by Pastor Josh Seale
On January 19, 2020, around 8:30 pm, my wife and I found out that our family would be growing later this year. Of course, many thoughts and questions ran through our heads: Is the test correct? What do we do next? How far along are we? Is the baby healthy? While my mind was full, there was one thought that rang loudest in my mind. It was to cry out to the LORD, praising and thanking Him for the beautiful blessing with which He had graced us (Psalm 127:3; 100:1-5).
From the day we said, “I do,” we began praying together for God to one day bless us with a child of our own. Then we received the news that God had answered, and realized in a new way the important responsibility we now have as parents. We are to be priests to our kids and shepherd them throughout their lives. The writer of Hebrews encourages us, “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus…, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith” (Hebrews 10:19, 22). As believers, we are granted a confident faith to draw near to the throne of God through Jesus Christ in prayer. So we began to pray consistent daily prayers interceding on behalf of our baby.
Intercessory prayer on behalf of others is not an uncommon thing in the lives of believers. Moses interceded on behalf of the Israelites, pleading with God to withhold His wrath and show mercy to a rebellious people (Exod. 32:11-14, 32). The Apostle Paul prayed continuously for the Philippians, thanking God for them and praying for their continued growth in the faith (Phil. 1:3-11). Paul also prayed on behalf of the Colossians, asking God to sanctify them through His Word (Col. 1:3-4, 9-14, 28).
In the same way, we ought to intercede as shepherds and priests on behalf of our children. We should plead for God to withhold His wrath against our sinful children and graciously save them and mature them throughout their lives. Just as shepherds and priests intercede through prayer, they also care, lead, guide, and teach. Our responsibilities as parents are much the same. As we await the arrival of our first child, we are now interceding with these things in mind.
Prayer Points for First Time Parents
First, we ask God to prepare us to lead, teach, disciple, care for, and love our child sacrificially as parents.
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:4-9
Second, we beg God for our child’s salvation and growth in their walk with Christ. We pray they will remember and cling to the truths we have taught them from God’s Word.
“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:13-17
And of course, as the due date draws near, we pray for the health, growth, and delivery of our child. Our prayers will continue as we pray for our child’s future spouse to be someone who loves the LORD above all else.
“And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:9-13.
We ask of Him in faith seeking to glorify Him in all our prayers, and these are some of the most important things we can ask God for! Be encouraged to pray in these ways and more for your children, present and future!