The Prayer Our Children Need Most of All


Hey there, dear one.

It’s nearly May, which means Mother’s Day is just around the corner! This holiday tends to stir up a lot of emotion in me. If you know anything of our story, you know we endured a long and painful season of infertility.

If you’re walking the same excruciating road, my heart is tender towards yours. The reality of that pain still sits close to my soul. So often, I’ll look up from cooking dinner or folding laundry and stare at my children in awe, recalling all the tearful prayers I prayed—pleading and begging God to breathe them into existence.

I never cease to be amazed at how God answered those prayers—yet, as I’ve come to see, those prayers were simply the beginning.

All my fellow mamas know that, in truth, motherhood feels like one long prayer.

We pray during pregnancy and ask God for a healthy and safe delivery. We pray during their infancy and toddlerhood as we attempt to keep them safe (though they seem bent on destruction!). We pray for them to come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior and grow in wisdom. We pray for success in school and extracurricular activities.

In every season, prayers for our children are ever on our lips. There’s an endless list of specifics we can pray over them—from wholesome friends to wisdom in their choices to the provision of a godly spouse—and a million things in between!

If you’re like me, I can become highly micro-focused when praying for my children.

Lord, help him feel calm at school today!

Please help her find a good friend and be a good friend.

Father, grant them success on their tests this week.

There’s nothing wrong with praying for specific outcomes—indeed, Scripture tells us time and again to pour out our desires and present our requests to God (Psalm 62:8; Philippians 4:6).

But recently, I’ve been meditating on an Old Testament passage of Scripture–and it’s shaping the primary way I’m praying for my children.

Tucked into the very end of 1 Chronicles, we find King David’s reign reaching its conclusion. He’s older, wiser, full of years, and preparing to hand over the kingdom of Israel to his son, Solomon. The final chapters of 1 Chronicles contain a series of three beautiful, powerful prayers by David, each one full of praise, petition, and worship.

Yet it’s his final prayer, in Chapter 29, that’s changing my prayer life the most. Here’s how David prayed for his people and his son:

“Lord, the God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, keep these desires and thoughts in the hearts of your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to you. And give my son Solomon the wholehearted devotion to keep your commands, statutes, and decrees …” (1 Chronicles 29:18-19a NIV, emphasis added)

David could have made any number of requests regarding his people and his son. He could have asked God for blessings of health and abundance. He could have prayed for safety and wealth.

And while those are all beautiful requests to make, David—this man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14)—knew the critical key to the success of Solomon and his people:

A heart loyally, firmly, wholly devoted to God.

As long as the people of Israel walked in God’s ways—led by a king doing the same—they would have everything they needed for an abundant, successful life. Everything they needed to endure difficult seasons and temptations.

And today, the same is true for our children. The most essential, crucial element our children can possess is a heart steadfastly centered on the Lord. Above other gifts or blessings, this is what will see them through every up and down of life, every season of joy and darkness—every mountain high and valley low.

We can pray for comfort, but a loyal heart will carry them through a dark season.

We can beg God for health, but a heart that’s centered on Jesus will sustain them in sickness.

We can ask God for joy and happiness, but a heart wholly devoted to the Lord will enable them to weather disappointment and heartbreak.

Dear one, keep praying those specific prayers over your babies. I know I will.

But may we also spend time praying for God to draw their affection to His—that our children will have undivided loyalty to their Good, Good Father. The One who created our kiddos knows and loves them even more than we do.

And there’s no safer place to which they can entrust their hearts.

With Grace,

  • Janet McPhilimy says:

    So true, Meredith. Motherhood is one long prayer that ends only when a mother draws her last breath. And she prays for her grandblessings just as fervently.
    Appreciate your gift of writing, I shared this to my FB.
    May God bless you as you bless others!

    Janet McPhilimy
    Laura’s mom

    • Oh, I’m so glad this resonated with you, thank you for sharing! That’s so true about the prayers for the grandbabies – what a gift to have a praying mom and grandmother! Praying many blessings over you! <3

  • Em Carr says:

    You words always touch my heart!
    Well done!

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