Parents Prayer for Children: Why and How To Pray for Your Children

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Parenthood is a journey filled with boundless love, countless lessons, and a deep desire to see our children flourish. As parents, we often find ourselves pondering the hopes and dreams we have for our children, and we turn to prayer as a way to express our deepest wishes for their faith, well-being and future. Today we will be diving into Parents’ prayer for children that are powerful and heartfelt.

Praying for your children

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Why is praying for your children important as a Christian Family?

Through reading my bible, working in ministry, raising my own children and reading endless parenting books, I have come to believe that prayer is a crucial part of every Christian family. Here are just three of the many reasons a parents prayer for their children is so important. 

  1. It is important to pray for your child because your prayers over your child are shaping the future of your child and potentially the future generations to come from your child. 

    In the book Raising Kids to Extraordinary Faith, the author, Debbie Salter Goodwin, writes that “Nothing keeps us praying more than understanding that something occurred that would not have happened without prayer.1

    It is important to pray for your children because you are asking for the Creator of the Universe to work in your child’s life to bring about His Kingdom’s glory.

  2. It is important for you to pray for your child because you are modeling to your children what it looks like to pray. Another great way of saying this is “Children learn the importance of prayer by watching when, how, and where we pray.2

    If we kept our prayer life private, our children would never be able to see and hear what prayer is and why it is so important. Pray with them and over them often at an age appropriate level, but also remember to pray for the more serious, non-age appropriate prayers in private.

    Also, sharing with your child that you are praying for them is very foundational in their understanding of prayer.

  3. It is important for you to pray for your child because prayer unites a family on a deep spiritual level. Debbie Salter Goodwin says it best when she wrote this:
    “You’ve heard that the family who prays together stays together. There’s something uniquely bonding about prayer ties. They supersede blood and marriage ties. They’re that eternal connection to an eternal God who wants to make an eternal difference in each person’s life. Pray together.3 “”

“Children learn the importance of prayer by watching when, how, and where we pray.” 4

If you are interested in the book I just quoted from, I highly recommend it! So many great ideas on how to help build a solid foundation of faith for your children.

How to pray over your children?

I want to remind you that there is not a special formula for any prayer. Prayer is a real and raw conversation with God. Even though prayer should be simple, we are still often wondering how to pray over our children. I recommend praying over your child with topical prayers or scriptural prayers. 

Here are examples of on how to pray over your child with topical prayers and scriptural prayers:

  • Scriptural: There are 100s of beautiful Scripture verses that you can pray over your child. At first, this can sound intimidating, but actually, it is so easy and beautiful.

  • Topical: If there is a specific topic or behavior that you would like to pray over, spend time specifically praying for that topic or behavior.

Keep reading to find examples of both types of prayers.

What is a powerful prayer for my children?

In my opinion, the most powerful prayer a parent can pray is for their children to come to know Jesus and follow Him all of their days. There is nothing more important than salvation and sanctification. 

Praying for health, for guidance, and for school are things that are wonderful to pray for as well, but praying for their salvation and for their sanctification is hands down the most important and most powerful prayer a parent can pray for their child. 

This prayer can be as simple as saying the following:

“Lord, please help [insert child’s name] to come to know you as their Lord and Savior. Please help them to make the wise choice to love you, follow you and grow closer to you all of their days. Amen”

What Bible Verse to use when praying for your children?

There are countless Bible verses to use when praying for your children. Here are my top five favorite Bible Verses to use when praying for my children and examples of how I turn the Bible verse into a parents pray for children. 5

  1. Bible Verse: Philippians 2:3-5 NLT
    “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.”

    Example of a Philippians 2:3-5 Prayer:
    Lord, please be with [insert child’s name]. Please help them to be like you and have a servant’s heart. Please help them to not be selfish, but to be a person who is humble and thoughtful. Help them to put others before themselves and to show others your love and kindness. Give them an attitude that is the same as Yours. Amen.

  2. Bible Verse: Colossians 2:7 (NLT)
    “Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”

    Example of a Colossians 2:7 Prayer:
    Oh Lord, I lift up [insert child’s name] to you. It is my prayer that they would have a deep faith built on You as their foundation. May his roots grow down into You. Please let his life be built on You so that his faith will grow strong in the truth that he is being taught. And may he overflow with thankfulness. Amen.

  3. Bible Verse: 1 Corinthians 15:58 (NIV)
    “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

    Example of a 1 Corinthians 15:58 Prayer:
    God, thank you so much for [insert child’s name]. I pray that she would stand firm on Your foundation and that she would do everything as if she is working for You directly. May her work and hands bring glory to You and always reflect You. May she always know that her work for you is beneficial no matter how big or small it is. Amen.

  4. Bible Verse: Psalm 19:14 (NIV)
    “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

    Example of a Psalm 19:14 Prayer:
    Oh Lord, I pray that [insert child’s name] would set his heart upon You alone. I pray that his thoughts and words would reflect You always and that his words would always be pleasing to Your ears. May he be quick to repent when he falls short of bringing You glory with his heart and words. Amen.

  5. Bible Verse: Proverbs 2:6 (NIV)
    “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding.”

    Example of a Proverbs 2:6 Prayer:
    God, thank you so much for giving me [insert child’s name]. I pray that as she grows and pursues You that You would give her wisdom. I pray that her knowledge and understanding of You would grow deep, and from that knowledge and understanding, a great love for You would blossom. May she use the wisdom, knowledge and understanding You give her to bring glory to Your Kingdom. Amen

Here are other verses that you can easily turn into a parents prayer for your child.

As you can see, a parents prayer for children using scripture is very easy and beautiful. 

Scripture to pray over your child: their faith

  • Matthew 22:37-38 NIV: “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’”

  • 1 John 4:7-8 NLT: “Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

  • Romans 12:2 NIV: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will.”

  • Philippians 4:6 ESV: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

  • Romans 1:16  ESV: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” 

  • Psalm 51:10-12 NIV: “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”

  • Ephesians 3:16-19 NIV: “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

Scripture to pray over your child: their character

  • Matthew 5:16 ESV: “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

  • 2 Timothy 1:7 NLT: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”

  • Philippians 4:6-7 NIV: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

  • 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

  • Hebrews 13:16 NLT: “And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.” 

  • Ephesians 4:2 NLT: “Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.”

  • Ephesians 3:32 ESV: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

Scripture to pray over your child: their future (friends, spouse, career)

  • Jeremiah 29:11 NIV: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give hope and a future.” 

  • Psalm 23:6 NIV: “Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” 

  • Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NIV: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”

  • Romans 8:28 NIV: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” 

  • Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” 

  • Proverbs 18:24 NIV: “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

  • John 13:34-35 NIV: “A new commandment I give to you; Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. “

Scripture to pray over your child: a blessing

  • Romans 15:13 ESV: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” 

  • Numbers 6:24-26 NIV: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” 

  • Philippians 1:3-6 NIV: “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” 

  • Psalm 20:4 NIV: “May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.”

  • 3 John 1:3 ESV: “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.”

  • 2 Corinthians 9:7-11 NIV: “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: ‘They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.’ Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”

  • Philippians 1:9-11 NIV: “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ-to the glory and praise of God.”

If you would like to dive deeper into how to pray scripture over your child, check out these two books:

Praying Circles Around Your Children
Praying the Scriptures for Your Children

What topics to use when praying for your children?

Prayers based on topics can be centered around current things in your child’s life or things in your child’s future. There will be prayers that are specific for your child in that season, like “Lord, please help them learn not to bite their brother,” and there will also be prayers that are more general like “Lord, please help them make wise choices at school today.” Here are some great topical prayers to help guide you as you pray.

  • Your child’s salvation

    Example prayer: God, I pray that [insert child’s name] would come to know you at an early age. I pray that she would joyously accept you as their Lord and Savior and that she would follow you all the days of their life. Amen

  • Your child’s friendships

    Example prayer: Oh Lord, thank you for creating [insert child’s name]. For knitting him together in my womb. Please help him be friends with individuals who would build him up and point him to you. I pray that he would be a beautiful example to his friends and peers of what it looks like to be a follower of You. May He turn to you whenever his friends are trying to persuade Him to take his eyes off of You. Amen

  • Your child’s character

    Example prayer: God, I pray over [insert child’s name]. Please be with their character (*you could insert a specific character trait that you see needs to be more life Jesus here). Please continue to work on their hearts and character so they can be more like You. Thank you for the work you have already done and the work you will do in the future. Amen.

  • Your child’s future career

    Example prayer: Oh Lord, thank you so much for the gifts and talents you have given [insert child’s name]. You so wonderfully created them! I pray that You would use me and others in their lives to shape them for Your Kingdom’s glory. I ask that You would give [insert child’s name] wisdom to choose a career path that is pleasing to You. One where their gifts and talents are utilized and honoring You. Amen

  • Your child’s future spouse

    Example prayer: God, I lift up [insert child’s name], and I ask that Your hand would continue to be upon their life. I pray that you would guide them to finding a spouse that they can love and serve in Your name. One who builds them up, walks faithfully besides them and encourages them to choose You everyday. In Your name, Amen.

A parents’ prayer for their children is such a vital part of being a Christian parent. My hope is that this post encourages you to pray everyday on behalf of your child. If you are needing more prayer ideas, check out my FREE Parent’s Prayer for Children resource below. It has scripture verses and topics to pray about for your child.

I would love to hear from you! Do you have specific things you pray about for your children? Share in the comments below.

If you liked this post, check out these past posts:
The SOAP Bible Study Method for Kids and Parents
10 Best Podcasts for Christian Moms
54 Dinner Questions for Families

Christ-Centered Christian Motherhood Blog


  1. Salter Goodwin, D. (2008). Raising Kids To Extraordinary Faith: Helping Parents & Teachers Disciple the Next Generation (pp. 89-90). Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City.
  2. Salter Goodwin, D. (2008). Raising Kids To Extraordinary Faith: Helping Parents & Teachers Disciple the Next Generation (pp. 88). Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City.
  3. Salter Goodwin, D. (2008). Raising Kids To Extraordinary Faith: Helping Parents & Teachers Disciple the Next Generation (pp. 96). Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City.
  4. Salter Goodwin, D. (2008). Raising Kids To Extraordinary Faith: Helping Parents & Teachers Disciple the Next Generation (pp. 88). Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City.
  5. NIV Beautiful Word Bible. Zondervan, 2016.

About Alisa Price

I'm a follower of Jesus Christ, wife and mom of three, and I am passionate about children’s discipleship, healthy living, Christ-centered motherhood, family rhythms, homeschooling and so much more. Grab a cup of tea and follow along! With over a decade of education and experience, I am your go to gal for all the helpful ways to center your household around God.