(By: Norm Rasmussen, Precious Testimonies Ministry)
Perhaps you haven’t given it much thought, but there is a BIG difference between praying WITH your children vs praying INTO your children.
This is an exhortation to admonish parents to pray INTO your children, especially when they are young. (Of course, praying WITH your children is also very wise; there is a time and place for that). Praying INTO your children can deposit a dimension of God into the spirit of your child that can GREATLY help determine the spiritual path that child will take as they grow older. (This sentence SHOULD be repeated several times to try to help parents realize how USEFUL of a vessel they can be for God to flow through to impart spiritual life – spiritual TRUTH - to their children).
Many children will grow up never experiencing having a Dad or a Mom praying INTO their lives at a young age. And if you are one of them, you might find this exhortation to be quite “foreign” to you. Yet don’t let that keep you from learning something valuable you can pass along to OTHERS…perhaps to YOUR children, or their children.
First let’s address the created nature of people to help us understand the wisdom of praying INTO our children. Every person is created by God to feel important in some way. To feel significant. To perceive themselves as being valuable. God made each of us that way for a very Godly reason. The greatest reason, I believe, why He did that is so we can come to the place in our understanding one day that we have UNLIMITED POTENTIAL to please God and others throughout eternity. (Satan knows this, which is probably his greatest reason why he does everything in his power to try to keep people connecting firmly with God through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Satan once had that opportunity...the ability to have UNLIMITED CAPABILITY throughout eternity...but in his rebellion against God HIS Creator, he lost it…and now doesn’t want anyone having it EITHER. Anger - hate – vindictiveness - does that to a person).
Bedtime is probably the best time to pray INTO your child. Think about it – why does a young child love hearing a bedtime story? (If they are fortunate enough to have someone tell them or read them one). It’s because their need to feel significant is being addressed. It is acknowledging their need to feel valued. So how does a Dad or a Mom pray INTO that young child? Here’s a suggested demonstration. With a warm hand on the forehead or cheek of that precious child, you start praying out loud:
"Heavenly Father, I thank you so much for (speak the child’s name). I know you have created (speak name again) for a very special purpose. The greatest purpose is so (he/she) can grow to understand how important (he/she) is to You. (Speak name) is so important to me. But (he/she) is MORE important to YOU, because once (he/she) makes Jesus (his/her) Savior and Lord -- (his/her) closest friend -- (he/she) will come to understand that (he/she) will have UNLIMITED POTENTIAL not only in this life, but most importantly, through ALL ETERNITY. I pray all this in Jesus’ most holy name, Amen."
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has entered into the heart of mankind, what God has prepared for those who love Him.” - 1 Corinthians 2:9