When our children face hard times, we want to transform into the superhero parent who swoops in and fixes things for them. But sometimes, like in the instance of hardships faced because of a pandemic, there is nothing temporal we can do to fix things.
It’s when we parent in times like these that we realize even more our dependence on God and the necessity to pray for our children. We are asking Him to work out His purpose in our child’s life and allow us to be a tool He uses.
As we listen to and pray for our children based on their individual needs, below are some Scriptures to guide us in praying for our children. The use of Scripture is the very best way to pray for our children.
The passages below are divided into different ages or phases of children, but any of these Scriptures can be used to guide our prayers as we reflect on the changes or challenges they may be facing as brought about by COVID-19.
Babies in the Womb and Infants:
› Pray for protection.
Praying Psalm 121:3-6 over our babies can be comforting as we realize that God is always watching over them. He is their shade, which is a perfect place of refuge and protection.
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
· Psalm 121:3-6 ·
› Pray for our children to know God loves them.
“Little rabbits have big ears” is a common saying and oh so true for children this age. They may not understand everything going on around them but they have overheard things in adult conversations or the news or they may have stress or sense that in us from all the changes. God’s love is reassuring to all of us during hard times and love is something this age group is beginning to understand. We can pray Romans 8:38-39 for our child during this time that they would better understand the amazing love God has for them.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,
neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God
that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
· Romans 8:38-39 ·
Elementary Age Child:
› Pray for our children as they cope with changes.
This age group feels the abrupt change. Like most of us, they miss things that were a part of their daily lives: church, teachers and classmates, and activities. Pray for our children in this time when every part their lives seems to be changing that they will find comfort in knowing that God never changes.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever
· Hebrews 13:8 ·
Children with Special Needs:
› Pray for peace through routine change.
We all love routine, but most children with special needs thrive on having an expected schedule. The typical activities and schedule of a day are often needed more among this population of children because their nervous systems are already overloaded from coping with the many sensory experiences (some extremely noxious to them) that are within their regular environment. When a change is added or a complete upheaval of the regular schedule occurs for our children with special needs, they are often left feeling…let’s just say, not exactly peaceful.
Pray for peace beyond any understanding to guard the hearts of our children.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
· Philippians 4:7 ·
Middle School Child:
› Pray our children would have assurance in God.
Middle-school-age children typically seek assurance in all areas of their lives—friendships, family relationships, and circumstances. During these times when our child’s circle of people from whom they get assurance quickly shrinks, we can pray that they will feel assurance from our faithful God. We can pray for them to know His presence is always going before them and because of this fact they don’t have to be afraid.
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you;
he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
· Deuteronomy 31:8 ·
High school/College Child:
› Pray God would use this time to strengthen our child’s faith.
This age group is facing many disappointments as they are missing out on important events that they have anticipated celebrating with family and friends.
At a minimum, graduations were postponed and will probably look very different from what was expected, proms were canceled, spring sports ended abruptly, and time with friends was cut short.
As we recognize their feelings (and we as parents are probably feeling a bit disappointed too), we also need to pray for them to stand firm in their faith. We can pray for an increase in wisdom as they learn how God uses hard things to make us usable for His purposes. We can pray that God will use these events to shape them to be better used for His glory.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls
around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Resist him, standing firm in the faith,
because you know that the family of believers throughout the world
is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace,
who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while,
will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
· 1 Peter 5:8-10 ·
What prayers have you prayed for your children during the COVID-19 crisis?
cover photo courtesy of http://www.vperemen.com, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=88925977