How to Really Pray for Your Kids

[Note: We are learning how to really live together. This isn’t an instruction guide. The posts in this series are my open journal. Please include your thoughts in the comments. Let’s find out together how to really live!]

“Mom, close the door.” It was the way he said it. Lip quivering, wringing hands. I knew he needed to talk and as I walked to his bed, holding my breath, mind racing, I knew this would be one of those moments I wouldn’t forget.

As soon as I sat down, he threw his arms around my neck, nearly climbing into my lap and a volcano of emotions erupted. We both held on tight.

It’s not a story that needs to be told here. It’s his. But it involved pressure from the world and one little boy standing up against it.

Oh, my heart.

Immediately, I thought of  I Corinthians 10:13, one of the verses we had just memorized as a family with crazy hand movements to help us remember, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

In learning it, we pretended that “temptation” was a heavy rock trying to crush us, but God, being faithful, helped us escape from the heavy blow.

And so sitting in my 8 year old’s son bed, I felt the weight of the rock. But The Rock was there, holding the pressure at bay. In the scope of his life, this was such a small thing. But it’s in winning the small battles, we prepare for the big war, the one that vies for our very life.

He talked, I listened. I talked, he listened. God was near.

I walked down the steps with an urgency to pray for my children. Not just with them at table and bed, but for them, over them. I try to practice this, but there’s nothing like watching your child overcome that sends you back to your knees.

How to really pray for your kids:

  • Pray over them-at night while they are asleep, in the car before you drop them off, in tense moments
  • Pray with them-ask them to pray, even when you know they will say no, keep asking
  • Pray for them-God loves them more than we do, there are no secrets. I pray for their weaknesses and for mine.
  • Pray in front of them-let them see you pray, on your knees.
  • Pray without ceasing——pray God’s best for them, not yours.
  • Pray to receive God’s best-because odds are there will be valleys that are hard for mommas to cross

How do you really pray for your kids?

an extensive plan with scripture to pray for your kids for a year


  1. 1


    Kristen, thank you so much for your post today. My eight year old is going through a bit of peer pressure right now . . . it is crazy, isn’t it? You hit the nail on the head . . . Pray, Pray, Pray. I don’t think I Pray nearly enough.

  2. 2


    I love how you said that through the small battles we prepare for the big war. That is something that I’m really going to remember as I raise my kids. The things that seem so small and trivial to me are preparing them for the big things in the adult life. Great post. thanks.

    • 2.1

      Jamie says

      We are facing some of those big battles now with the daughter we adopted as a teen; she was never taught to battle the smaller things & it’s so much harder this way.

  3. 3


    I know I can’t pray enough for my kids and I love praying over them while they sleep, I am all about praying with them and alongside them. I have also enlisted help. They have two old ladies from church that pray for them daily and I pray for a friends kids and she prays for mine… I reckon the more the merrier!!!

  4. 5


    I pray similar to what you talk about in your post.. Btu I also lead a Moms In Touch International group for my children’s school. IT is one of the most fulfilling things that I see in my children’s lives.. We use a 4 step prayer process and pray for our kids, our school our staff, and every child in the school(That last part takes us a sschool year to cover).

    A few years ago when I had one in school and one still home, the oldest was having some issues.. my youngest said.. “Your MITI group is not meeting.. and that kid needs prayer” I giuess it was a great testament to the power of prayer if a 4 year old noticed…

  5. 6

    karen says

    I pray daily that my ‘boys’… who are now men….we be men after God’s own heart.

    We have always prayed and asked God to bring Godly adults in to their lives to guide them at crossroads…when they did not want to talk to us.

    We also prayed frequently….even when things were going great….that should they veer off they path that they would be caught and sin exposed.

  6. 7


    Oh my goodness! It is a journey for life! So many times I have been unfaithful and lazy and weak! God keeps pullilng me back to my knees and letting me know that there is no place in motherhood where I will find peace, except that place of prayer! Four kids: one pastor, one missionary, one lovely single God follower and one wanderer. I may not see all of my prayers answered in my lifetime, but I know I must carry on and PRAY HARD for each of them, for as long as I live. The enemy does not rest and so I must not! Great reminder today of our first and most important task as mothers!

  7. 8

    Natasha says

    I loved this … “But it’s in winning the small battles, we prepare for the big war, the one that vies for our very life.”

    Such a fresh reminder to press on.

    Loved the full post too. As a semi-new mama, this really resonated with me today.

  8. 9


    I am so proud of your son!

    I have this oxymoron type prayer that I have felt to pray for my son lately. I pray that his heart be broken and formed into God’s heart. And a spirit of boldness to come over him when needed. It feels like I’m praying for opposing items, but I think we are complex – our strengths are our weaknesses….

    I love the praying over your children part. Also? Not letting just anyone put their hands on your child to pray over them. Oh yes we accept all prayers but not just anyone gets to lay their hands on my baby (baby = 14 year old = oh he’d kill me for calling him my baby).

    These questions you pose are so thought provoking. And are just so “a word in due season”. WOW

  9. 10

    AmberK says

    I am almost in tears over this post, Kristen. As a momma, I know how this made your heart feel, too! Our children are going to have to stand up against so much…but I felt so much joy over the fact that you have loved him in a way that he knew he could ‘steal’ you for a minute and get exactly what he needed from his momma. What an awesome gift you two have in your bond-thank God!!!! I love it. Pressing and Praying on!

  10. 11


    This is soo funny. Tomorrow I am posting at Raising Homemakers about praying over our daughters — not just with them, but for them. Yes, prayer is so important to help us and our children. It helps us help our children.
    I have a prayer journal for each child, but I have not been very good about writing in it regularly. :( I know I need to. I write it because 1) it helps me focus 2) a prayer journal would leave a wonderful trace of God in their lives for when they grow up.
    Yes, I need to get back to that intentional prayer time. Thank you for the nudge. :)

  11. 12


    I pray for my kids daily on my own. But at night when I put them to bed, while I am praying in front of them, I make sure to pray FOR them IN FRONT of them. I want them to know that I pray for them. I want them to know what I pray for them. I want them to know that I have to ask God for help in being their parent.

    Aside from my “thank yous” and “Please helps” in my prayers in front of them, I include something that usually goes like this:

    “Thank you for (child’s name). Thank you that he/she is healthy, strong, smart and ___________. Thank you that they are so good at ______ and help them work on _______. Help us to love him/her the way he/she needs loving. Help us to discipline him/her in a way that will be effective. Help us to teach him/her more about You. I pray that they will continue to love you so much and that You will use them for great things one day. I pray for his/her future husband/wife and his/her future friends and that they all would love you so much.”

    Of course it is never the same nightly, but those things are the gist of it.

  12. 13


    I read that verse to one of my children today… with both of us in tears.
    Thank you for this today. Yours is the second post I’ve read today… just when God knew I would need them most.
    It’s been a day of hard life reality here and I am so thankful we can be on our knees, with our children, before the only One who can help us walk the hard road. We can NOT do this alone… not now… not ever. And I am thankful beyond words that HE is faithful!
    Blessings on the journey~

  13. 14


    I pray over/with my children much as you explained. But I also try to pray for their future spouse(s) as well – for their faith to be formed and for God to hold them tight to his heart and keep them pure for my son/daughters.

  14. 15


    I think modeling prayer for them is SO important. When I pray for them, in front of them, we are teaching them that prayer is important. I have 3 boys and when I pray for them, outloud at bedtime, I always pray for their wives. I pray for purity, not that they understand what that means yet, and that their hearts would be prepared for each other. I also pray that if God has a plan for them to be single that he would help them be content and resist sin. I pray that ultimately they find God’s purpose for their lives.

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