Pssst. I’ve got some exciting news, and I wanted you to hear it here first! Many of you have been praying for your children with me for twenty years and…
in just a few weeks–on October 20th, to be exact–we’re releasing the 20th Anniversary Edition of Praying the Scriptures for Your Children.
This new edition has all of the stories, prayer principles, and verses folks loved in the original book, but we’ve updated it to include topics like praying for your children’s use of technology and their sense of identity and self-worth, along with an encouraging message about prayer’s role in parenting from New York Times bestselling author, Audrey Roloff. Plus, there’s a whole new kid-friendly section designed to help parents pray not just FOR their kids, but WITH them, teaching them to depend on God’s promises and his power as they grow.
I’ll be sharing more in the weeks ahead (including links to the free Study Guide and the Video Series), but to kick-off this launch, I want to revisit one of my all-time favorite stories about praying for your children. Here’s an excerpt from the book…
Making the Most of Every Opportunity
For years, Friday mornings were a highlight of my week. That’s when I got together with several moms to pray for our children, their teachers, and our school community. In addition to interceding for our kids’ individual needs, we used a different verse from the Bible each week as the basis for a more general prayer that can apply to each of our children.
One morning, our collective scriptural request was for our children to have boldness in evangelism, being alert to opportunities to share the gospel with their peers. Being part of a public school community, we recognized the need for sensitivity in this area, yet we knew that God could provide open doors. We prayed according to Ephesians 5:15 – 16, that our kids would be very careful how they lived — not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity.
Two or three weeks went by, during which time we moved on to new requests, tucking the evangelism thoughts into the back of our minds. Then one morning Callie walked in, her face flushed with excitement. “Remember when we prayed for our kids to have boldness in evangelism and be alert to opportunities to share their faith?” she asked. “Well, listen to this . . .”
Callie began her story by reminding us about a second grader named Eddie, whose misbehavior was almost legendary in our school. We had all heard of Eddie — the tales our kids brought home tended to catapult Eddie to the top of our prayer lists, and those of us who had spent volunteer hours in Eddie’s classroom knew, firsthand, how disruptive he could be. Thinking of Eddie, we often prayed that God would give his teacher, Miss Harrison, an extra measure of wisdom, patience, and love.
Many of the children instinctively tried to put some distance between themselves and Eddie, but Callie’s son, Brandon, took a different approach. He befriended the boy, inviting him to be involved in games and on playground teams where he might otherwise have been left out. And one day when Miss Harrison asked each child, as an in-class assignment, to write a letter to someone, Brandon chose to write to Eddie.
A Life-Changing Letter
When the time came for the children to deliver the letters, those who had written to parents, grandparents, or neighbors put their notes in their backpacks to take home. Brandon simply dropped his envelope on Eddie’s desk. Eddie opened the letter with excitement, but when he took out the sheet of paper, his face fell. Eddie couldn’t read well enough to get beyond the first few words.
Recognizing the problem but not wanting to draw attention to it, Brandon quietly asked Miss Harrison if he could read the letter aloud to Eddie.
Miss Harrison just happened to love God — and Eddie — as much as Brandon did. “Yes,” she said. “You can read it to him today at recess.”
That afternoon, the two boys sat on a log under the shade of an old oak tree, oblivious to the noisy shouts and energetic games being played all around them. Eddie pulled the letter out of his pocket and, leaning closer so he could hear, waited for Brandon to read it.
Please, please ask Jesus to come into your heart. Here are some reasons why:
- Jesus died on the cross for your sins.
- You will have eternal life.
- God (Jesus’ father) is maker and creator of all.
- You will go to heaven.
- You can have anything you want in heaven.
- I will be waiting for you.
- God will be waiting for you.
- Jesus will be waiting for you.
- You can do anything in heaven.
P.S. All you have to do is right now bow your head and say “dear Lord, I want Jesus to come into my heart so I can have eternal life.” Amen.
Eddie leaned back, reflecting on Brandon’s words. “Would you,” Brandon asked cautiously, “like to pray and ask Jesus to live in your heart right now?”
Eddie met his friend’s eyes. “Yes,” he said softly.
Sitting together at the edge of the playground, the two boys bowed their heads in prayer as Brandon led Eddie into the kingdom of God… ❤️
Even today, more than twenty years after I first saw Brandon’s letter, this story still puts a big old lump in my throat. I know Brandon (not his real name) and I can tell you that, as an all-grown-up man with a job and a wife, he’s still “making the most of every opportunity” to showcase God’s love.
If you want to be praying for your children using verses like Ephesians 5:15-16, you’ll find dozens of similar scripture-based prompts in the book. Here’s one of my favorites, a verse you can pray for your kids, yourself, or anybody you love:
May _____ always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks them to give the reason for their hope. Let them do this with gentleness and respect. (1 Peter 3:15)
To preorder Praying the Scriptures for Your Children: 20th Anniversary Edition, click here.