Whoever thinks parenting ends when a son or daughter turns 21 doesn’t understand that a parent never quits caring.
I always feel a heart-tug when I read the apostle Paul’s words: “My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you” (Galatians 1:19 (NIV). Isn’t that a good description of your concern for your kids’ spiritual welfare--it’s like childbirth. If you have a personal relationship with Jesus, you long for each of your kids to make progress on their journey into grace too.
Once you are a parent, you are always a parent. No one ever has to remind you to pray for a son or daughter. He or she is #1 on your prayer list.
Prayer is the most important ministry parents can have for their adult children. Lecturing them certainly isn’t effective. Criticism only pushes them away. The beautiful thing about praying for your kids is that you are enlisting the Holy Spirit to work in their lives as only He can. We try to help from the outside of their hearts. God the Holy Spirit works on the inside. How encouraging is that!
Paul recorded several prayers that I like to apply to my children and grandchildren. You can look them up in the first chapter of Ephesians and the first chapter of Philippians:
- Ephesians says, “I keep asking that…God…may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better” (Ephesians 1:17 NIV).
- Philippians say, “It is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent” (Philippians 1:9-10).
How about taking one of these scriptures--either Ephesians 1 or Philippians 1--and begin today praying it back to God for your kids? Then watch what the Holy Spirit will do in their lives.