Are you facing a situation completely out of your control? Are you perhaps watching your children go down a wayward path? I’ve been there, and I know how overwhelmingly painful it can be.
Years ago, one of my children was in the clutches of the enemy because of his own choosing. I found myself face down, crying out to God. My heart was so broken, yet the Lord gave me a tenacious desire to pray like I had never prayed before.
To the best of my ability, I was standing strong in my faith and waging war against the enemy, coming against everything that sought to destroy our family. That’s when I heard the Lord whisper to my heart, “Stop praying against and pray for.”
As I pondered those words, I realized I had become so focused on the thing that was shredding my heart to bits that I was missing out on calling forth my child’s destiny in Christ Jesus. According to Romans 4:17, God is the One who “gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not” (NIV).
God was asking me, as a parent, to do the same. Instead of spending so much time praying against the thing that seemed to have a hold on my child, I was to call forth God’s promises on his behalf. This took time, persistence, diligence, and faith. I had to be fully persuaded that God’s Word would accomplish what it said, no matter how impossible that seemed.
Our children are engaged in real spiritual battles against a real enemy called Satan, and there is a time to come against what comes against our loved ones in Jesus’ name. But there is also a time to speak life over their struggles. God has given us His Word to reinforce the victory that Jesus purchased at the cross. It is the power of His spoken Word and our faith in it that brings victory, both for us and for our loved ones.
Our faith-filled prayers release the unseen power of God to apprehend our wayward children and bring them back to His throne of grace. We must remember that we are approaching God’s throne of grace and not His throne of judgment. Romans 2:4 says it is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance.
God’s Word is so powerful. The angels listen to the voice of God’s Word and bring to fruition what He promises (Psalm 103:20). God’s Word runs swiftly throughout the earth (Psalm 147:15). It is not chained or imprisoned; it goes places we cannot go (2 Timothy 2:9).
What incredible encouragement! Distance is not an issue. Circumstances are not an issue. Nothing can impede God’s Word. Praying it over the lives of our children is more powerful than we can comprehend. Want to give it a try? Here’s an example of such a declaration:
Father God, I thank You that _________ loves You with all his (her) heart, soul, mind, and strength. _________ seeks first Your Kingdom and Your righteousness; he hates evil and loves that which is good. Like Daniel and his friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, _________ stands strong in his convictions. He purposes in his heart to not defile himself with the food of this world, but will feast only on the kingdom purposes of God. I thank You that ____________ loves Your Word and hides it in his heart like a treasure so that he will not sin against You.
Start today declaring the precious promises of God’s Word over the lives of your children. Believe that God’s Word will fight its own fight and His Word will win, every time! The key is to be consistent. Don’t let what you see cause you to waver. Proverbs 18:21 says that death and life are in the power of the tongue. Be a life breather by speaking the Spirit-breathed Word of God.
Morning, noon, and night, proclaim God’s truth by faith over your children, regardless of their age and regardless of the circumstance. Find a place to declare their victory. You may have to hide out in the bathroom to speak life over your children. Hey, I’ve been there! Determine to make every day count and, I promise, you will see a turnaround sooner than you think in their lives—and in yours as well.
The point is, our children’s destiny is important. It must be a priority. Here’s a tip: write your declaration on a notecard and keep it in a prominent place or put a reminder on your phone. If you need to, set a timer to remind yourself to stop and pray. Get a prayer book. They contain specific prayers that are full of scriptures that target the many challenges our children face. Sometimes I hold a family picture that I keep in my Bible close to my heart, and I pray over each person, cherishing the lives that God has entrusted to me.
In addition to proclaiming scripture over your children, remember also to offer up praise and thanksgiving to Jesus for His amazing grace and love toward them. His wonderful love is irresistible. Your children will be drawn to it!
Recently the Lord showed me even more about praying for and not against, when He revealed that I was to instruct a friend to pray for the salvation and deliverance of a person who is having a destructive influence in her child’s life.
She was to pray specifically, by name, for that person to come out of darkness and into God’s marvelous light. She was to pray for the Lord to open up the heavens and pour out blessings over that person so that he, too, would see the goodness of the Lord and be drawn to Him.
Can you imagine if every believer started praying for individuals and communities to come to Jesus Christ and to see the heart of God instead of praying against them? This world would be forever changed!
Don’t lose hope my friend. Pray! There is nothing to fear.
One last thing—be quick to forgive your children for their offenses. Love them to Christ. Love covers a multitude of sin (1 Peter 4:8), and our love leads people to God’s amazing love. God knows your children. He has them in His hand. Never forget it: He loves them more than you do. And He has you. Rise up in confidence and thank God for His faithfulness to bring your children home, free from every destructive scheme of the enemy and ready to live out their God-given destinies!
Pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. Lift up your hands to Him for the lives of your children (Lamentations 2:19 NIV).
by Linda Cubbedge
Photo by Ethan Sykes