By Beth Ann Baus, Crosswalk.com
1 Peter 5:8 tells us that our adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
We know the enemy wants our children; he wants to pull them away from us, from their faith, and from the one true God. We also know that Satan is crafty, and he tries to pull our children away in a variety of ways: by temptation, distractions, deception, etc.
Thankfully, we serve a God that invites us to pray, to talk with Him about the longings of our hearts. He has also given us His Word, full of wisdom and promises that can guide us in our prayers.
When we pray to God, asking for our children to be protected from Satan, we should remember that we aren’t praying to a distant, indifferent entity. No! We’re praying to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! We’re praying to the I AM, who loves our children more than we do and who cherishes their souls more than we can even comprehend!
As you pray through the following 10 scriptures, pray expectantly. Pray with confidence. Pray with boldness as you approach His throne on behalf of your children.
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1. Genesis 1:7
"So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so."
One way the enemy deceives our children is by making them feel worthless. They face an unrealistic standard on social media, on having followers, and on being known. There is a sense of urgency to be famous, to stand out, to be the center of attention. For the vast majority of our children, attempts at meeting these standards fall flat, leaving them feeling anxious, worthless and, in extreme cases, with suicidal thoughts.
Please protect our children by giving them a deep understanding that their self worth is found in You and you alone. Your word says that you made us in your image. Remind our children that they were made by your hand and in your image, which gives them immeasurable worth! Give us wisdom as parents to speak this truth with love.
Fill their hearts with an overwhelming love for you so that you are the only one they want to please. Show them the trappings of this world are just that, traps. Show them instead the community and belonging they can have among your people and the joy that comes from following you instead of the world.
"The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness."
The enemy often leads our children astray by making them feel lonely and unloved. What better way to lead a child down the path of destruction than to convince them that no one cares?
Jeremiah 31:3 says that you have loved us with an everlasting love! Please remind our children that your love is immeasurable, relentless, and infinite. The love you have for us fails in comparison to any happiness, pleasure, or fulfillment we can find here on earth.
Remind them that this world will never satisfy, but you, Lord, are unchanging and are an ever-flowing fountain of love. Your love is perfect and never runs out, please remind them of this. Give them an overwhelming sense of your presence in their lives. Remind them that they are never alone. In their happiest moments and also in their darkest moments, you are always there.
You are watching, you are caring, and you are grieving with them when they feel alone and unloved. Let them know they are not only loved by you, but cherished.
Related: Listen to our podcast, Teach Us to Pray with Christina Patterson. You can find all the episodes at LifeAudio.com. Here's Episode 1:
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3. Matthew 6:19-21
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
We see the enemy at work everyday tempting our children with the riches of this world. The enemy would have our children believe that being loved by the One true God isn’t enough. Our children are deceived into thinking they need more and more of whatever they see making other people happy. The enemy wants them to be dissatisfied in everything so that they will always be chasing the next big thing.
Matthew 6:21 tells us that where our treasure is, there our heart will be also. Please give our children a heart for you. Allow your Spirit to guide them and point them to our treasure in Heaven. Remind them that the treasures of this world will always disappoint; they will rust, be eaten by moths, and can be stolen. But your treasures are eternal; remind our children of this.
Help them to see that receiving your love, extending your love to others, and living to glorify you is worth more than all the riches this world has to offer.
"Do not be misled: 'Bad company corrupts good character.'"
While you would desire our children to surround themselves with people of faith, the enemy would like to surround them with people who hate you. The enemy would love nothing more than for our children to turn their backs on you completely and to follow in the ways of the world. Please, keep this from happening.
Your Word tells us that bad company corrupts good character. Please help our children to see this. Give them wisdom when choosing their close friends and confidants. Let their inner circles be made up of godly influencers that will point them to you. Give them a desire to glorify you in their relationships and to not give in to the peer pressures of those who don’t know you.
Plant your Word deep in their hearts so that they may recognize your truth and are able to stand strong when your Word is being distorted. May our children be a light in dark places rather than the darkness snuffing out the light in our children!
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5. Isaiah 41:10
Our children face so many obstacles. Temptation comes at them from every angle and the enemy takes advantage of each and every opportunity. He loves setting unrealistic expectations for our children and then seeing their disappointment when they can't meet them. I'm brokenhearted knowing that our children often go to bed feeling troubled, depressed, anxious, and weak.
Without you as their focus, every obstacle seems exaggerated and impossible to overcome, leaving them feeling like failures. Facing these negative emotions day in and day out can be so crushing. Open the eyes of their hearts and set yourself as their main focus. Lord, remind them that you are bigger than any obstacle they face and that you are there ready to pick them up when they fall.
Remind them that you are with them and therefore they don’t have to be afraid! You are their God. You will strengthen them, help them, and uphold them with your righteous right hand! Fill their minds with these thoughts and allow them to sleep easy, resting in your unfailing love.
"But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one."
Father God, while we can only see what’s in front of us in this moment, you are everywhere and you can see everything past, present, future. You know the temptations, trials, and frustrations our children will face today, and every day of their lives. There is so much comfort to be found in knowing this about you. But the enemy doesn’t want our children to find comfort in this.
He works to blind them of this truth and keep them feeling isolated and vulnerable. Your Word says you are faithful and that you will establish and guard us against the evil one. We believe this to be true and ask that you would foil the plans of the enemy. Keep our children from the devil’s schemes and uphold them with your mighty hand.
Keep their eyes focused on you so that they can spit at the plans of the evil one and rest knowing that you are there, guarding them and upholding them. Remind them that you have already won the battle; victory is yours, and therefore victory is also theirs.
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7. 2 Samuel 22:3-4
"... my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield[a] and the horn[b] of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior—from violent people you save me. "I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and have been saved from my enemies."
We are heavy hearted with the thoughts of what our children are facing in this world. Every generation has unique struggles, but the enemy seems to be attacking our children in ways we could have never imagined. Our technology has helped us in so many ways, and we are thankful for it, but it has also caused so many problems and new temptations.
While social media was designed to help us stay connected, it has made so many of our children feel more alone than ever. Our culture is a breeding ground for self centeredness and fuels the flame for personal gain. This leaves our children feeling defeated in so many areas of their lives. Remind them Lord that you are their rock!
They can take refuge in you because you are their shield, the horn of their salvation, their stronghold and refuge, their savoir. You save them from violence. We call upon your name, Lord, who is worthy to be praised! We beg of you, Lord, to save our children from the enemy.
8. James 4:7
"Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
Your Word says to resist the devil and he will flee. That seems so simple yet so difficult. Lord, our children are faced with temptations everyday. They are faced with opportunities to deny you and to follow the devil. Lord, while we can’t be with our children every second of the day, we find comfort in knowing that you are! You are with them, you see them, you hear them, you know the deepest thoughts, struggles, desires, fears, and anxieties that they have.
You search their hearts and you know them. Lord, give them the strength to resist the devil. Give them confidence to stand firm in their faith and to deny that which denies you. Give them a deep love for you so that they will strive to glorify you first; not themselves or those around them. Don’t let them care what the devil thinks of them, give them only concern for pleasing you with how they live their lives.
Make the way out clear when temptation comes, make resisting the devil seem natural and make serving you the desire of their hearts.
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9. 1 Kings 8:58
"May he turn our hearts to him, to walk in obedience to him and keep the commands, decrees and laws he gave our ancestors."
We know the best defense we have against the enemy is you. You have already defeated him! You reign and you are God Most High! We ask that you would remind our children that the battle has already been won! They do not have to follow satan and his evil ways!
We ask that you incline the hearts of our children to you, that they would walk in your ways and keep your commandments, your statutes, and your rules. We ask that when the enemy tries to distract or deceive our children that they would point to you as their stronghold and help! We ask also that you would give our children such a longing for you, such a love for you, that they would also stand ready to help those around them. That they would work to keep their friends from the enemy and point them to the truth of your word and to the love and comfort we find only in you.
Lord, you are our best defense against the enemy, dress our children in your armour as they start each day.
"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."
It is so easy for our children to feel misunderstood and alone. Our best attempts as parents to connect with them are often rejected.The enemy would love to destroy the strong bonds of family and have our children feel they can’t trust us or that we can’t relate to them. This takes our children from our loving hands and places them in the tempting hands of the world.
The enemy wants to close our children's ears to our wisdom and open their ears to his whispers instead. In their darkest moments, when the enemy is enticing them, remind them that no temptation has overtaken them that is not common to man. Remind them they are not alone in their struggle. You, God, are faithful and you will not let them be tempted beyond their ability to resist. You, God, will provide the way of escape. Remind them of this, Lord.
Allow your Spirit to minister to their hearts in moments of temptation so that they may endure it and so that they may look to you for refuge. May your Word be a lamp to their feet and a light to their path.
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