Pray for Your Children to Recognize Cultural Influences

The Media does affect our kids.

Focus on the Family’s interview November 18-19 with author and youth expert Jonathan McKee equips parents with seven practices to help kids make wise media choices:

Guiding Your Child’s Media Choices, Part 1

Guiding Your Child’s Media Choices, Part 2

As we disciple our children to recognize these cultural influences, let’s remember that that battle is not just against flesh and blood—or screens. Because of that, we need to undergird our practices with strategic prayer.

Strategic prayer beckons us to perceive the deceptive spirits behind these cultural influences. Our prayers must be informed by Scripture, tempered by knowledge of the culture, and applied with the wisdom of a biblical worldview. We must engage the enemy on all fronts. We cannot battle the deceptive philosophies attacking our children without attacking the father of all lies. And that fight must be done in the spiritual realm through prayer and in the natural realm through discipleship.

As Oswald Chambers said, “Prayer does not equip us for greater works—prayer is the greater work.” And we need to be actively engaged in the greater work. We first need insight into and study of the worldviews and philosophies behind those antibiblical cultural lies and influences. Developing a basic understanding of the defenses (apologetics) for Christianity will also help inform our prayers.

Through my work with Moms in Prayer International as well as Ratio Christi and Mama Bear Apologetics, I have gained a unique view of the intersection of prayer and culture.

We can become warriors and not worriers over our future generation when we pray purposeful, preemptive, worldview-informed prayers.

No more allowing our children to be “taken captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world.” (Col. 2:8). Like the Bereans, we need to be eager to search and examine the Scriptures to see if the things being taught to our children are biblical or not (Acts. 17:11). Then, by testing the spirits (1 John 4:1), we will discern what is and is not aligned with the word of God.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2).

As we interact with media and culture, we should be like Paul and examine the objects of the culture’s worship (Acts. 17: 22-23). Only when we dial in our spiritual antenna and focus our worldview lens to discern the message behind the media can we pray strategically. Examine the idols behind the song lyrics, the movie plot, the video game goals, the social media memes. You will notice that cultural lies are often wrapped in partial truths. Once you have identified the lie, you can proclaim God’s truth over that. [1]

I have been blessed to pray in a Moms in Prayer group for over 18 years. Moms in Prayer groups pray for kids and their schools. We pray scripturally and specifically. And we use a four-step format that is applicable to praying strategically over cultural influences both inside and outside of the schools. I prayed my two sons through college this way and taught them this simple, yet powerful format.

Start with praise—offer worship to God based on His attributes. It’s all about who He is, not what He’s done (we’ll get to that). Simply say:  I praise you God for you are _________, and then fill in the blank. Starting with praise refines our focus, setting our eyes on Jesus and not on circumstances. It will inform the rest of our prayer time by establishing the atmosphere or context within which we pray. For example, since we are praying about cultural influences that do not present the truth of God, we could praise God for being Truth and expand on that using scripture.

Next, it’s time to come clean with God, unclogging the pipeline in our communication with Him, using our spiritual Drano–confession.

If we are praying with others, confession enables us to pray in agreement as the Spirit leads. (Moms in Prayer groups do this silently.) Confession involves calling our sin what it is, agreeing with God it was wrong, and then asking for forgiveness and the power to overcome. Like Daniel and others in the Bible, we can also confess on behalf of our nation. So, in our example of confession for cultural influences, we might confess our own sin of allowing unbiblical influences in our home and for the nation’s abandonment of God’s truth. We ask God to reveal the motivation, deception, and lies behind the sin.

The third step is giving thanks as we give God glory for what He has done or will do based on His nature. While we shine the spotlight on God, we develop an attitude of gratitude. Thanksgiving in a prayer group also encourages others when they aren’t seeing answers right away themselves. For our cultural influences example, we could thank God for resources to help us better disciple our children, for the guidelines of biblical discernment, and that we can teach our kids to stand up to peer pressure and stand firm with the armor of God. Ask the Holy Spirit how you can give thanks about a certain topic.

Then we get to what many consider the “work” of prayer—intercession or petition. Intercession is asking on behalf of others. Petition usually refers to asking for yourself. In Moms in Prayer we intercede scripturally and specifically. When we ask in Jesus’ name, we are asking according to His word, with His authority and His motivation—not our selfish reasons.

We can use the four-step format to pray about world religions, cults, negative thought patterns, false ideologies, educational views, curriculum, media influences—anything that assaults our children’s Christian worldview.

We can pray for truth—for our children to be able to recognize and discern lies in the media they consume and counter it with the truth of God’s word.

Use corresponding scriptures. What can we pray for? What can we pray against? We are now doing business in the heavenlies and not using mere human weapons but ones that are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds, to refute arguments, theories, reasonings—that set themselves against the true knowledge of God. This is the strategic filter for how to pray; take every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). Use the power and authority we have been given through Christ as an intercessor to tear down these strongholds.

The battle for discernment begins with us parents. We must discern the times, deliberately disciple our children to recognize truth from lies, and demolish strongholds through prayer. Let’s help our children take up the shield of faith with which they can extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  With all prayer and petition (as well as praise, confession, thanksgiving, and intercession), pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints. Especially our young ones (Ephesians 6: 16-18 selected).

Shields up. Swords sharpened. With knees down and heads up–let’s pray!

Pray for your son or daughter using our prayer example:  God of Truth

Join a Moms in Prayer group that will pray along with you for your children and their schools.


[1] To learn how to better discern the cultural lies behind media, education, and entertainment, see the ROAR Method of Discernment explained in the book “Mama Bear Apologetics: Empowering Your Kids to Challenge Cultural Lies.” Listen to Moms in Prayer Podcast #54.

 

Julie Loos is in her eighteenth year of leadership with Moms in Prayer International. Formerly the Missouri State Coordinator, she currently serves as the national College Groups Liaison, equipping thousands of moms monthly to pray strategically for the college campus using her apologetics training and cultural insights. She believes moms’ prayers can turn the tide and prepare the campus for upcoming revival, spiritual awakening, and cultural change. Julie is a contributing writer to the book Mama Bear Apologetics: Empowering Your Kids to Challenge Cultural Lies

 

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