The task of parenting is both a daunting feat and an eternally purposed opportunity.
Doubt, questions and panic quickly flood our hearts with worry. While our hearts know the supremacy and provision of God, our flesh desperately begs the questions of fear.
“How will I protect my child from harm in an aggressively harmful world?”
“How will I instill values into my children when I consistently fall short of them?”
“How can I prepare these innocent little ones for the trials that are ahead?”
The answer to our questions and the response to our fears are found in the presence of Jesus. His glory flies in the face of fear, and His presence overwhelms the seemingly powerful forces that rob us of our peace.
The power of prayer is our defense. It is our defense against worry, as well as the tool by which our children will walk in all that we desire for them.
Scripture tells us that as we abide in Christ, we bear the fruit of peace that we desperately seek. God’s Word also reminds us that adults, at times, hinder children from going directly where their hearts lead them: to Jesus.
“But Jesus called the children to him and said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.’” Matthew 19:14 (NIV)
I believe that Scripture ties the task of parenting to the mission of teaching our children how to pray, which is the mission of the Children’s Prayer Covenant.
The Prayer Covenant is a ministry that equips parents, churches and educators to teach their children how to pray. In recent years, the ministry developed an illustrated children’s book called, The Power of the Prayer Covenant for Children. This book speaks words of truth, love and comfort to the eager and pure hearts of children. It is an invitation for children to experience prayer in life-transforming ways. It invites them into the presence of their heavenly Father, reassuring them of His never-ending love for them and His desire to hear from them daily.
The book and ministry are centered on the simple words of a prayer to be prayed each day for 40 days alongside a prayer partner:
Dear heavenly Father,
Thank you for loving me and making me one of your children.
Help me love and obey you.
Help me love others the way you love me.
I am sorry for my sins. Wash me clean.
I will praise you with my whole heart!
Jesus, I want to follow you as my Lord. Change me any way you want.
Fill me with your Holy Spirit. I want to know your plans for me.
Make me a messenger of your grace, truth and justice.
Use me for your glory and to invite others to follow you.
In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
This prayer imprints the hope and truth of the Gospel onto a child’s heart, changing them and equipping them for the trouble they will undoubtedly face despite our most valorous attempts to protect them. It creates a lifestyle of prayer that is rooted in truth and leads children into deeper and unhindered intimacy with Christ. It nurtures a child’s relationship with Jesus.
The tool is designed to lead children to pray the prayer each day for ten days, then prompts them to ask Jesus who He might want them to invite into a prayer covenant. A prayer covenant partner could be a friend, mom, dad, sister, brother, grandparent, teacher or pastor.
The Prayer Covenant is a simple, yet powerful way children and parents can follow Jesus together. Both are changed from the inside out by remaining in the presence of Jesus. Today, more than 2.6 million children in over 50 countries are praying this prayer. Testimonies are pouring in from across the world – of miraculous life transformation, newly discovered hope and the unity of formerly hostile families.
The task of parenting remains daunting, yet through prayer, a child is filled with the hope of the Gospel, and the anxiety of a fearful mom is replaced with the peace of Christ.
- While we cannot protect our children from all harm, we can teach them where to run when trouble comes.
- While we cannot live up to the Christ-like character we desire to see in our children, we can point them to the only One who can bear fruit in their lives.
- While we cannot fully prepare our little ones for the trials ahead, we can remind them to find comfort and endurance in Christ alone.
Let us seize the eternally purposed opportunity to lead our hearts and the hearts of our children directly to all that is true and good: to Christ Himself.
Pray with other moms for your kids & their schools.
Connect with a Local Moms in Prayer Group!
Candy Marballi is author of The Prayer Covenant for Children, and serves as President & CEO of The Prayer Covenant. She has served in children’s ministries for over 30 years in the United States, Japan and the Philippines. Their mission is leading children and adults to follow Jesus through the power of the prayer covenant. See theprayercovenant.org/children. One of Candy’s favorite verses is found in Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to me and I will answer you and show you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” She is a wife of 36 years to Vik and they have two grown children. They reside in Andover, Massachusetts.