By Jennifer Waddle, Crosswalk.com
There are heartbroken parents everywhere, who are lamenting the fact that their children don’t want a relationship with God.
Some have raised their kids to know, love, and serve the Lord, only to see them pull away and seem to forget everything they were taught. Others are new Christians themselves, and desperately want their children to join them in the most important relationship they could ever have.
Yet, more and more young people are deciding they want to find their own way, do their own thing, and believe what they want—without Godly influence. While this is a difficult thing to go through, all is not lost.
There are specific things you can pray for your children, in hopes they will realize their need for a Savior, and walk in fellowship with Him.
Here are 5 prayers for children who don’t want a relationship with God:
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1. Pray for Others to Speak into Their Lives
Sometimes, parents feel like their words are bouncing off a brick wall and not making any difference at all. While it’s important to keep speaking the truth in love, it’s also important for our children to hear God’s truth from others that they look up to and respect.
Pray for other people to come along and speak what you’ve been saying all along. This might be a teacher, a coach, a friend, or a youth pastor—whoever God has in mind, pray that He will bring them into your child’s life and make an impact on their hearts.
If you’re so led, you might reach out to a few trusted mentors on your child’s behalf and ask them to pour into your son or daughter. If your children won’t listen to you, maybe, just maybe, they’ll listen to someone else.
Please speak into my child’s life through others who love You and have a deep relationship with You. Introduce my child to friends and mentors who will plant seeds of faith that will be watered in Your good time. I pray for Godly influences in my child’s life, that they will want to know more about Your Son, Jesus. Thank You, Lord, for surrounding them with people who bear Your name. I ask that you open their ears to hear and their eyes to see. I trust You to speak truth to my child through those who walk in fellowship with You. In Jesus’ holy name I pray. Amen.
For more guidance, check out this post, 7 Ways to Help Your Children Find Spiritual Mentors.
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2. Pray for the Holy Spirit’s Voice to Be Heard
With the noise of the world vying for our kids’ attention, it’s important we pray for the Holy Spirit’s voice to be heard.
His tender voice is described as still and small in 1 Kings 13:11-12: “And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.
Pray that God’s gentle call will break through the cultural winds that blow. Pray that in these unsteady and uncertain times, your child will turn to the Father for guidance. And pray that the constant bombardment of media and culture will grow silent as God’s voice grows louder.
Thank You so much for never giving up on my child. Thank You for loving them with an everlasting love. I pray that You will open my child’s ears to hear the sound of Your still, small voice calling them—drawing them to Yourself. I pray that they will hear you loud and clear, above the noise of the world. Most of all, I pray that they will respond to Your call and be lead to repentance and salvation through Your Son. It is in His name that I pray these things. Amen.
Here is an article called How to Teach Your Children to Hear God's Voice.
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3. Pray for a Softening of Their Heart to Receive
In Ezekiel 36:26, the Lord spoke these words to Israel: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
What powerful words! This message for Israel is a beautiful message for us as well. Let this passage in Ezekiel be a springboard for your prayers. Pray for God to give your children a new heart and put a new spirit in them. Pray for a softening of their hearts to receive the Lord Jesus as their Savior.
Believe God can accomplish what seems impossible to you. And remember, no one is beyond the reach of the Lord. There is no heart so hard it cannot be molded into a vessel that is ready to receive Him. Parents must hold on to this hope and continue to pray for softened hearts.
I come to You today and ask for a mighty working in my child’s heart. I pray that You will turn their heart of stone into a heart of flesh—pliable and moldable in Your hands. Please, Lord, keep my children from growing cold towards You. Reignite the flame of truth in their hearts. Remove all doubt and fear and draw them close to Your side. Help me to continue to pray for them without losing faith and keep my heart softened as well. Thank You for being a loving Father. I trust that You will work in my child’s heart for your glory and their good. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Check out this article from Drs. Gary and Greg Smalley called Softening Your Teen's Hardened Heart.
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4. Pray for an Opportunity to Share Your Testimony
Many parents forget that their own testimony can have a big impact on their children. The key is to find the right time and the right way to share it.
Pray for opportunities to share how God has moved through your life and how He ultimately brought you to know the Savior. Be honest about your sinful condition and how Jesus nailed those sins to the cross.
Keep your testimony simple enough that your child will listen, but don’t hold back on how your relationship with God has made all the difference. Sometimes, by painting the picture of your own journey, your children will begin thinking about their own journey with God.
Here are a couple of conversation starters that might help open the door to share your testimony:
- “I know you are struggling with your faith journey right now, and I understand. Each of us in on our own journey with God. Have I ever shared my testimony with you?”
- “It might seem like I’ve always had a relationship with God, but that wasn’t always the case. I used to struggle with my beliefs. Did you know that? Here is how the Lord finally reached my heart…”
Please show me when and how to share my testimony with my child. Help me to have the words to speak so that I don’t lose their attention. I pray for my child to have open ears to hear what I am saying, that they might consider my journey, and, in turn, examine their own. My hope is that they will see how You have worked in my life and how You long to work in theirs. Thank You, Lord, for saving me. I pray salvation for my children as well. Lead me to share my story with them with the purpose of guiding them towards You. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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5. Pray for God’s Will to be Done
One of the most comforting verses for parents, in waiting for their children to enter into a relationship with God, is found in 2 Peter 3:9. “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
The Lord is not slow in keeping His promises. Parents can rest assured that God longs for their children come to repentance and receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Praying for God’s will to be done is one of the best prayers you can pray!
More than any prayer I can offer for my child, I pray for Your will to be done. I release all my doubts, fears, and worries to You. I know that You love my child more than I could ever love them. They are Your beloved creation. You fashioned them and breathed life into them. I trust You to accomplish Your divine purpose in and through them. Help me, Lord, to always submit to Your timing, Your plans, and Your will. Above my own desires to see my children have a relationship with You, help me surrender them fully into Your hands. Thank You, God, for working everything out for my good because I love You and have been called according to Your purpose. I trust Your good, pleasing, and perfect will today. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Here are more resources for praying God’s will:
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