The Greatest legacy we can leave our children is also the greatest UN-discovered UN-tapped resource available to us as parents. Our greatest legacy is not money, nor is it real estate, special family memorabilia, or successful accomplishments. Though those are tremendous blessings to leave for our kids. No. Ultimately, the greatest legacy we can leave our kids can not only create their future but it lasts in eternity. It’s our secret weapon as parents. It’s the “difference between letting things happen and making things happen.” The Greatest legacy you can leave your children is…prayer.
I was inspired to write this post after finishing the book, “Praying Circles around Your Children,” by Mark Batterson. This is a reminder to us all of the power we have at making a lasting impact on the next generation(s). Parenting is the hardest thing you and I will ever be involved in. WHY wouldn’t we have prayer as our secret weapon to battle all of the challenges spiritually, emotionally, and relation-ally through raising our children? WHY wouldn’t we pray? The result is “the difference between you and I fighting for God and God fighting for us.
All of this may sound nice to our ears, but for many of us, it raises questions. “What does praying for my children look like?” “How do I practically walk out praying for my kids on a daily basis?” “What do I have to do to leave this lasting legacy of prayer?” In the following section, I will outline 5 creative ways to pray found in the book that you and I can practically do for our children:
Rise during the night and cry out. Pour out your hearts like water to the Lord. Lift up your hands to him in prayer, pleading for your children. ~ Lamentations 2:19 NLT
1. Start a Prayer Journal or Notebook
I started a prayer journal / notebook for my son while I was pregnant with him. I started writing him letters flooded with special memories of my pregnancy, scriptures, and prayers that I would and continually stand on and believe for. My hope, is to one day give him this prayer journal on a special day in his life. This may possibly be his high school graduation, college graduation, or maybe his wedding day. I hope that he will be able to look back 20 years and see the faithfulness of God recorded in a book that I started before he was even born. Now you may not have started that early, but it’s never too late to start writing!
2. Send daily notes or texts
My son is not old enough yet for me to leave notes for him. Yet, I absolutely love this idea described in the book “Praying Circles Around Your Children.” The main point is to speak in a language that your kids understand. You can leave notes for them anywhere and everywhere! Just buy a pack a sticky notes and write an encouraging message, scripture, or prayer on there and place them in areas you know your children will see them. For example, this could be on a bathroom mirror, in their lunch boxes, in their book bag, even on their shoes! In a heavy tech savy culture, you can also send text messages at different times of the day, letting them know you are “circling them in prayer.”
3. Create Prayer Posters
I have heard this done before and I love the creativity. Another way to pray for you children is to identify words that are descriptive and prescriptive for your children and have them framed and hung on the walls in their rooms. It’s a prayer list with a creative twist. You can go as far as getting a graphic designer to turn those words into a poster or DIY. The whole idea is to come up with words that speak into your children’s life. Thus, when your children see these words in their room, they would see themselves in the light of their God-ordained identity and destiny.
Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. ~ Psalm 127:3 NLT
4. Lay Hands on your children
When parents brought their children to be blessed by Jesus, He put his hands on their heads. Research has shown that the power of touch has the power to fight viruses, relieve stress, improve sleep, and help recover more quickly from injury. Imagine if you add the power of God to that equation! The supernatural blessing that comes will blow us away! There is nothing magical here, just plain biblical. Every night when I put my son down to sleep, I make sure to lay my hands on his head and pray a blessing over him.
5. Pray through the Bible
Author Mark Batterson stated, “The Bible was not meant to be read; it was meant to be prayed.” Start reading, and God will start speaking.” You can purchase Bible editions with blank pages in them so you can write prayers and record thoughts for your children. As you pray through the Bible, you can also highlight and underline verses that are specific for your children. The idea is to one day present the Bible to them (very similar to the prayer journal) as a significant gift. Imagine the impact and difference this will make for your children when they know they have been prayed for through the Bible by their parents.
Your prayers will shape the destiny of your family for generations to come (Batterson). Remember that prayer is our secret weapon and our greatest legacy we can leave our children. Do you have any other ideas of creating prayer legacies or mantras for your children? Tell me in the comments below!