When our children leave the nest, fear and anxiety can set in for us as parents. It did for me! Somehow when they were home, I felt that I had some control. (As if!) But when they left home, any semblance of any control I even thought I had was gone. And I became fearful. Fearful for their physical safety, fearful about their ability to make wise choices, and most of all, fear that they wouldn’t stay faithful to the Lord.
I don’t know about you, but personally, I find that my fear is rooted in a lack of faith, and I know from Romans 10:17 that “…faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (NKJV). My fears dissipate when I spend time in the Word, and when I pray actual Bible verses for my adult children. I love the idea of praying Scripture for our children (or anyone, for that matter) because we know without a doubt that we are aligning our prayers with the will of God for them. Here are the six passages I come back to again and again as I pray for my adult children.
As a mother, I want to pray that the Lord would give my children the Spirit of wisdom and revelation of him, that the eyes of their hearts would be opened so that they will know and cherish the hope to which he has called them; the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints (God’s people); and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power in their lives, in accordance with the working of his mighty strength.
I like this model of prayer from Paul! He prays specifically that those in the church at Colossae would be filled with the knowledge of the Lord’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. Why does he pray this? So that they will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, please him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work, and growing in their knowledge of him. He also prays that they would be strengthened with all power, for endurance, patience (with joy!). Finally, he prays that they would give thanks to the Lord, who was the one who qualified them to share in the inheritance of the saints.
Our kids will be needy, and as empty nesters, we can’t be there to meet their needs the way we could when they were younger. We have to give up control. (Not that we had it in the first place!) We have to give them over fully to the Lord. I want my kids to remember that my God will supply every need of theirs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
4. Micah 6:8
This is our family verse. We want our children – no matter what their age – to remember that the Lord has told us what is good and what He requires of us: to be just, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God.
It seems like a gross understatement to say that this world is a challenging place to be! I want my kids to guard their hearts diligently. Everything we do and say flows out of our hearts. (See Luke 6:45 and Proverbs 27:19)
I want my kids to be leaders, pointing others to faith. So I pray that (through their words and their example) they would encourage others to love and good deeds.
I renewed my commitment to pray faithfully for my kids this year. What sparked it was when a friend of mine told me that since her kids had left home, her weapon of choice in their lives had become prayer. What she meant was that in the absence of her physical presence with her children (and thus the reduced ability to counsel and guide them), she had fully committed herself to support and love them through the power of prayer (Ephesians 6:18).
Helpful Resources When Praying For Adult Children
I’ve embraced my friend’s words and taken them to heart, finding great encouragement from the book, The Power of Praying for Your Adult Children, by Stormie Omartian. Omartian packed this little book full of Scripture and prayers to pray right from the Word. It’s a great resource. If you’re a grandparent, you’ll want to check out Omartian’s book, The Power of a Praying Grandparent. It will help you as you pray for your precious grands, and I think it would make the most wonderful gift for a brand new grandparent!
I’ve also loved the daily scripture and devotional book Prayers of Blessing Over My Adult Children by Bruce Wilkinson and Heather Hair. The authors utilize a three-step guided prayer method based on the pattern of prayer set out in Scripture. It’s a user-friendly how-to guide, and it’s a wonderful resource whether prayer is new to you, or you are an experienced prayer warrior.
Blessing Your Grown Children: Affirming, Helping, and Establishing Boundaries by Debra Evans is the book I always recommend to parents who are struggling to release their children. Finally, the book Prayers for Prodigals: 90 Days of Prayer for Your Child by James Banks was recommended by an Empty Nest Blessed follower as a helpful resource for those who are disappointed by the choices their adult children are making, and struggling with their own guilt.
Helpful Resources For Parenting Adult Children
Practically speaking, there is another resource that has really helped us understand our adult children, love them well, and communicate effectively with them. It’s The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Technically written about marriage, the book explains that all of us show and receive love in different ways. To love another person well, it’s critical to understand how they best receive love. Chapman has also written versions of this book targeting children, singles, teens, and more. You can see them all HERE. Even if you’re not married, this book will revolutionize the way you think about all of your relationships, from the family to the workplace!
I’ve written several posts on parenting adult children! If you’ve enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy these:
- WHAT YOUR 20-SOMETHING WANTS TO TELL YOU (AND NEEDS TO HEAR FROM YOU)
- SIX WAYS TO SHOW LOVE TO YOUR ADULT CHILDREN
- SIX WAYS TO BE A GREAT PARENT TO YOUR ADULT KIDS
- FIVE WAYS TO BUILD THE RELATIONSHIP YOU WANT WITH YOUR ADULT CHILDREN
- HOW TO “PARENT” WHEN YOUR BOOMERANG KIDS COME BACK TO THE NEST
How do you pray for your adult children? Do you pray Scripture, like I do? What verses do you pray? I would love to know! Please share with me in the comments below.
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