I displayed the crayon-colored picture on my refrigerator. Black ink outlined the round, cartoon face of a boy wearing the Full Armor of God from head to toe. My toddler’s Sunday school class was learning about this powerful passage of Scripture in Ephesians 6. As a mom, I didn’t realize how these simple verses held great prayer power, too.
Now, the same little boy who scribbled on that picture has graduated high school and taken his place in adult life. Which causes me to wonder, “Does he still understand the importance of putting on his armor every day? Or did his reliance fade with the memory of that coloring page?”
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes,” (Ephesians 6:10-11).
We pray for our kids every day. We pray for protection, blessings, and the wisdom to choose right over wrong. But the Full Armor of God offers a guideline for us as we seek God on their behalf. Each piece provides just what they need to “take their stand” against the evils of this world. So during our prayer time this week, let’s look back at this familiar passage and allow it to breathe new life into those prayers. Praying Scripture over our kids can be life-changing, for us and for them. Here are 7 prayers to pray for our children this week.
“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand,” (Ephesians 6:13).
Dear God, the most difficult thing I will ever do is watch my child venture out into the world, away from the safety of my arms. Whether he’s walking into a kindergarten classroom for the first time or walking across the stage at high school graduation, my heart burns each time I have to let go. Give me the knowledge to teach him about the power of the armor of God, so that he will learn to live under your mighty, protective hand all the days of his life.
If I think about the bad things happening in the world today, fear takes over. Yet the promises of your Word remind me not to be afraid. When I’m scared, your Word reassures me, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9) Thank you, Lord, for the peace of knowing you are with my child wherever he goes. Thank you for holding him in your “righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10) I pray as he grows and matures, he will continue to dress himself in the strength, courage, and wisdom of your armor. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist…” (Ephesians 6:14).
Dear Lord, the world today is filled with false information. Confusion runs rampant as people search for truth, but only find conflicting statements. My kids come to me, seeking answers to tough questions. Sometimes I don’t know how to answer, and I don’t want to say the wrong thing. I feel like I lack the wisdom to speak to their longing hearts.
John 17:17 tells us, “...your word is truth.” When I struggle to find the words to say, help me remember that I can simply point them to your promises. Speak to their hearts, so they will always know they can believe in your Word. When the enemy tells them lies about who they are, remind them that they are created in your image (Genesis 1:27). Because the truth is, they are your masterpieces. I pray the lies of rejection, comparison, and condemnation will have no hold on them as they keep the powerful belt of truth buckled in place. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
“...with the breastplate of righteousness in place,” (Ephesians 6:14).
Dear Lord, I struggle with self-condemnation when my child messes up. One mistake and I wonder what I did wrong. Doubt creeps in and I question my abilities as a mom. Yet I know from your Word that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23). Help me let go of unrealistic expectations as I teach my child about your ways. Please guide me in helping him develop good character by keeping the breastplate of righteousness in place.
My child is not perfect. He will make mistakes, even as he grows in righteousness. Psalm 45:19 says, “A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.” Thank you for this promise. I want my son to fall in love with your Word and not be afraid of making wrong choices. The psalmist David describes your laws as more precious than gold and sweeter than honey. (Psalm 19:10) I pray my child will love and honor your commands. Help him see you as the merciful and faithful God you are, not a God who will get mad at him for his mistakes. Help him grow in integrity, honesty, and goodness as he draws close to you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
“and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace,” (Ephesians 6:15).
Dear Lord, in every stage of my child’s life there will be issues that can trigger anxiety and worry. From pre-school to junior high, then high school to adulthood, life is filled with pressures that could leave him feeling overwhelmed and helpless. In times of distress, I pray he will turn to you. Thank you, Lord, that you graciously offer the gift of peace to guide his every step.
When my child feels overcome by the stress heaped on him, remind him of your peace that will “guard his heart and mind,” (Philippians 4:7). Let him sense your presence and know he doesn’t have to face challenges alone. Lord, keep him from turning to drugs or alcohol as an antidote for anxiety. Instead, direct him to put on the shoes of peace as you walk beside him along the path ahead. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world,” (John 16:33). Thank you, Jesus for your peace, Amen.
“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one,” (Ephesians 6:16).
Dear Lord, forgive me for wavering in my faith. I confess that I have not shown my child the kind of unshakable faith he needs to see in me. I’ve allowed myself to be like “a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind,” (James 1:6). Thank you for your mercy, and help me to rely on you as I set an example for my precious child through my words and actions. Your Word says in Psalm 73:26, “You are the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” May I always look to you for strength as I teach him to hold his shield of faith firmly in place.
There will be times in my child’s life when others hurl insults his way. He may be accused, ridiculed, or mistreated. Whatever comes at him, the shield of faith You provide will protect him from these flaming arrows. He will never be shaken by harsh treatment from man as long as he remains steadfast in his belief of your promises. Thank you that he is your child, and no weapon formed against him will prosper (Isaiah 54:17). In Jesus’ name, Amen.
“Take the helmet of salvation…” (Ephesians 6:17).
Dear Lord, you gave your only son so that whoever believes in you has the promise of eternal life (John 3:16). Thank you for this most precious gift. I pray my children will choose to accept the gift of eternal life and wear the helmet of salvation all the days of their lives.
The heart of a child is so pure. Kids have a willingness to trust and genuine love for other people that reflects the same kind of love given to us by our savior, Jesus Christ. But something happens as children grow. They experience hurt, dishonesty, and hate. The evils of this world can cause them to build a protective wall around their hearts, but you call us to open our hearts to receiving your love and grace. “For it is with your heart that you believe...” (Romans 1-:10). I pray my children will open their hearts to you, not allowing cynicism or pain to take root. Help them remain in this truth - nothing can ever separate them from the love of Christ (Romans 8:39). In Jesus’ name, Amen.
“...and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” (Ephesians 6:17).
Dear Lord, I pray above all else my child will have a growing love for your Word. It is alive and active (Hebrews 4:12). It’s strong enough to “pierce through bone and marrow” and gentle enough to heal aching hearts. Your Word holds the answers for every situation he will face. And the more he reads it, the more equipped he will be for the battles to come.
Thank you for the sword of the Spirit, Lord. Today let your Word breathe new life into him. Penetrate his soul with the goodness of Truth. Let it be “a lamp for his feet and a light on his path,” (Psalm 119:105). I pray he will see the relevance of the teachings found in the Bible and continue to develop a hunger for more. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Kristine Brown is a communicator at heart, sharing insight with her readers in relatable ways. Her life experiences serve as a backdrop for her lessons that highlight God’s powerful Word and redemptive grace. She is the author of the book, Over It. Conquering Comparison to Live Out God’s Plan, and founder of the non-profit organization, More Than Yourself, Inc. Read Kristine’s weekly devotions at kristinebrown.net.
Photo Credit: Unsplash/Sai de Silva