There is so much in the world to divert our children’s attention away from the things of God, but when we do our part to teach, instruct, discipline, and train our children in the ways of God . . . when we read them stories from God’s Word, when we teach them how to pray and have faith that God is who He says He is and will do what He says He’ll do, when we help them get plugged in with godly friends, when we show them that walking with God brings joy and fulfillment, not boredom and restrictions, when we pray with and for them about everything, . . . then our children will develop a hunger for the things of God.
They will know that the things of God are top priority. They will become God-controlled and not flesh-controlled. They will long for His ways, His Word, and His presence. They will fear God and live a longer and better life. For “The fear of the Lord prolongs days, but the years of the wicked will be shortened” (Proverbs 10:27).
When my husband and I knew we were moving from California to Tennessee, the first thing we prayed about was finding a great church with an excellent youth group. That prayer was answered, and it was the main reason our children were able to make this major adjustment successfully; for it was in their new church and youth group that they found godly friends and continued growing in their relationship with the Lord. Finding a church that is actively teaching God’s Word, showing God’s love, and sharing God’s joy with its children and young people will make a big difference in helping your children develop a hunger for the things of God.
Start right now by praying for your child to fear God, have faith in Him and His Word, and develop the kind of heart that seeks after Him. This could be the determining factor in whether your child will have a constant struggle living in the flesh or be fulfilled and blessed living in the Spirit. Remember, “there is no want to those who fear Him” (Psalm 34:9). It’s never too early to begin praying about this. Don’t wait another moment.
Lord, I pray for (name of child) to have an ever increasing hunger for more of You. May she (he) long for Your presence—long to spend time with You in prayer, praise, and worship. Give her (him) a desire for the truth of Your Word and a love for Your laws and Your ways. Teach her (him) to live by faith and be led by the Holy Spirit, having an availability to do what You tell her (him) to do. May she (he) be so aware of the fullness of Your Holy Spirit in her (him) that when she (he) is depleted in any way she (he) will immediately run to You to be renewed and refreshed.
I pray that her (his) heart will not have any allegiances or diversions away from You, but rather that she (he) would be repulsed by ungodliness and all that is in opposition to You. May a deep reverence and love for You and Your ways color everything she (he) does and every choice she (he) makes. Help her (him) to understand the consequences of her (his) actions and know that a life controlled by the flesh will only reap death. May she (he) not be wise in her (his) own eyes, but rather “fear the Lord and depart from evil” (Proverbs 3:7). I pray that she (he) will be reliable, dependable, responsible, compassionate, sensitive, loving, and giving to others. Deliver her (him) from any pride, laziness, slothfulness, selfishness, or lust of the flesh. I pray that she (he) will have a teachable and submissive spirit that says “Yes” to the things of God and “No” to the things of the flesh. Strengthen her (him) to stand strong in her (his) convictions. I pray that she (he) will always desire to be an active member of a Christian church that is alive to the truth of Your Word and the power of Holy Spirited worship, prayer, and teaching. As she (he) learns to read Your Word, write Your law in her (his) mind and on her (his) heart so that she (he) always walks with a confident assurance of the righteousness of Your commands. As she (he) learns to pray, may she (he) also learn to listen for Your voice. I pray that her (his) relationship with You will never become lukewarm, indifferent, or shallow. May there always be a Holy Spirit fire in her (his) heart and an unwavering desire for the things of God.
In Jesus’s name,
Stormie Omartian is the bestselling author of the Power of a Praying® series, which includes The Power of a Praying® Girl. Her other books include The Power of Prayer for Young Woman, Just Enough Light for the Step I’m On, and The Power of Praying® Through Fear. (More than 40 million copies of her books have been sold worldwide.) Stormie and her husband, Michael, have been married more than 48 years. They are the parents of two married children and have two granddaughters. https://www.stormieomartian.com