For the past fifty years I have prayed over my sleeping children, then grandchildren. Even when they were in their teens (too busy usually to pray with me) I knelt beside their beds late at night and prayed specifically for them.
When my sons were little I did this silently until they were about nine or ten years old. Then it dawned on me they may just possibly hear and retain my words as I spoke to the Heavenly Father. So, I began praying aloud over them.
I prayed for their physical health and their spiritual lives. I prayed they would accept Christ while young. I prayed they would honor the Lord and me and their Dad with their lives. I prayed for their protection and their choices.
I prayed for their friends, their studies, their concerns, their decisions, their flaws. I thanked God for them and the gifts they were (and still are) to me and their Dad. I thanked God for their strengths and positive traits.
When I became caregiver to my grandchildren I prayed over them anytime they slept at our house. That was a regular occurrence because my daughter–their Mom–worked nights.
My son’s children stayed with me only occasionally because they lived hundreds of miles away. But I tried to do the same for them each time I tucked them into bed. The days and nights between those bedtime prayers I spent praying for them when I couldn’t pray over them.
I’m so grateful to look back over the past fifty years and see God’s answers to those prayers. Answers that came in wonderful, happy ways. And even answers that came in ways I would never wanted.
I’m grateful to realize that not one of those times in prayer was ever wasted.
It’s a practice I highly recommend for all parents and grandparents. I believe it helped the children, and it helped me to see into their hearts and parent more compassionately.
The excerpt below “Prayer for a sleeping child” is from Songs From A Mother’s Heart (page 62) by Pamela J. Kennedy. It is based on Psalm 36.
The first half of Psalm 36 describes the wickedness of people. But the second half proclaims the faithfulness of God to protect, to cover us and our children with his love and care. If you’re not sure how to start praying over your children you might try reading this one to God for starters.
Blessings, dear parents, on you and your families!