I bought my husband a sweatshirt that says, “I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you.” If I cannot see from someone else’s viewpoint, I may never understand that person. When we understand “why,” “what” makes sense. In an uncertain world, too often I pray with my eyes clouded by the conditions around me. However, as a child of God, I should pray with godly vision and view my children’s lives through Jesus’ eyes. This will change my prayers from fearful pleas into expectant communication.

What view did Jesus manifest in His prayers?

Faith: “Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me” (John 11:41). Effective prayer for my children begins with the confidence that my prayers are heard. This assurance will bring expectation to my prayer life.

Revelation: “In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes” (Luke 10:21). Trials and triumphs in my children’s lives are both reasons for joy and trust, for they provide an avenue for spiritual revelation. Young people have an aptitude to learn, and we should pray the Lord will open their hearts to His truth.

Love: “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Love and forgiveness motivated Jesus even through terrible pain. May I never lose my willingness to intercede for my children, relying on the limitless love of the Lord. Their lack of experience will result in stumbles, but through the Cross, their failures need never be the end of their story.

Truth:These words spake Jesus, and said, . . . This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:1, 3). Whatever else I may ask for my children, the real goal remains that they will have a true relationship with Jesus and recognize Him as God. I do not want to ask for anything on their behalf that would steal their hearts from Him. Instead, I place them gladly in His hands and will, the safest place for them.

“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened” (Ephesians 1:18).

May His motivation, the “why,” illuminate my mind and heart so my prayers, the “what,” will be in alignment with Jesus’ purpose for my children.


Bethany Sledge and her husband Carl serve as missionaries to Germany, and she is the prayer coordinator for the German-speaking nations (GSN). She loves children and cheerfully fills the role of secretary for the GSN Sunday School Department.  This devotional is reposted from the Ladies Prayer International Newsletter.

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