I’m now at that stage in life when my kids are grown with families of their own. When they were small, I saw them every day and sent up hourly prayers for their wellbeing. Now it is a little more challenging to know what to pray beyond, “God bless my kids and their families.” There is so much that I want for them, but despite Facebook and Google Plus, I know so little of the details that need prayer.
Someone recently introduced me to Stormie Omartian’s The Power of Praying for Your Adult Children. It goes way beyond “God bless” to the longings of my heart for them. Some of the prayers are more applicable to one member of my family or another, but all of them direct me to think about specifics that I want to see in their spiritual lives. Yes, the old stand-bys of physical protection and financial security are there, but these prayers go so much deeper, inviting the Holy Spirit to go where Mom fears to tread at this stage in their adult lives.
Each chapter discusses a particular area of need in an adult’s life (wisdom, bad influences, relationships, etc.) followed by a written out prayer and Scripture verses relevant to the topic. I don’t know how you feel about written prayers. I find the Holy Spirit using them to direct my mind to things I could easily miss in the chaos of the moment. And then as I read the Scriptures, I can pray them for each of my kids individually.
Omartian’s prayers start with me--asking God to teach me to pray for my adult kids, guiding me through handing over my worry, and asking forgiveness for the ways I may have failed as a parent. It also guides me in forgiving them for the ways they have hurt or disappointed me, because, much as we may hate to admit it, those hurts and failures are there in every family.
The second prayer asks that God would pour out his Spirit not only on my kids, but on their spouses and on their in-laws. Their in-laws? How often have I prayed for them? Yes, when there was a special need for health, comfort or safe travel, but to consistently pray that God would pour out his Spirit on these other family members of my adult children never crossed my mind, yet how it would enrich their marriages.
See why I like this book so much? It’s the specifics that Omartian brings up and reminds me to bring before the Lord.
“I pray my adult child will never grieve your Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30) but will receive him as a gift from you (Luke 11:13). Fill my adult children with your Spirit and pour into them your peace, hope, faith, truth, and power. Let a spirit of praise arise in their hearts and teach them to worship you in spirit and in truth.”
Stormie Omartian has also written books on praying for younger children and for your marriage. (I’m working through that one right now.) But if you have adult children and you want to see God at work in their lives, I heartily recommend this book. You can buy a separate volume of just the prayers, but I preferred to write them out so I could change the impersonal “my adult child” and “him/her” to my daughter’s names and adapt to our family situation.
I'd love to hear your comments if you too have read this book.
LeAnne Hardy has lived in six countries on four continents. Her books come out of her cross-cultural experiences and her passion to use story to convey spiritual truths in a form that will permeate lives.
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