Your Greatest Legacy

Your Greatest Legacy

April 22, 2014

“Lift up your hands to him in prayer, pleading for your children …” Lamentations 2:19b (NLT)

Nothing keeps you on your knees or on your toes like parenting. Maybe you can relate to these words attributed to John Wilmot: “Before I got married, I had six theories about raising children; now I have six children and no theories.”

Lora and I have three children (ages 18, 16 and 12), and they have effectively dismantled all of our theories about parenting except for one. And that one theory is the game changer:

You’ll never be a perfect parent, but you can be a praying parent.

Prayer is our highest privilege as a parent. There is nothing we can do that will have a higher return on investment. In fact, the dividends are more than generational. They are eternal. Prayer turns ordinary parents into prophets who shape the destinies of their children, grandchildren and every generation that follows.

The blood running through my veins is half Swedish. I trace my genealogy back through the Johansson family who made a decision to get on a boat and come to America in the late 19th century. That single decision started a chain reaction that radically altered the destiny of every descendent to follow in a thousand different ways. Just as one decision can change your destiny, so can one prayer. In fact, you are one prayer away from a totally different life!

Before you were even born, even named, many of you had parents and grandparents who prayed for you. At critical ages and stages, family and friends interceded on your behalf. The sum total of those prayers is your prayer genealogy.

My grandfather, Elmer Johnson, died when I was just six years old, but his prayers did not. Our prayers never die! They live on in the lives of those we prayed for. Some of the most poignant and providential moments in my life have been the moments when the Spirit of God whispered to my spirit: Mark, the prayers of your grandfather are being answered in your life right now.

Grandpa had a habit of kneeling by his bed at night, taking off his hearing aid and praying for his family. He couldn’t hear himself, but everyone else in the house could. Few things are more powerful than hearing someone intercede on your behalf. His voiceprint left an imprint on my soul.

I know not everyone is fortunate enough to have inherited a prayer legacy from their parents or grandparents like I did, but you can leave a legacy for future generations. And it’s the greatest legacy you can leave!

I believe there are circles you can pray around your children — everything from praying a hedge of protection to praying the promises of God. But let me share a simple starting point: Go back to the Bible. The Bible wasn’t just meant to be read. It was meant to be prayed. Scripture is the best script for our prayers!

If you’d ask me what I pray for more than anything else, the answer is the favor of God. While it’s difficult to describe or define, the favor of God is what God can do for you that you cannot do for yourself.

When our oldest child, Parker, was a baby, I turned Luke 2:52 into a prayer blessing. This verse says, “Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people” (NLT). And I have circled my children with this prayer thousands of times: May you grow in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and with man.

I realize Luke 2:52 isn’t a promise, but I think I’m on sound theological ground to use it as a prayer for my children. This one verse is a time-lapse of Jesus’ development as a child, and we’re called to be just like Jesus. So why wouldn’t I turn it into a blessing and pray it around my children?

Parenting is hard and many days I feel like a complete failure. But prayer covers our shortcomings. So let me say it one more time: you’ll never be a perfect parent, but you can be a praying parent. And those collective prayers are the greatest legacy you can leave.

Lord, help me let go of my desire to be a perfect parent and, with Your help, become a praying parent. Show me in Your Word what I should pray. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do you desire to become a praying parent? If so, you’ll enjoy Praying Circles Around the Lives of Your Children by Mark Batterson.

Visit for more information.

Reflect and Respond:
What are your deepest desires for your children? What are God’s desires for your children?

Identify them and use God’s Word to pray circles around your children.

Power Verse:
Luke 2:52, “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” (NIV)

© 2014 by Mark Batterson. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Zondervan Publishers for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

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  1. My husband and I don’t have any children. Nonetheless, my deepest desire for my incredible husband, Ron Smith is that he’d realize just how much I truly love him. I know he doe…sn’t really feel comfortable about coming to church with me, which is why I record all of the church services for him to listen to. Naturally, I desire that he’ll want God to help him overcome whatever obstacles I may not really be able to help him completely get through. “Lift up your hands to him in prayer, pleading for your children …” Lamentations 2:19b (NLT)
    I’d love to see my incredible husband praising God at church some day. You can always find me with my hands raised when I’m at Pentecostals Of Springfield each week. My hubby has only come to church a few times; however, I don’t think that’s his favorite way to spend time with me.
    John Wilmot: “Before I got married, I had six theories about raising children; now I have six children and no theories.”
    What an interesting way of looking at raising children! When you’re in a childless household, you tend to have all type all types of theories about how to raise kids. You try to tell your friends how to raise their children. Unfortunately, having children of your own tends to shoot all your theories straight out the window.
    Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people”~Luke 2:52 (NLT). I want my husband to grow in favor with God and those he encounters throughout each day. Lord may you help my husband grow in favor with you and those he comes across in his daily adventures, whether large or small? “Lord, help me let go of my desire to be a perfect parent and, with Your help, become a praying parent. Show me in Your Word what I should pray. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”~Mark Batterson
    Ultimately, I’d pray this over my incredible husband. I gues it could work for any situation, couldn’t it. Lord, help me let go of my desire to be a perfect wife and, with Your help become a paying wife. Show me in Your Word what I should pray. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
    Luke 2:52, “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” (NIV)
    I think that this verse is so powerful tonigt. Jesus grew in favor with God and the world. He basically was an inspiration to mankind, and God wanted to send Him to minister to those who may be hurting at any point of their lifetime. Nevertheless, Jesus had a caring and kind heart.

  2. As children grow and become more and more independent, you lose your ‘control’ more and more, and if this doesn’t bring you to your knees I don’t know what will. Not even the best parenting books can give you all the tips you need for every situation. I have learnt that any tip, advice or book that does not ultimately lead you to God as the Source of all wisdom will disappoint you. I love the promise in James “If any of you lacks wisdom let him ask of God who gives to all men liberally without abrading…”. Parents need wisdom from above every step of the way. Some challenges just catch you unaware and you need the Spirit to tell you what to say or do in that very moment before you ruin everything.

    • I agree Mercy…you have to “Let go and let God” because you can no longer protect them every step of the way. My son is away at college and this fall will be studying abroad. We had a funny conversation the other day when I told him that while I realize he is sensible and makes good choices, I can get to him in a matter of hours now but once he’s overseas he is beyond my protection. He very gently reminded me that I had raised him to be independent and sensible and the one thing I could do was the most important…pray for him. I praise God every day when I see Him at work in my son’s life.

  3. I must say that even though the devotion was alright, I was very disappointed to see one from a man. When I sign onto Proverbs 31 devotional, I look forward to reading a devotion from one of my sisters-in-Christ – not a man!

    • Me too

    • Aww. When I sign on to Proverbs 31 I am looking for a devotion which touches my heart and often encourages me to grow and deepen my relationship with God. And as a woman, I appreciate and seek this site due to its commitment to women and issues unique to us. But parenting is an issue for us! No matter who it comes from, I am challenged to be a better praying parent for my children. I do understand your point, but if chosen wisely, men can offer insights beneficial to this site. I think today was just that!

    • I confess the thought briefly crossed my mind too, but I am ashamed it did. I agree with dh, it’s a tragedy to lose the beauty of the message over bias about the God seeking deliverer. I have seen the same feelings rear up when a guest speaker or junior pastor has preached over the years. My father taught me to always listen carefully for the message God has for me no matter who is speaking, it is always there, by the grace of God

      • Unlleapaelrd accuracy, unequivocal clarity, and undeniable importance!

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      • I almost pulled a ham out of the freezer last week to cook for supper but decided it would be too much for us. Now I need to pull it out again because I really want to try that ham loaf recipe. Thanks for sharing:)

    • I am happy to see a man writing a devotion about parenting ! So many things about parenting have been written by women that it seems only women are interested in the children’s lives. While Proverbs 31 is site for women, mostly by women, I am happy to see the administrators are willing to share the forum with a man who clearly is standing on Biblical ground.

    • Speak Life. Let’s focus on the positive and don’t let Satan lead us down the path of negativity.

    • Sometimes I think it is good to hear from a brother-in-Christ. I really appreciate him being willing to open himself up to us ladies. The devotion really spoke to me today and some things I have been thinking about. I do understand your feelings, Sandy, but as a sister-in-Christ, your words made me feel bad for Matt. I do hope you have a blessed day and were able to take something away from the devotion today!

    • I’m very thankful because my husband and I have been faithful to pray for our children. They have not always made the best decisions, but without prayers for them their decisions could have been worse!!! Thank you Mark Batterson for the wonderful memory you told of your grandfather. I want to do the same for all I love!

    • Hi Sandy, thank you for sharing your opinion. We really do value you as a reader and thank you! As the editor of the devotions, I wanted to respond and let you know that we have invited a select number of men to write a guest devotion for us, and that they are highly screened before they ever get sent to you. Sometimes the topic is so strong that we believe it will benefit our readers. We’ve also turned away other authors (men and women) who have wanted to write, because we didn’t think they or their topic would be consistent with the promise we’ve made to our readers.
      Hopefully that helps you understand our decision. It’s not our intent to change our voice or message, and so I pray you will keep reading. As I said, we value you highly!
      Thank you for your honesty.
      In His Love,

      • Thank you Glynnis! I understand your desire to have a variety of guest writers and appreciate your screening them. Your devotions are always “right on the money” with me. Parenting is such an important subject that I would love to see you have some of your regular ladies also write on the subject. I have enjoyed your devotionals for many, many years and look forward to as many more years as the Lord allows. Blessings.

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      • Merely a smiling visitant here to share the love (:, btw outstanding pattern . “The worst-tempered people I’ve ever met were the people who knew they were wrong.” by Wilson Mizner.

    • That is a bit shallow and narrow minded don’t you think? Do you think maybe God put it on his heart and the hearts of the people that run this page that this is a message that needs to be heard, regardless of the source?

      I liked it, it meant something to me. Thank you for your encouraging words Mark. God Bless and have an amazing day.

      • My husband and I glean so much from Mark.
        Anyone who can add more value to our parenting we are just plain thankful. Our children teach us everyday how we must and better be better parents from their season to the next. Every season of their requires a different level of knowledge to how we have to be better parents than the last season. Only the Lord is the well of all knowledge so yeah, we, all be better praying and better at it and intentional. When He answers,He delivers them through different sources: men and women, little children/boy or girl, movie you can be watching, church sermon, a tragedy, news media, dream…you name it. While I understand Sandy’s point, WHY does it matter where or from whom the message delivery comes from? It’s a great and powerful message and anything good comes from God! Hallelujah!!! We learn from each other. He can even deliver His message through an animal! He’s GOD! 🙂

    • Ditto–see my concerns as well—there are SO many male authors out there –although he was spot on with all he said–praying for my kids is the only thing I have to give them anymore—I could look his stuff up as a reference on the site–the thing about this site is that it gives examples of fellow women!!

  4. Thank you for this timely advice. It just spoke to me straight to my heart as at times it’s a struggle to raise kids . When we have our backs on the wall thinking of how else can we deal with parenting challenges there is always PRAYER and the privelege to ask God for wisdom in how to raise them. This devotion is especially helpful because it’s a perspective coming from a Dad and I can share this with my husband. Thank you so much!

  5. I so enjoyed the devotional for today being that my children are not little anymore my prayers are constantly changing. My father passed many years ago and he was a pastor and a man who prayed. I recentely spoke with my sister about this very thing. I have three children and one inparticular is rebelling against God my Dads prayers continue on even though he’s not here praying for not only me but my children. Thank you for reminding me of Gods greatest blessings and for following Gods heart and displaying it through your words.

    • What a beautiful testimony of a faithful legacy. I’m adding my prayers to your father’s for your child who is testing boundaries right now.

    • Well done arlicte that. I’ll make sure to use it wisely.

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    • Írd be a hozzászólásodat Ezeket a HTML tag-eket használhatod: <a> <abbr> <acronym> <b> <blockquote> <cite> <code> <del> <em> <i> <q> <strike> <strong> Értesítést kérek a további hozzászólásokról e-mailben. Értesítés új hozzászólások alkalmával e-mailben.

    • Na, még egy utolsó. A rumról jutott eszembe egy bájos darab, kezdÅ‘ csoportjaimban gyakorta elsütöm.Hotel reception. Telephone rings.”Two rum to Room 222…”Receptionist:”Paramm param pam-pam-pam, now why don’t you just go and fuck with your own mother, asshole!”

    • Happy New Year, Field!I'm always pleased to drop by and read your thoughtful commentary. Keep pitching as the upcoming year looks to be quite stressful for those wanting to discuss your favored topics.I'm certainly going to giving them a workout at my place too.Salute!Suzan

  6. Amen, Brother! It is easy for praying parents to become so caught in the present (Lord, help my child do well on today’s math test) that we forget to pray into their eternal future (Lord, I am thankful for the tests and trials in my child’s life; build in him perseverance to become mature and complete, lacking nothing–from James 1). I try daily to take some pearl of wisdom from my morning Scripture reading and turn it into a prayer for my loved ones. My sons are grown and I no longer know the little challenges they face daily, but the principles of Scripture are always appropriate to the need.

    • Shirley,
      I am going to start doing that for my young adult children-“take my morning Scripture reading and turn it into a prayer for my children!” Thank you!

  7. Needed this reminder today.

  8. Celia Bartel says:

    Man or woman, God uses us all. I have found God’s word, through the bible, is irrefutable, concrete and full of undeniable hope. Praise God for this word, that I intend to pray over my children and will expect to see His etetnal results. Speaking scripture into our lives is a powerful way to live out God’s favour . God is good!

  9. I appreciate this message, as I an the mom of an almost 22-year old son, and I find myself on my knees now more than ever before. How I wish I had been a praying parent for 22 years. We don’t have a legacy of praying parents and grandparents. It was rebellion and some bad choices on his part that brought me to prayer. So now I pray, but he is head-strong and I hope it is not “too little too late.”
    This poem was given to me when my son was first born, I hope it blesses someone’s heart:
    “When you were small and just a touch away,
    I covered you with blankets against the cold night air.
    But now that you are tall and out of reach,
    I fold my hands and cover you with prayer. “

    • Thank you Beth for sharing your poem. It has blessed my heart this morning.

      • Hey, that’s poeulfwr. Thanks for the news.

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    • Beth, never too late for God! Remember He is outside of time and how we understand it…prayers you are praying now He foreknew you would pray at the beginning of all things! He has already heard your prayers, even before you knew what to ask for. And remember: the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:16b). What happened the last 22 years is not for you to lament or agonize over (easier said than done, I know)–you are praying now and that is so important, so keep on praying, sister! I lift you & your son up to Him who can give you hope and a future!

    • Beth – I’m the mom of young adults and have been through my share of hand-wringing. I wasn’t a faithful praying mom early on either. The good news is God hears our prayers today and I’ve seen some pretty miraculous things. Praying you experience your own miracles!

  10. Thank you! Christ, my husband, and me are currently parenting an 18 & 20 year old…I have never felt more challenged, seen more worldly junk come into play, and felt an extreme since of connection to Christ. Thank you for opening your heart up.

  11. Love, love, love that this was today’s devotion. Just last night I was sitting on the fence about buying this very book! I guess I got my answer in this mornings devotion. Thank you Proverbs 31 for pouring into the lives of so many including myself on a daily basis.

  12. Stacia Morse says:

    We help schedule all our kids activities and school projects@. So I’m scheduling time to pray. Thank you

  13. Thank you for reminding me of my Godly heritage. I, too have generational prayers surrounding me and my family. I laughed when I read about your Grandpa! My Grandfather also wore a hearing aid and EVERYONE could hear his prayers!!! God is good to provide such a benefit for us. I believe that your devotional was directed by God… It was just what I needed to read this morning. I’m thankful that Proverbs 31 Ministries included you in their line-up of writers of devotionals. God Bless You.

  14. Praying for my grandchildren AND children now!

  15. Just what I needed this morning. Thank you!

  16. Praying for this to be the major part of my legacy for generations to come. Thank you for sharing this insight.

  17. This devotional came at just the right time. I tend to think I can solve my children’s problems and worry when I can’t. I just need to pray circles around them and let God do the rest. Thank You.

  18. I too pray Luke 2:52 for my 3 kiddos. I have already started praying for them about discernment as they mature and for when they finally leave our home and that our words and stewarding will guide them. I have already started praying for their future spouses, that each of them would be a good & godly husband or wife and good parent; and for their children–that they may honor them (and me & my husband!) with knowing and being in relationship with God and Christ. Plus today’s STAAR test 😉

  19. Denise Rodgers says:

    Even before my son & daughter were born, I prayed that God would make them mighty warriors & witnesses for Him. Many a prayer has been lifted & tears shed for my children to stay on the “Goldern Road” God has for them. I am beginning to see glimpses of these prayers coming to fruition. Reading God’s Word, meditating on it, & talking to Him every morning lets me know He is there & listening. I Love Him so.

  20. Donna Rowe says:

    I wish I had read this years ago. I pray for my children and grandchildren every morning and love the words you shared.

  21. This was so perfect to see this morning…Had a bad morning and was not the Mom that God has called me to be…I need to remember what it was like to be almost 13….and remember no family is perfect but God’s love IS! Thank you for sharing this story…Praying again right now!

  22. Thank you so much. I am so blessed by this devotional. Coming from a man, I am so impressed and belssed.

  23. E. David says:

    Amazing! Thank you for this. Love this message

  24. Mark Batterson, Sir your devotion this morning was not only enlightening but well taken.
    Simply, I enjoyed and was truly inspired by your devotion. I holeheartedly agree that prayer is certainly one of the greatest legacy we can leave for our children. Often time we focus on earthly material things. How about prayer? I too appreciate praying and turning the bible scriptures into prayers over our children. God is pleased when we do this. Ladies, I love yo all were we not blessed by this devo? Wow! I vow to make prayers a legacy for my two children. Beginning today, father build a hedge of protection around them, no weapon formed against them shall prosper, greater is he that is in them than he that is in the world, they can do ALL things through Christ who gives them strength, Ultimately I pray EVERY promise in the bible for God’s children over the lives of my two children and favor in heavenly abundance forevermore. Amen!

  25. Thank you! I pray WITH my daughter, but don’t always remember to specifically pray FOR my daughter, her future, and our future children. I think about needing to do it but need to find scriptures to support my prayers. Would really love to read this book!

  26. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! So often in this current season of parenting our 15 and 17 year olds, I have felt at a loss for what to do now. While I can’t go back and change anything that we have done or not done in the past, I can continue to pray and that will make the difference. That will be my legacy to our children and it is a mighty one indeed!

  27. cindy sawaya says:

    Our church designed a t shirt. the front said I have P.M.S. and the back said Praying mother syndrome. Prayer is the best thing we can do for our children.

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  28. Today is our youngest 28th birthday ~ I would like to share what she wrote to us:
    Most people will be blowing up my wall to say happy birthday in the morning, but I wanted to say happy birthday to you first. You never think about the parents that give birth to make birthdays possible….
    I got to grow up with your friends telling me on a regular basis how badly you and dad wanted me, and you’ve spent the last 28 years showing me that. So, on my birthday, I’m grateful to the two most loving parents a child could ask for. Thank you for an amazing 28 years. I love you both ♥
    We pray deeply for her and are so blessed by her calls, keeping us in her life adventure. May the Lord bless her immensely and may she hear His voice continually. Thank you for this post. Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House
    P.S. I would love to win a copy of Praying Circles Around the Lives of Your Children. Thank you Proverbs31!

  29. This devotion really touched my heart and reminded me how important it is for me to pray blessings over my two sons and that God would use them to be mighty warriors for him. My grandparents used to kneel down by their bed and pray for their children and grandchildren every night. I remember hearing them at night. My grandparents have gone to be with the Lord and I know my parents pray for me and my sister and there 4 grandchildren. I am so blessed to have come from a praying family and to be surrounded by generational prayers. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

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  30. Thank you for this powerful reminder. We have twin 17 y/o and this is exactly what I need to read and share. In fact I just posted your message on Facebook. Thank you!

  31. Mr. Batterson, I so loved your thoughts and devotion this morning. I pray for my grown children, ages 33, 26 and 25 everyday. I now have an almost 4 year old grandson to pray “scripture” over. What a joy and privelege it is to be able to pray for God’s will to be done in their lives. I have never thought of how our prayers carry on beyond our own presence in their lives. I sent each of my children your post and reminded them of how much I love them and how I keep them in prayer everyday. I also related that as much as I love them that God loves them “more” and that His will is “perfect” for their lives, while mine at times may be flawed! Praying that HIS WILL be done in their lives! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share with my children how very precious they are! I love reading blogs from Godly men who are living out their faith! Thank you for allowing yourself to be “purposed” by God!

  32. I needed this so much today. I am praying over my 28 year old daughter. I love her but am trying to find the words to tell her she is cut off. That she can never live with us again. I have turned her over to God. As a mom I feel so guilty because I want to fix everything and I can’t. But I pray for her all the time. That He will protect her and rebuke her too.I may never get to see my grandkids again but it’s the chance I’ll take to save my daughter’s life.

    • Holly, my heart goes out to you. We made a similar decision years ago, and I understand how hard this is. I took comfort in the story of the father watching and waiting for the prodigal son’s return–he didn’t go looking for his child, he waited expectantly for the son to “come to his senses.” May you wait prayerfully, and may your daughter come to her senses and return first to God, then to you.

  33. Mr. Mark, thank you for sharing because I needed that and as a single mother, of a 10 year old daughter. It can sometimes be hard, stressful and scary. I love her and I do my best to keep praying and trusting in GOD, but the environment we live in can make it all impossible. But you just gave me encouragement to not quit and keeping praying. I came from a family were my mother was a faithdful woman of GOD and stayed praying for my sister and I and our daughters. But after her tragic death, I lost focus but GLORY to GOD I have gained it back and begin to PRAY and speak life over my daughter, just like I saw my mother do. And things has begin to take a turn for the best. GOD allowed me to see a day without prayer and I seen experinced it and I want turn back. GOD bless and continue to allow Christ to lead and guide and use you.

  34. Chris Sanders says:

    I am soooo moved by this idea of praying CIRCLES around people and leaving that legacy to continue on AROUND them!!! Thank you, Mark Batterson, for allowing God to use you for this… And thank you Proverbs 31 Ministry for sharing this! I am going’round in CIRCLES now!!! 🙂

  35. This was truly God sent for me today. I was just talking to my husband, telling him I felt strongly that we, as a couple, should set aside time every evening to pray for our children. It seems like we’re so busy with all the commitments of our lives that the #1 thing, the MOST important thing, i.e., praying for our 3 kids, is a rushed affair and God has really been speaking to me about this. I know I don’t pray often enough, or specifically enough, for them and I also know it’s the most important thing I can do for them as their mom. Thank you for this confirmation and providing a great way to start.

  36. This spoke to me this morning as HE calls me to surrender all; and love and trust Him totally. I am learning I can’t do it in my own strength. It’s my heart’s desire but my flesh is weak! Lord, help me!!!

    • Thank you, Mark. Your words were just what I needed this morning as I seek more of Him and less of me. I wish I had read this years ago when my children were small bc I have always prayed for my kids but God’s timing is perfect and I am ready to pray much more intently knowing He loves and knows their hearts much more than me. I look forward to “praying circles” around my kids and grandkids beginning with praying for God’s favor. God bless your ministry through your books.

  37. I intentionally pray for things but for some reason I have failed to intentionally pray over my children. I pray for their safety, guidance, and etc but not specific and intentional prayers. Thank you for this!!! I needed these words today!!!

  38. This was timely for me. We have 3 children, 2 in college. It is a challenge to know what to pray and when to pray for them, as their needs change moment to moment. This is a great reminder of how we can pray over and for our children without having to get specific with God. He knows what they need better than we do. Let Him do the work that we cannot. I plan on finding some verses for myself to use when praying for my family. Thank you!

  39. Vicki Young says:

    I enjoyed today’s devotional. I would love to read more. Thanksyou for sharing your insights.

  40. Marcia Wilson says:

    I really needed this today, I woke up this morning with a spirit of heaviness regarding my adult children ages 27 and 25. It has been difficult to focus on the promises and prayers, I have spoken over their lives when there is so much craziness going on. I felt like a complete failure this morning, Thank you for this word of encouragement.

  41. Thanks so much for the video blog! So great to see a Dad on Proverbs 31! I was so blessed! My children are grown with children of their own, but I can still pray for my children and grandchildren too. I will be looking for the Word to pray over them, but will start with Luke 2!

  42. Julie urban says:

    I thank God for people like you who help inspire and teach us how to pray for our children. God bless you.

  43. linda Allen says:

    Would love to win this book. Have raised our children but could still use help. God is still working on them lots of prayers are said!

  44. Laura Hill says:

    I really needed to read this. I want to be a praying parent for my children. Thank you for writing this. Things like this make me yearn to get deeper and closer to our heavenly father.

  45. Thank you so much for the awesome reminder of the importance of praying over our daughter! I love your encouragement that “You’ll never be a perfect parent, but you can be a praying parent.” 🙂

  46. I thank you so much for the reminder today,that I will never be a perfect parent, but I can be a praying parent..luv it thank you for sharing.

  47. Marina Engelbrecht says:

    Please send me some stuff on my email. My mother died when I was 6 years ols and I now believe that her prayers for me never stopped. Thanks so much for this.

  48. Omnia Elkommos says:

    Just on time Spirot lead…thanks

  49. Deanna Brown says:

    I do totally believe that the past prayers of your ancestors for God’s will shape who we are or who we become when we stop being stubborn.

  50. Sabrina Ebert says:

    Loved reading this…we are in week three of living so that…the bible study and this week it’s all about praying so that…I’m am amazed at the different perspectives and truths revealed about praying and reading this blog has shed new light on prayer as well. Thank you for writing this…what a blessing!

  51. Mark,
    Thank you for this wonderful message and devotion. I have had challenges with my boys and you touched me with a new way to pray for them, and encouraged me that our ancestors prayed on their behalf, and that legacy continues. I have said many times that I wish there was a book on how to raise my children, and there is, God’s Word. We have to pray for wisdom and direction because he knows them better than we do. Thank you!

  52. Emilyrae Helfen says:

    My first grandchild and I were extremely close for 13 years and she went to church with me all the time, even though her parents did not take her. I talked to her about scripture, GOD, prayer and all the things I inherited from my praying parents and grandparents, she was totally grounded in faith, the Bible, Jesus, and GOD. Then she became a teen and slowly she started pulling away from me – recently, we had lunch, she is almost 18 now and she told me she is a Dies (I think that’s it – they don’t believe in the bible) she has broken my heart. I hope this is not what I have to look forward to with the other 5 – I think 3 of them are going to be fine, parents go to church; is this a teenage age thing, or is it a indication of parents not following through on church; or is it a sign of the times? I don’t know what to do – so I am doing nothing and concentrating on my other grandchildren.

  53. Lord please help me to pray for my children more effectively and more often

  54. Thank you so much for your encouragement: I do not have to be a perfect parent, but I can be a praying parent. Two friends and myself have formed a Praying Mom’s Warrior Group. We meet once a week for 45 min and we pray for our adult children. I so wish that we would have started this years ago…but we know we are forming a prayer legacy for our kids now.

  55. I was surprised but not disappointed to see Mark’s devotional today. I did think this was a woman’s website but then I realized that men are often full of wisdom and some are also parents and have much to do with parenting and marriage as well as women do! I would like to thank Mark for a wonderful devotion full of a man’s insight and perspective to parenting. I love the legacy part and never thought of prayer for my children as leaving a legacy, even though I am always praying for them. It made complete sense to me and I really needed to hear this today as I have a teenage boy (16), and a girl (14), and yes, this is the most difficult stage of parenting for me, personally. I don’t always make the right choices as a parent, but I know my heart is in the right place when I make them. My children know I am human and I love them both unconditionally. I pray for my children from everything to their faith journeys to being a good citizen and student, and it seems God is very slow to show me the answers and maybe this is just His way of telling me to be patient and to trust Him and His timing. I love the Lord but I don’t always love how slowly His responses are to my very desperate needs. Thank you, Mark, for showing me that my prayerful life can make a huge impact on my children, far beyond tomorrow.
    Bless you!

  56. LOVED what today’s message said–but I come to this site not only for guidance on how to be a Proverbs 31 Woman–but to get it from women empowered and blessed by God to BE Proverbs 31 women….

  57. Robin guy says:

    Just wanted to say, I don’t have children, but this has taught me a lot. I thank you very much. would please give me some insight on how to pray and what you should pray for. I’m in a very deep place right now and wondering what I’m going to do. I need some advice and I want to know how to pray, because I think I’ve been praying the wrong way!!

  58. Tamela McC says:

    My husband wanted to separated after 30 years of marriage, hr says he needed some space. I don’t now want to want verves I should be praying! He isn’t attending our home church anymore!

  59. Love this! This was exactly what I needed to hear today. I’m praying verses for my children, husband, and parents. My mom found out last week that she has breast cancer. We’re seeing the oncologist tomorrow morning, and I am praying for the favor of God. Thank you! This devotion reminds me to pray Scripture for all that I love!

  60. Nicole Hall says:

    I think this is so powerful. I was taught at a young age the power of the Word of God and prayer. I pray nightly for my children, and this post has encouraged me to be diligent in prayer and in praying the Word back to the Father, which
    Will not return void, but accomplish what it was sent to do. Word is power and life so I will continue to speak it over my family. Be blessed

  61. mariamtz says:

    I am mother n father to 6 mighty young men if GOD. N have recently had the pleasure of learning more about power in prayer.thank u for sharing this i hope to b able to find n purchase your book GOD bless you all more n more. Amen

  62. I am a mother with hope. But, at the same time because of a situation out of my control. I hope and pray that my children would see mommy the same way they always see her . I have to be stronger and bolder and pray god sized prayers. Thank Mark because of your inspiration and encouragement I know by praying circles around my three children I can believe and have hope. And know it’s in God’s hands. I love to intercede. And still learning.

  63. Thank you for this post. My heart aches that neither of my sons is living in their faith, but your reminder of the power of a praying parent gives me hope that my prayers for them are not in vain. One of my deepest desires is that they will come to know the joy and peace of having Jesus at the center of their lives as their Lord and Savior. My faith was seriously tested when my husband (and sons’ father) passed away from cancer a few years back, but God was faithful and patient with me and loved me through my anger and sorrow. I’m assured of my husband’s salvation, but it was very difficult for our boys to trust in a God who didn’t answer their prayers. I pray that God will use me or someone else to show them the depth of God’s love and they will be drawn back into His fold. I haven’t been a perfect parent by any stretch of the imagination, but I am and will continue to be a praying parent. Thank you again.

  64. kathleen says:

    If I do not win I want to buy the book. Please give me the info.

  65. Pam Atkinson says:

    Love reading your blog! Hope to win your book!!

  66. Pray both children surrender their hearts to God and marry Christians. Son lost and daughter beginning to doubt.

  67. I try so hard to be a “good” parent, I pray too. Yet, I always fall, I get upset when I get talked back to and when chores aren’t done grades are bad. How or what do I pray to be able to parent thru this? I feel like a failure?

  68. Daphne Snyder says:

    While I have always believed in God I have not been a religious person for most of my life. I have found my way back since the birth of my son 2 yrs ago. While life has on and off kept me from church my deepest hope is to become a better Christian and therefore a better parent. My husband is an agnostic (not athiest but not a total believer) and it has been a difficult path trying to renew my faith without his support. I do pray but I also need to read and learn my Bible. I have had no religious instruction so sometimes it can be overwhelming. 🙁

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  69. How precious this devotion has been to me. I have three awesome children that God has blessed me with. They are what I call…my son, he’s my blessing, my daughter she’s my angel and my second daughter, she was unexpected she is my gift. We should be leaving a legacy with our children, they are going to have a hard enough time in this sinful world. COVER THEM IN PRAYER…IT WORKS! God’s promise!

  70. Just before I read this devotion, I was having a conversation/”arguement” with my 14 yr old daughter, half the time she is challenging me on my parenting skill while I am correcting what she has not done. The moment i read this, something inside me clicked- God’s listening to our conversation and know the situation I’m going through. It’s very clear, I have to get on my knees and PRAY. Thank you for this message. God bless.

  71. Mercy Gakii says:

    This devotion jumped out at me. I still go thru it, like a manual. It gave a new dimension, and energy, to my prayers for my little one. Today I held him and repeated Luk 2.52. Profound, really. Bless you.

  72. Don Eshleman says:

    There is nothing more pressing on a parents heart than the eternal safety of his descendants. More tears are shed for this than for anything else in life.

  73. I didn’t read this one on the day it was published and I’m glad I didn’t. My daughter, on yesterday, was yet again misbehaving in school. I didn’t find out until late in the afternoon. I have toiled with her behavior for a few weeks now and have felt like giving up. This message was designed for me to read today, the day after I had just allowed sheer frustration to overtake me. It reminded me of what I need to do as her mom aside from disciplining her, I must remain prayerful for her. I am grateful for this ministry.

  74. Diane Kish says:

    Thank you for this, my kids are grown and there has been a huge hole, when i read this i saw a generational curse that i began to pray against. I woke up at 1:43 this morning and began to put prayer out there for me and my family.
    God bless you.

  75. SuperFLNative says:

    Loved the devotional! I don’t care whom it comes from just as long as they born again and are truly walking with Lord. Thank you Proverbs 31 ministries for being diverse in your authors! My mother always said that you coul. Learn something from everybody. I love the perspective from a man. It’s true, “you can’t be a perfect parent, but you can be a praying one”. Amen, brother!

  76. Luke 2:52 was just the Biblical verse I needed today to pray over my children….how amazing God is to send this message to me through this website…..Blessings to you!!!

  77. Gina Fatigato says:

    Hello I am a mom to 6 beautiful children. Some days are harder than others and I want to thank you for this precious reminder to pray for our children’s futures and that hey may always be surrounded by righteous people who only want to help them and not hurt! It is very stressful as my oldest is 18 and my youngest is 10 months but these children that God has blessed me with deserve the best I can give and without Him it’s impossible! Thank you God for these remarkable young people you have blessed our lives with and may we always keep them close to your legacy

  78. I love this devotional. So much so, that it is set up to “arrive” to my calendar once a month. Thanks for sharing the heart of God!

  79. Una vez que el técnico de reparacion de lavadoras urgente de Leganes, llega al domicilio del cliente, lo primero que hace es localizar el tipo de problema que tiene la lavadora, una vez localizada la avería se le da al cliente el presupuesto de la reparacion. Una vez que el técnico de reparacion de lavadoras urgente de Alcala de Henares, llega al domicilio del cliente, lo primero que hace es localizar el tipo de problema que tiene la lavadora, una vez localizada la avería se le da al cliente el presupuesto de la reparacion.

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