Out of the heart flow the issues of life, so nurturing our children’s hearts is key. Here are 8 scripture-based prayers you can pray for your child’s heart.
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When we had our first child, teaching him to obey topped my parenting to-do list. Right up there with teaching him about Jesus.
And there’s nothing wrong with that. Teaching our kids to obey is a Biblical responsibility as parents.
However, over the five (almost six) years I’ve been a parent, my focus has shifted in a slight — yet oh, so significant — way.
Where once I was hyper-focused on behavior, I’m now more interested in the heart.
Getting to the Heart of the Matter
I recently wrote this on Facebook:
Do I care more about my kids’ reputations than their character?
Do I worry more about them looking good or acting good than being good?
Do I prioritize outward behavior over inward heart change?
Do I attempt to control rather than train?
Do I seek short-term convenience (from “good” behavior) more than long-term development?
Do I value what other people think more than what God thinks?
It is intensely tempting to discipline from selfish motives — for the ease of well-behaved kids, for the parental pride it gives, and for the satisfaction of looking good in front of others.
But I’m not just called to train their behavior; I’m also called to shepherd their hearts.
It is entirely possible to have obedient kids whose hearts are far from God, far from their parents, and far from others.
And that’s not my end game.
Am I trying to teach my kids to obey? Yes. Absolutely. (Trying being the operative word.) But I’m trying to do a lot more than that.
I don’t just want to “get” good behavior.
I want to grow good hearts.
I’m no longer interested in behavior modification. That might look good on the outside (temporarily, at least), but ultimately, it won’t last, and it won’t lead them to a greater love for Jesus or people.
I want to nurture their hearts.
And to do that, I know I need help from the only One who can truly change them from the inside out.
That’s why I’ve written these prayers for my children’s hearts (and a few for my own, as well).
I hope they help you as they are helping me.
Prayers for Your Child’s Heart
I pray first and foremost, Lord, that my children would know and understand how wide, how long, how high, and how deep Your love is for them. Fill their hearts with Your love, which never fails and never runs out.
I pray they will have hearts that see and recognize their need for a savior, leading them to true repentance and reliance on You.
Fill their hearts, Lord, with a deep and burning desire to know You, knowing that as they seek You, You will draw close to them.
I pray that their hearts will be soft and open towards the things of God, ready and willing to hear from You.
I pray that they will have teachable hearts, primed to receive instruction and correction.
Lord, give them spirits of discernment and protect their hearts from evil. Help them guard their hearts with all diligence.
Fill their hearts with love and compassion for others. I pray they will live as a wellspring of Your love, overflowing to those around them.
Search their hearts, Lord, and show them what is not glorifying to You. Convict them and empower them to remove it from their lives.
PRAYERS FOR YOUR HEART:
Lord, I pray for a heart of love towards my children. Help me see them through Your eyes and love them with the unfailing, unconditional love of Christ.
Cleanse my heart of impatience and selfishness, bitterness and anger. Help me to parent by Your Spirit so that the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control will be evident and abounding.
Give me a heart that seeks to glorify You through my parenting. Remove all selfish motives and rid me of the impulse to make it about me — my comfort, my convenience, my reputation, and my pride.
Fill my heart with love for others, that I may be a model to my kids of what it means to be like Christ.
Be ever turning my heart towards You, transforming me and molding me into Your image from the inside out.
SCRIPTURES TO USE:
Matthew 12:34 — …out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks
Luke 6:45 — A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.
Ephesians 3:18 — And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.
Jeremiah 29:13 — You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Psalm 86:11-12 — Teach me your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to your truth! Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor you. With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God. I will give glory to your name forever.
Psalm 51:10 — Create in me a clean heart, O God…
Proverbs 4:23 — Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
Psalm 139:23-24 — Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
Galatians 5:22-23 — But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
For a great resource for praying for your children, I highly recommend Power of a Praying Mom by Stormie Omartian
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