These are interesting, but uncertain times. No doubt, you’ve probably felt a little anxious and unsettled, too. But in times like these, it’s important to refocus on the Lord and remember who the source of our hope, strength and certainty is. And as you find strength in your own faith, remember that for the child you sponsor, living in uncertainty, worry and anxiety is a daily experience. So be sure to pray for your sponsored child often.
I’m the first to admit I need a little help — or some prompting — to know what to pray over the child I sponsor. But where do I turn for my prompts?
A pastor once told me, “When you don’t know what to pray, pray God’s Word back to him. You’ll remind yourself of God’s promise, and you never know what thoughts or hidden feelings those prompting words will open up.”
So, today for the next in our Year of the Bible series, I’d like to share a few verses we all can pray over the children we sponsor that can make our prayer time feel more meaningful and intimate than the typical “bless,” “provide” and “heal” prayers.
Prayers for Strength and Trust in the Lord
1 Peter 5:10
“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”
I like this verse because it reminds me that we are all strong and steadfast in the God who restores all things. This verse tells me to pray for endurance and hope for 6-year-old Jesus, my sponsored child. It also helps me to understand that God sees our suffering and that it is only temporary.
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.”
This verse helps us to refocus on where the source of all help originates. God is our only sustainable source. And he is good, gracious and trustworthy. He has all the means to provide for my sponsored child — and all children living in poverty around the world.
Prayers for Faith and Perseverance
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
God’s promises are real and his plan is perfect, even if it means we have to endure pain in the process. This verse helps me to remember he sees my sponsored child. And so I pray for my child to believe this verse to be 100% true and to renew his hope that God is leading him to a greater purpose.
“Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, “‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?”
To be frank, I think this verse is more for me than it is for my sponsored child. But this verse is a reminder to appreciate my sponsored child’s innocence — to remember what a beautiful, heartwarming thing it is. I am reminded to pray that God would allow my sponsored child to hold onto childlike faith in him. And at the same time, I’m convicted that I need to return to my own childlike faith and offer up praise.
Prayers for Good Influences and Discernment
“If anyone causes one of these little ones — those who believe in me — to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”
I pray that I can be the right kind of example for my sponsored child to follow. But I also know that there are those in the world who would cause a child (and any believer) to stumble. So I pray for my sponsored child to be surrounded by good people, to have positive role models and good influences in his life. I also pray for him to grow in discernment.
1 Peter 5:8-9
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
On the other side of having childlike faith is the very grown-up and wise realization that there are those who would seek to steal our faith — those who have in mind to manipulate, extort, deceive and abuse. I am reminded to pray for God’s hand of protection over my sponsored child.
Prayer for a Healthy Home Life
“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”
This verse serves two purposes in my prayer for my sponsored child. First, it reminds me to pray that my sponsored child would behave in a way that is helpful to his parents and that he would love them. Second, it helps me to remember that I’m not just helping my child by being his sponsor, but I’m relieving some of the burden from his parents or caregivers, too. I should, therefore, pray for them to know God and to find opportunities to provide and to grow in love.
Prayer for Hope
“For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”
This verse reminds me to be patient and stay focused. Right now we are facing many struggles. But my hope — and my sponsored child’s hope — will one day be realized. That day is coming, and until then, we’ll keep hoping and keep praying.
I hope you find these verses to be helpful as you pray for your sponsored child. What are some other things you find to be helpful? Do you have verses that help guide you? What other reminders or prompts do you use? Let me know in the comments below.
Thank you for giving and praying on behalf of a child who needs a prayer warrior like you. Keep up the good fight! If you would like to join us in praying for needs related to COVID-19, click here.
Photos by David Vasquez.