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7 Simple Prayers That Helps Parents and Their Family

If you’re like me, you constantly wonder what more you should be doing for your children. Am I giving them enough of my time? Am I offering enough encouragement in their lives? Am I being a good enough role model?

We all feel like we blow it at times, when it comes to parenting. And there’s always guilt if we’re looking for it – about what we could have done or should now be doing differently. 

Now that my daughter is an adult, I’ve found the most effective and rewarding things I gave her stemmed from the things I asked God to do in me through prayer.

You and I, as parents, can only do so much for our children. But God can work in their hearts and minds to shape them into the people He wants them to be. And God gives you and me the privilege, as parents, to be a part of that process when we surrender our will to Him and allow Him to mold and shape our character in a way that is best for not only us, but our children, too.

Here are 10 simple prayers that will make you a better parent:

1. A Prayer to Number Your Days 
Moses prayed in Psalm 90:12 “So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom” (NASB). I believe the key to wisdom as a parent is numbering your days – realizing you only have so much time to influence your children positively, and they will only be babies (or middle-schoolers, or young adults) for so much time, too. It’s a “Seize the Day” prayer to keep you focused on the few things that matter so you don’t rush through your days, rush through their growing-up years, and rush through all that you were meant to savor.

Lord, help me to number my days so I can present to You – and my children – a heart of wisdom. Keep me focused on the few things that matter in life so my children will follow my example by living with intention and making each moment count. Slow me down to savor what is passing quickly so I live life carefully and meaningfully.
2. A Prayer to Seek God First 
In Matthew 6:33 Jesus told His followers to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (ESV). As we seek Him and His purposes above everything else, our lives will be prioritized and we won’t fall prey to worthless pursuits, meaningless obsessions, and unintentionally serving the god of self, all of which make us parents our children won’t want to be around.

Lord, help me to seek You –and Your purposes – above any other pursuit in life. I can easily be distracted by the temporary but keep me focused on the eternal. Help me to not just talk of a relationship with You but truly live it in my daily priorities and actions. Although there are things I want for my family, that I can tend to stress about, You are aware of them all, and Your Word promises that when I put You first, You will take care of everything else, according to what You know is best for us. Help me to truly believe that and live by it so my children will place their confidence in You, as well.
3. A Prayer to Guard Your Mouth 
When I was writing my book, When a Mom Inspires Her Daughter, I interviewed daughters of all ages about their relationships with their mothers and discovered that most daughters – by the time they were adults – believed their mothers were very critical of them, while their mothers had no idea that was how their daughters perceived them. That showed me how easy it is for parents to unintentionally come across as critical rather than supportive. Pray that God will only let words escape your mouth if they are words that will build your children up, rather than tear them down.

Lord, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of [my] mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29, NIV). Lord, I don’t want my children to detect a critical spirit in me, or jealousy, or even a lack of faith or discontent. So, guard my mouth so I don’t talk critically of anyone. And when it comes to how I address – and correct – my children, help me to build them up rather than tear them down. When they make mistakes or fail miserably, help me to discern when they need love, grace, and forgiveness instead of a lecture on what they should’ve done differently.
4. A Prayer to be a Grateful Person 
Scripture commands us to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

There is no more miserable person to be around than someone who is constantly complaining, constantly singing their woes, constantly a downer. On the other hand, it is refreshing to be around someone who is grateful, always positive, and praising God in spite of the pain or difficult circumstances. Be a person your children will want to be around all their lives by being a person of gratitude.

Lord, help me to be thankful in all circumstances, not just the ones that are comfortable and enjoyable. Help me to especially be thankful in the difficult situations so my children see me as a person full of praise, not self pity. Whenever I praise You, it changes my perspective and focuses me on the good things You are doing in the midst of the troubles. Help my kids to see that. Make me a thankful person, a person of praise in every circumstance, a parent who can “in all things, sing.”
5. A Prayer to Break Dysfunctional Patterns 
If you’ve ever feared your children will pick up on your own dysfunctions you are not alone. You don’t have to be bound to your past. Pray that God will help you to live in your new identity as a child of God and a new creation.

Lord, thank You that when I am trusting in Christ alone, I am a new creation; the old things (about who I used to be) are gone and the new things (that represent who I am in You) are come (2 Corinthians 5:17). When I start to revert back to old patterns or hear old tapes playing in my mind, remind me that I have left that life at the cross when I died to self. Help me to remember that “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). Please don’t let my children repeat the mistakes I’ve made, but remind them that they, too, are new in Christ Jesus when they surrender their lives to You.
6. A Prayer for a Gentle, Humble Spirit 
Some of the most generous and compassionate people I know came from humble beginnings, with parents who were gentle and humble, too. It isn’t popular to be humble today. Our society feels entitled to everything. Pride is strong and ego rules. But not in Christ’s kingdom. Be a parent who prays for a gentle, quiet spirit that is humble and precious in the sight of God.

Lord, help me to understand that in Your eyes those who are first will be last. And those who allow themselves to be last will be first (Mark 10:31). Help me to humble myself in Your sight so that You can lift me up at the proper time (1 Peter 5:6). And help me to cast all my cares on You instead of feeling I have to work out everything on my own. Help my children to remember me as one who served and put others first, not as one who always had to be at the front of the line.
7. A Prayer to Find Your Identity in Christ 
Too many times parents try to live vicariously through their children to the point that they push their children into sports, hobbies, interests, or excessive accomplishments. But your children need to find their identity in Christ, just as you, mom and dad, need to find your identity in Him, as well. It starts with you.

Lord, show me my value and worth in You, not in what I accomplish or what my children accomplish. Don’t let me put undue pressure on my children to perform because of my own lack of skills, or opportunities. Help me to support who they are as individuals, and be confident that I answer to You alone in how I parent them and You are waiting to partner with me to help me be the best parent I can be.

[written by Cindi McMenamin, author and speaker]