As a first time mom, I spend a lot of time reading baby books trying to learn the “right” things to do. I read advice on eating and sleeping routines to achieve peaceful nights. I learned activities to help her reach developmental milestones, and what foods to introduce at what age.
If something sounded beneficial for a better future, I tried it. I wanted to do everything in my power to ensure my daughter was not only well taken care of, but thriving.
Yet, even with all the books, blog posts, and ideas from Pinterest, I missed one important aspect of her future; her spiritual life.
To be honest, I just hadn’t thought much about it. After all, she was a baby. Some major developmental milestones had to be achieved before she could comprehend spiritual concepts.
Therefore, my daughter’s spiritual life was put in the box in my head labeled “to deal with later.”
However, when my daughter was 7 months old, I heard Fern Nichols, from Moms in Prayer International, talk about her book and how important it is to pray for your children.
Now, I already knew parents should pray for their children, and I did pray for my daughter. When she was sick, I prayed for her to feel better. When she screamed in the middle of the night, I prayed for her to please please please go to sleep!
But, Fern presented a different type of prayer. She said we need to pray for all aspects of our children’s lives: their relationship with Jesus, their character, their friends, their school, their future spouse, etc.
Clearly, prayer fell into the “benefit her future” category, so I decided to implement Fern’s ideas. Only I still struggled with how to pray for a baby.
“Maybe when my daughter is a little bit older,” I thought. No sooner had I finished my thought when “why wait?” popped into my head. God was challenging me to begin praying for my daughter right then and there.
Not knowing where to begin, I bought Fern’s book of prayers for moms and started praying one prayer a day.
At first it felt a little strange to pray for situations which had not happened yet; but as I continued to pray, I began to see the beautiful gift I was giving my daughter.
Why it’s never too early to pray
Even though my daughter’s future is unknown to me, God already knows. He is outside of time, he saw her beginning before it happened, and he sees the end.
“You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” Psalm 139:16
Therefore, when I pray for her, God knows when she will need what I am asking him for. He knows when she will need to experience his forgiveness, to seek refuge in him, and trust his plans for her life
While it is impossible to protect our children from hurt, disappointment, and sadness; we can ask God to be in those situations before they even happen.
We can also ask God to shape our child’s character; helping them grow into who he desires them to be.
I ask God to give my daughter a kind heart, full of love and compassion for others. I ask him to make my daughter a person of integrity, and give her the desire to pursue righteousness. I ask that the fruits of the spirit be developed in her from a young age.
In addition to benefiting my daughter, praying for her gives me a sense of peace. Not because it means I will have a perfect child, but because I have now handed all areas of her life over to God.
I may be her mother, but God is her creator. He loves her, knows her, and watches over her whole life.
So why not pray for your child’s whole life?
Start when they are born, or even while still being formed in the womb (remember God sees us when we are formless). Pray for who they will become, and for the situations in life they will face.
Invite God to work in your child’s life every single day.
If you aren’t sure where to start, I highly recommend Fern’s book which you can find here: