HOW TO PRAY FOR YOUR CHILDREN
(9 of 15 blogs about spiritual warfare and marriage/family, taken from material I presented at a marriage retreat, Winning the Battle For Your Family, in 2019)
One of the main responsibilities a father, or even a mother, has is to pray for the protection of their family. No matter how old your children are, no matter their spiritual condition, pray for them. Job prayed for his children, even when they were grown and living on their own (Job 1:4-5).
Job was righteous (Job 1:8). He prayed regularly for his children’s protection (Job 1:4-5). This is a man’s responsibility, but mothers and grandparents can do it as well, especially when the father is not doing his job. He must also pray for his wife’s protection. He should know her needs and weaknesses and cover them in prayer each morning. He needs to pray for his own protection, too, because Satan will do anything he can to spiritually defeat him so he doesn’t pray (Job 1:7; 1 Peter 5:8).
Job prayed for a hedge of protection around his children (Job 1:10). A hedge is a wall, a large fence, something to shelter what is inside. It is like the log walls of a wooden stockade which was erected for protection in the early days of the American west.
If there is sin in our lives when we pray the hedge is broken down. Job lived a holy life (Job 1:1, 8) so his spiritual hedge around his children was solid and Satan couldn’t penetrate it (Job 1:10-11). If we allow sin in our life our hedge won’t be effective.
If you know the story of Job, you know that, despite Job’s prayers, God allowed Satan to break down the hedge and attack and kill Job’s children. So what good did it do for him to be holy and pray for a hedge? When Satan killed his children, he knew that what happened was God’s perfect will for his family and not because of a failure on his part. When we pray, we always leave the resutls in God’s hands for His will to be done. Sometimes that will is painful to us, like it was to Job. God allowed this to happen to use Job as a witness and testimony to angels and demons, as well as millions of people since (including us today). It stretched Job’s faith as well so he grew. Are you willing to allow God whatever He thinks is best for His glory and your growth? Job certainly did (Job 1:21; 13:15).
If God removes the hedge for His glory, that is His right. He promises He will be with us and not give us more than we can handle with His help. But if the hedge is faulty because of sin in our life, or isn’t there because we don’t pray for it, then the results are on us! Facing trials from God to mature us and bring glory to Him are one thing, but to face them because of our sin and failure is something else entirely.
Every father, no matter how old his children, needs to pray for them every day. As the head of the family, fathers have a special authority to represent the children before God. Pray for problems and difficulties in their lives. Look for weak spots. Be alert to where the enemy is attacking. This is also true when you pray for your wife and yourself. Any sin must be put under the blood of Jesus (1 John 1:9).
Parents, especially fathers (and even grandparents) must stand in the forefront of the battle for their families. We go before them, as an officer leads his troops into battle. We do this by prayer. Prayer is not preliminary to the battle, prayer IS the battle. The battle for your children and family is won or lost during your prayer time. Are you fighting for them as you should? Men, don’t let the responsibility fall on your wife. It is your God-given duty as a father. Get out there and fight for your family!
Job 1:1,-2 4-5 In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. 2 He had seven sons and three daughters, … His sons used to hold feasts in their homes on their birthdays, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would make arrangements for them to be purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular custom.
Men, women, grandparents (whoever you are) spend time now praying for a hedge of protection around your children and grandchildren. Pray for each one by name. Make sure you cover each weakness and sin area in their lives as well. Do this daily, or as many times a week as possible. Prayer DOES make a difference!
Christian Training Organization