Motherhood is a multi-faceted job. One of the many ways we mother our kids is by praying for them. In different seasons, motherhood demands of us long, short, weary, joyful, or desperate prayers. They make up the lifelong dialogue with have with God about our children. 

In times of silence, noise, and uncertainty, our prayers are woven together into a mantle of faithfulness. This mantle covers our little ones from the day they are born until long after they’re grown. It’s part of the fabric of motherhood.

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Time and experience have influenced how I pray for my children. My three are at wildly different stages of life. With a third-grader, an eighth-grader, and a married daughter in her late 20s, I have a colorful variety of things to pray about.

For a long while, “Lord, protect them” was my go-to prayer. After all, that’s what I wantedsafe kids. It covered pretty much everything, or so I thought. 

Although we pray for the safety and protection of our children out of love for them, it’s shortsighted.

I realized that although this prayer is nice, it is woefully limited. There was so much more I could have been praying about where my children were concerned. 

As much as I want my children to be safe, I also want God to unleash His blessings on them. I want them to live out what He has planned for them. Protection isn’t enough. Praying more focused prayers for specific aspects of my children’s lives has become a priority.

Here are six ways we can pray for our children in addition to praying for their protection. These prayers are powerful and daring. God wants us to be daring in our prayer lives. There’s a difference between wanting our kids to be safe and living a safe existence that limits their God-given potential.

May our prayers move the hand of God and bring wisdom and blessing into their lives.

1.  Lord, Use Them

God, use my children for Your purpose on this Earth. May they be instruments of Your peace and love as they go about every day. At school, at work, and in their activities, use them as a light for Your glory. Make them fruitful for Your Kingdom. Amen.

“You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.” (John 15:16, NIV)

2. Lord, Guide Them

God, direct my children in the way You would have them go. Call them according to Your will and the talents You have given them. Guide them and teach them to follow You all the days of their lives. Equip them to live out the unique plan You have for each of them. Amen.

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“Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.” (Psalm 25;4-5, NLT)

3. Lord, Convict Them

Lord, speak to my children’s hearts by Your Holy Spirit. Lovingly call them into correction when needed. I pray You’d convict them of their sin and prompt them to repentance when You see fit. Help them continue to work out their salvation. Amen.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 4:9, ESV)

4. Lord, Embolden Them

Lord, by Your Spirit, embolden my children to stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. Make them bold in living out the Gospel and sharing Your love with others. May they always stand ready to speak up for what is right. Amen.

“On the day I called, You answered me; You made me bold with strength in my soul.” (Psalm 138:3, NASB)

5. Lord, Captivate Them

Lord, draw my children close to Your heart so they are captivated by Your love. Let them love You first and best above all elseeven me Lord. May their highest affection and honor be Yours alone. Amen.

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“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” (Deuteronomy 6:5, ESV)

6. Lord, Grow Them

Heavenly Father, I pray You would help my children grow in their knowledge of and love for You. Continue to be at work in their hearts and minds. May they mature into healthy Christians who never stop pursuing Your wisdom and grace. Amen.

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6, ESV)

As we journey through motherhood, let us pray beyond protection.

When we pray bigger prayers, may our children be blessed. And yes, we pray for God to keep them safe and cover them in His protective grace, too.

Tracy Gerhardt-Cooper

Tracy Cooper is a New Jersey wife, mom, teacher, and writer. She loves Earl Grey tea, quiet mornings, and autumn leaves. You can read her blog, Earl Grey and Yellow, and follow her work on Medium.