“Children improve your prayer life,” Jodie Berndt writes in her book “Praying the Scriptures for Your Adult Children,” and any of us with kids knows the truth of that. As soon as we become parents, we want God’s best for our kids. It’s nice as we pray them through their cute toddler and enjoyable elementary school years. But as they become adults, the issues become thornier. This book helps parents pray for their adults kids.
All our adult children will have problems. Berndt points out John 16:33: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Note that Jesus surrounds the “you will have trouble” statement with two promises: he will give us peace, and he has overcome the world. That’s good to know as we pray for our kids.
Praying the Scriptures for Your Adult Children
Berndt emphasizes giving our kids and their lives over to God, and not trying to interfere or control on our own: “Whenever I try to step into my kids’ lives to make something happen, I just mess things up. But God always does it best.” Good reminder! It’s hard as parents to transition from our role as the one in charge of our kids’ every move to the role of prayer warrior and encourager. Berndt advises us to not confuse our job with God’s — when our kids are grown, God (not us) is the one who should be nudging them toward various life decisions.
No matter your adult child’s current circumstances, Berndt reminds us to praise God. What if your adult child is in a total mess? Berndt quotes Merlin Carothers: “To praise God is to express our acceptance of something that God is permitting to happen … When we sincerely accept and thank God for a situation, believing that He has allowed it to come about, there is released into that situation a supernatural, divine force that causes changes beyond what can be explained as an unfolding of natural events.”
She brings up this thought that I liked — we pray for our kids, and would lay down our lives for them, but we can’t change the decisions they make. In the same way, God must sometimes agonize over us and our decisions (with groans that words cannot express — makes sense here). Praying for our adults kids helps us understand God and our relationship to Him better.
This book is divided into chapters based on various topics — praying for your child’s job situation, marriage, etc. Each chapter ends with specific verses to pray for your child in that situation. I really liked that.
Good book for parents of adult kids; I read a few pages each day so I could digest it well. Recommended.