What can a 1st-century, nomadic preacher teach modern moms and dads about parenting? Something I don’t do enough of: praying.

Last week, I shared about enabling children to make right choices. But encouragement goes only so far. Thankfully where my wisdom and influence ends, God’s transcends! That’s why as my kids get ready to head back to school I’ll be imitating the apostle Paul in a letter he wrote to some struggling Christians in the Turkish city of Colosse.

Here’s what the most prolific letter writer in the Bible–a guy who in another place relates himself to being a mom!–had to say:

“So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy.” (Colossians 1:9-11 NLT).

Using this model, here’s how I pray:

1) Lord, help my children know your will so they can make good choices.

2) Give them the supernatural wisdom and understanding.

3) May their lives please and honor you.

4) As they grow, may they know you more and more.

5) Strengthen them with your power, patience, and endurance.

6) And as they follow you, fill them with joy.

I love praying scripture this way! Not only does it keep my mind from wandering, but I know when I’m done!

As I pray through each point, I include specific issues that are challenging my children. Best of all, I know it works. How? Well, those struggling folks to whom Paul was writing turned the world upside down with their faith!

That’s what this praying mom hopes for her children. So, print this out. Stick it where you’ll see it. Be encouraged as you offer the prayer God answers. And while you’re at it, pray for their friends too! If you don’t have kids or ARE a kid, try personalizing it, “Lord, help ME know…”

How do you pray for your kids? Any specific prayers that God has answered? Ever wonder whether He’s really listening?