Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Maria Alupoaicei's new book, Prayer Warrior Mom: Covering Your Kids with God's Blessing and Protection (Thomas Nelson, 2013).

As a mom, you know how much your children rely on you in every aspect of your family’s life. That knowledge can sometimes feel overwhelming, since there’s only so much you can do even when you’re giving your best effort to motherhood.

Thankfully, there’s no limit to what God can do for your kids through you. You never have to worry about keeping up with too many responsibilities when you make prayer a high priority. When you rely on God through prayer, His strength will empower you and flow through your life into your children’s lives.

So become a prayer warrior of spiritual strength for your kids. Here’s how:

Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Choosing to be grateful every day helps you overcome unhappiness, discontentment, and negativity, even in the worst circumstances you may encounter as a mom. Train yourself to notice the many reasons you have to be thankful, both big (such as the complete and unconditional love that God gives you and the children He has entrusted you with raising) and small (such the daily blessings God pours into your life). Make a habit of expressing gratitude to God often for who He is and how He is working in your life. The more you do so, the more grateful you’ll feel. Keep a journal in which you record specific blessings for which you’re thankful, and read it when you need encouragement. Discuss God’s blessings with your children and pray prayers of gratitude with them to thank God together regularly.

Pray scripture. When you incorporate Bible passages into your prayers for your children, you invite scripture’s living and active power work in your family’s life together. Read, study, and meditate on scripture often. Then you’ll have plenty of it stored up in your mind to access when you want to use verses that relate to various topics about which you’re praying. Personalize scripture passages by adding your children’s names and other specific details about the situations you’re bringing to God in prayer while claiming God’s biblical promises for your own family’s life. Consider writing out some of your favorite scripture passages on note cards and carrying them with you in regularly (such as in your purse or in your car) to read and pray over often. Give your children copies of some of the Bible verses you regularly pray for them, so they’ll have tangible reminders of your devotion to them and faithfulness in both Bible reading and prayer.

Stand in the gap between heaven and earth. You can use intercessory prayer to stand in the spiritual power gap between heaven and earth for your children. In heaven, God sends his love, resources, mercy, and provision toward His people on earth, but some of God’s blessings get blocked by sin before they reach people’s lives. Your prayers on behalf of your children make it possible for you to reach up and pull down the blessings that God has prepared for them. Consider taking prayer walks around your neighborhood or children’s schools while interceding for them and asking God to help you cultivate the right attitudes and behaviors in their lives.

Satisfy the conditions for answered prayer. In a sense, God always answers prayer, with either “yes,” “no,” or “wait.” But God is more likely to answer “yes” to prayers that people pray according to biblical principles that describe the conditions for answered prayer. Those include: approaching God with an attitude of humble submission; coming to God with pure motives; refraining from asking for anything that contradicts God’s Word, the Bible; having faith without doubting; being single-mindedly focused on pursuing a relationship with God as a top priority; praying for God’s will to be done; approaching God with confidence; praying to the Father in the name of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit; confessing sin and repenting of it; and obeying God’s command to forgiving others.

Pray with power and authority. When praying for good to overcome evil in any situation that affects your children, use your arsenal of spiritual weapons to engage in spiritual warfare. Those weapons are: the name of Jesus, the blood Jesus, agreement with the Holy Spirit and other believers, binding Satan’s power and inviting God’s power into the situation, fasting, praise and thanksgiving, God’s Word, and the testimonies of other believers.

Get help when you need it. Ask for the help you need to successfully get through a crisis (such as dealing with domestic violence, an addiction, suicidal thoughts, an illness, injury, or loss of a job). Break the cycle of discouragement by reaching out to someone who cares and can help you some way, such as a pastor, doctor, or trusted friend or family member. Pray the motivation and energy you need to go through the healing process as God leads you.

Learn to love to pray. Rather than viewing prayer as a chore, learn to love it by talking with God in prayer as you would your best friend and developing a more intimate relationship with Him. The better you get to know God, the more you’ll look forward to communicating with Him through prayer.

Be persistent. Persevere in prayer with full faith, expecting God to answer your prayers in the right ways and at the right times.

Fast for spiritual breakthrough. Be willing to fast temporarily from food or something else (such as computer or TV time) as God leads you in order to focus more intently on praying for your children. When you do, God may give you a spiritual breakthrough in the areas about which you’re praying.

Hold your children loosely. Instead of trying to control your children’s lives, entrust them to God’s care every day, remembering that God loves your kids even more than you do. Encourage your children to discover and pursue God’s plans for their lives, even when those plans differ from your own personal preferences.

Hear God’s voice above the noise of daily life. Ask God to help you develop a quiet, expectant spirit and active listening skills so you can clearly discern the messages that God communicates to you. Pray for God’s guidance about each of your children’s lives daily, so you can make wise parenting decisions.

Be the #1 advocate for your children. Since you and your childrens' dad have more influence on them than anyone else does, use your powerful influence to encourage and support your children whenever possible. Help your children navigate and overcome the challenges in their lives teaching them how to rely on God every day.

Discern God’s will for your children. Rest assured that you and your children can know God’s will for their lives by simply staying closely connected to God in personal relationships each day. Keep in mind that God often reveals His will one day at a time rather than far into the future.

Live with a spiritual perspective. Aim to make all of your decisions in light of eternal values, after seeking God’s wisdom. Show your kids that your hope is rooted and established in your relationship with Jesus, and nothing less than that.

Model forgiveness and grace. Just as your heavenly Father – God – has given you forgiveness and grace, God intends for you to give your children forgiveness and grace on a daily basis. Let your kids know that you love them for who they are rather than for what they do, and that you’ll never stop loving them even when they make mistakes.

Adapted from Prayer Warrior Mom: Covering Your Kids with God’s Blessings and Protection, copyright 2013 by Maria Alupoaicei. Published by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, Tn., www.thomasnelson.com.      

Maria Alupoaicei is an author and speaker with a heart for couples and moms. She and her husband founded Leap of Faith, which ministers to couples around the globe. In her spare time, Marla enjoys art and photography, cooking, dancing, and playing the piano and violin.

Whitney Hopler, who has served as a Crosswalk.com contributing writer for many years, is author of the new novel Dream Factory, which is available in both paperback and ebook formats. Visit her website at: whitneyhopler.naiwe.com.

Publication date: July 4, 2013