After my wife and I began the process of adopting a child from China, a book I read on adoption changed my view of parenting forever.
I believe it changed my adoptive daughter’s life, too.
The book recommended praying for our adoptive child throughout the course of the adoption, even before the child was born.
- Pray for her salvation.
- Pray for protection over her health and development.
- Pray for her care-givers in the orphanage.
- Pray for her future faith and character development.
- Pray for a soft heart toward God and those in authority.
- Pray, pray, pray.
This idea had never occurred to me as a soon-to-be parent. But I discovered that it aligned with Scripture, so we started praying daily for our yet-to-be-conceived daughter.
I thank God for revealing this principle to me well before my daughter was even born. I believe the Holy Spirit has worked immeasurably in her heart and mind partly because my wife and I have prayed regularly for His specific intervention in her life.
If new parents asked me for one piece of parenting advice, the first thing I’d tell them is to pray hard for their child.
Nothing is more important to the development of your son or daughter than prayer. A parent’s prayers access God’s power in the lives of his kids. It’s like plugging a lamp into an electrical socket. If you don’t plug it in, the lamp does nothing on its own.
You can explain God’s offer of forgiveness and eternal life every day to your child. But if you don’t ask Him to open your child’s eyes and prepare her heart to understand her need for His salvation, she won’t receive that gift unless someone else is praying for her.
You can teach God’s Word to your child every day of his childhood. But if you don’t ask God to soften his heart toward biblical truth, help him understand it and apply it to his life and to simply hunger for God’s truth, your efforts will be in vain.
You can instruct your child how to serve others. But if you don’t ask God to grow a servant’s heart within her, those lessons will fall on deaf ears.
You can work to influence your child’s character through lessons, stories, experiences and biblical principles. But if you don’t ask God to instill His character into your child, his character won’t reflect the Lord’s.
If you want your child to be like Jesus but you don’t ask God to do that work within her, it will never happen.
Our kids mean the world to us, don’t they? We only get to influence them for a short while. Let’s all commit to becoming praying parents this year and beyond.