that are always overfilling with thankfulness and always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph 5:20, Col 2:7).
31. A heart of missions. “Lord, please help my children develop a desire to see Your glory declared among the nations, Your marvelous deeds among all peoples” (Ps. 96:3)
None of us are perfect parents, so how can we be perfect parents? It’s being a praying parent that makes the difference.
Excerpts from Pray! Magazine issue 4. ©1998