By Matt Brown
I still can’t believe I am a dad! My wife and I were overjoyed to welcome our son Caden into the world this past September.
Honestly, no words could describe the feeling of love and joy that have overwhelmed us these past months with our first child. It is far, far beyond anything I could ever have imagined.
The meaning of significance has significantly changed in my life now. All I want to do is be with him, and love him with everything I’ve got.
His introduction into this world has gotten me thinking about what I want for him…and what I am praying for his life.
Michelle and I are not the type of parents to plan out our child’s whole life, and we do not want to put a too much pressure on him to be a “world changer.” Sometimes I cringe when I hear parent’s being too spiritual with their kids and telling them they are going to “change the world.” We, rather, want our genuine faith rub off on him over time, building a deep legacy of faith and God’s care in his heart.
As I’ve pondered all of this, here are the 5 prayers I’m praying for my son:
1. MOST OF ALL, I AM PRAYING HE WOULD KNOW THE JOY OF CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
The greatest joy and most meaningful part of my own life is walking closely with God. I yearn for my son to know this profound joy and overwhelming sense of meaning that comes from walking closely with God, more than I want anything else for his life.
I pray he would know the joy of walking with Jesus:
- The joy of daily communication with God
- The joy of hearing from God through his Word
- The joy of sensing God’s presence in the midst of everyday life
- The joy of sensing God’s purpose and direction in his life, and following and obeying that calling
- The joy of worshiping Jesus with every part of his life
There is no greater desire I have for my child than that he would walk with God, and live to worship Jesus with everything he is.
The Apostle Paul talked about this joy when he said: “I consider everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ.” (Philippians 3:8)
2. I AM PRAYING HE WOULD HAVE THE HEART OF A SERVANT
My heart skipped a beat when I saw the plaque on our friends wall: “If we want our children to become great, we must first pray that they become servants.” It then listed Matthew 20:26, which states Jesus’ words: “Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.”
Jesus taught us the opposite of what the world did – that the greatest among us, must be the servant. Jesus showed us a different way of living, that a heart of humility and serving others is God’s main objective for our lives.
I am praying my son would grow up with a great love for serving others:
- That he would someday learn to serve his wife
- That he would serve the local church
- That he would serve his community and society
- That he would see clearly that the way to joy is the path of abandoning selfish desires and talk, and instead expending himself for the sake of others
This humble verse from the book of Matthew teaches us that the “greatest” thing we can all do is exactly and only what God leads us to do. No parent decides this for his or her children. It is God who calls us out by name, and summons us to his great purposes for our lives – that we would be fruitful to the glory of Christ. And mainly, God calls us to a life of serving others.
3. I AM PRAYING GOD WOULD SAVE HIM FROM UNNECESSARY PAIN
1 Chronicles 4:10 records the prayer of a man named Jabez who was all but forgotten over the years, until an author rediscovered and wrote about his simple prayer. In the Bible, this man named Jabez prays: “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.”
While I know that God mysteriously works through our pain to reveal himself and his plans and purposes for us, I am simply praying that God would, in his great mercy, shield my child from all unnecessary pain and suffering.
While I know that some of this will be inevitable, and that Biblical truth tells us “we all must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22), I pray solemnly that my son may be protected from any and all but the most necessary hardships that Scripture promises each of us.
4. I AM PRAYING HE WOULD BECOME A PERSON OF WISDOM
I firmly believe that God does not just want to save our souls, but rather move every area of our lives on to the path of godly wisdom.
I am praying for my son that he would, like grow more like Jesus, in “wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” (Luke 2:52)
I am praying that he would build his whole life on the gospel, and on godly wisdom that is rooted in the fear of the Lord. As Proverbs 9:10 teaches, “Fear of the LORD is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment.”
I am praying that he would see God’s Word as foundational to this life of wisdom. That he would live his life by Psalm 1: “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers.” (Psalm 1:1-3)
I am praying he would have a love for reading and learning and growing so that he would continue to increase in wisdom throughout his life.
5. LASTLY, I AM PRAYING HE WOULD BE RICH IN THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
Jesus has given us a clear guideline of what he wants from our lives, and what he produces in us when we are truly drawing closer to him: a whole lot of love, a whole lot of joy, a whole lot of peace… and so on.
I pray my son would desire and grow in these fruits that the Holy Spirit produces in us:
- I don’t want him to be known for irritability, but great love
- I don’t want him to be known for somber discipline, but great joy
- I don’t want him to be know for picking fights, but a person of peace
- I don’t want him to rudely promote his faith, but be full of kindness
- I don’t want him to chide his opinions, but be a man of gentleness
I would love to hear from you as well! What do you pray for your children?