Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Stormie Omartian's new book, The Power of Praying for Your Adult Children (Harvest House, 2009). 

You want to continue to support your adult children while still giving them the freedom to make their own choices.  But where do you draw the line between helping them to build their own lives well and enabling them to remain dependent on you?  And how do you deal with all of your many concerns about them – from their friendships and romantic partnerships, to their career pursuits and financial management?

Prayer is the key. Praying for your adult children will connect you to the only perfect Parent – God – and invite Him to act powerfully in their lives.

Pray that your adult children will …

See God pour out His Spirit on them:  Ask God to give your adult children the faith to seek Him and welcome an outpouring of the Holy Spirit into their lives.  Pray that they will understand the Holy Spirit’s power, and that they will follow the Spirit’s guidance so they can recognize the difference between what’s true and what’s false.  Ask God to empower them through His Spirit so they’ll be able to live faithfully.

Develop a heart for God, His Word, and His Ways:  Ask God to turn your adult children’s hearts toward Him and open them to receive His love.  Pray for their desire to know God better and become more like Him.  Ask God to bring them to repentance about their sins.  Pray that God will close their hearts to evil lies and open them to His truth.  Ask God to give them a passion to read, study, reflect on, and memorize Scripture. Tell them stories of how God has worked in your life (such as how He has answered some key prayers) and describe your relationship with Him means to you.  Point out the good qualities you see in them as people and help them discover and fulfill God’s good purposes for their lives.

Grow in wisdom, discernment, and revelation:  Wisdom will empower your adult children to see the consequences of their actions before they act, enabling them to make the right decisions about actions to take.  Pray that they will have the wisdom t fear God, speak the right words to others, avoid blaspheming God’s name, be humble rather than prideful, avoid being drawn into the world’s concept of wisdom, love the Bible, and always seek the counsel of godly and wise people.

Discernment will enable your adult children to understand what would normally be obscure to them.  It will help them see what’s good and what’s evil, see what’s holy and what’s sinful, see what’s right and what’s wrong, choose to do what’s right in any situation, and understand more about God’s ways. 

Revelation is knowledge God can give your adult children that they wouldn’t have had otherwise.  It gives them a vision for their lives, understanding and enlightenment about their purpose and calling, empowers them to respond to their circumstances in the right ways that will protect them from disastrous decisions, and helps them see who God is more clearly.  Pray for God to give your adult children the benefit of these qualities every day of their lives.

Find freedom, restoration, and wholeness:  Whenever your adult children are struggling with a specific, sinful attitude or action, your prayers can be instrumental in helping them find the healing they need.   Ask God to set them free from anything that separates them from Him.  Pray for them to find the transformation that can only be found in God’s presence.  Ask God to help them establish the disciplines of reading the Bible, praying, and praising and worshiping Him regularly, since God uses those experiences to changes people’s lives for the better.  Pray for the healing you need in your own life so your adult children can see through your life a powerful example of how God is at work.  Ask God to take anything in your adult children’s lives that is currently broken and make it whole.

Understand God’s purpose for their lives:  Ask God to help your adult children figure out the best direction they should go with their lives.  Pray for the Holy Spirit to guide them as they make decisions, from where to go to college to what career and volunteer work to pursue.  Ask God to help them discover, develop, and use the gifts and talents He has given them.  Pray for God to encourage them and clear away confusion when they become overwhelmed or fail, so they can hear from His Spirit in fresh ways and keep fulfilling His purposes for their lives.  Ask God to instill a desire in them to always be in the center of His will.

Work successfully and have financial stability:  Ask God to give your adult children a strong desire to be diligent and work hard, always giving their best effort to the tasks they undertake.  Pray that they will be able to earn an income that meets their needs.  Also pray that they will: always work when opportunities arise; have the wisdom they need to save money for tough times; learn to give generously to support God’s work on earth; seek God about everything, including the financial provision they need; gain wealth according to God’s will; know that true treasure is found in God; and always have a sense of what is right and ethical about managing money.

Have a sound mind and a right attitude:  Ask God to help your adult children make the right choices about what they allow into their minds so they’ll have nothing less than the sound minds He has given them.  Pray that God will protect them from having evil fill their minds with lies that oppress them mentally and emotionally.  Ask God to dissolve bad attitudes in their minds, such as pride, fear, anger, anxiety, and a broken heart.  Encourage your adult children to develop a habit of praising God regularly, since that practice will heal their minds, emotions, and attitudes.  Pray for Christ’s peace to flood their souls and rule in their hearts every day.

Resist evil influences and destructive behavior:  Ask God to give each of your adult children a humble, repentant, and teachable spirit.  Pray for God to destroy any spirit of rebellion in their lives.  God’s love and grace will always be available to your children, no matter what they’ve done.  Ask God to help them return to Him after they’ve strayed.  Pray that: God will open their eyes to see the truth and not be blinded by evil lies, they can hear God’s voice leading them, their hearts will be filled with wisdom and knowledge, they will turn away from evil when they encounter it, they will understand that they are engaged in a spiritual battle every day, they will respond to trials by turning to God, and they will learn to praise God for the healing and deliverance He has for them.

Avoid all sexual pollution and temptation:  Ask God to give your adult children a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit on them to cause them to see the world from God’s perspective and can better resist an attack of lust.  Pray that they will: have a renewed heart for God, His Word, and His ways; have wisdom, discernment, and revelation about how to avoid sexual pollution; find freedom, restoration, and wholeness from whatever has already sexually polluted them; refuse to look at whatever is offensive to God and harmful to them; focus on the path and purpose God has for them; recognize the power of lust to destroy their souls; understand that lust in any form is against God’s will; live in the Spirit of God and not in the lust of the flesh; and run to God and the truth of His Word whenever they’re tempted to be drawn into sexual pollution of any kind.

Experience good health and God’s healing:  If your adult children are in good health now, ask God to show them what to do to maintain good health: what to eat, how to exercise, and how to get rejuvenating sleep.  Pray that they will have the discernment to know what’s good and what’s bad for them, the wisdom to make right choices, and the revelation about what is right for their particular bodies.  If they’re struggling with bad health brought on by sickness or injury, point them to Jesus as their healer and never stop praying for their complete healing, regardless of the severity of their medical prognosis.  Ask God to give you and your adult children the faith you need to pray boldly for healing and help you not lose heart or hope.  Encourage your adult children to trust God to answer your prayers according to what’s best.

Enjoy a successful marriage and raise godly children:  Pray that your adult children will marry fellow believers who are sexually pure before marriage and have godly character.  Pray that they will have strong relationships with their in-laws.  Ask God to help your adult children be good parents by: recognizing that their children are gifts from God, training their children in God’s ways, teaching their children with love rather than anger, disciplining their children wisely and diligently, and obey God’s ways while raising their children so their prayers will be answered.

Maintain strong and fulfilling relationships:  Ask God to help your adult children develop good relationships with godly friends; coworkers; and family members like their siblings and cousins, you and your spouse, and extended family.  Pray that God will remove people from their lives who are bad influences on them.  Ask God to help your adult children pursue forgiveness and reconciliation to fix broken relationships with others.

Be protected and survive tough times:  Pray that your adult children will have long and fruitful lives.  Ask God to protect them from falling victim to manifestations of evil.  Pray that they will: have the wisdom and judgment to do what’s right in every situation, learn to fear God and not other people, trust God and His Word, live in the presence of God where there is safety, make God their refuge and turn to Him for protection, use God’s Word as their shield from evil attacks, refuse to live in fear of danger or disease – even when they see destruction happening around them, understand the consequences for not living God’s way, and understand that the reward for living God’s way is protection. 

Ask God to surround your adult children with guardian angels.  Whenever your adult children are going through a tough time, pray that they will be aware of God’s presence with them and rely on His strength to get through it well.  Ask God to bring something good for them out of even the worst situations.

Walk into the future that God has for them: Ask God to help your adult children rely on His guidance every day so they can discover the peaceful and hopeful lives He wants them to live.  Pray for God to give them the strength and opportunities they need to fulfill His purposes for their lives.  Ask God to help them remain faithful and keep growing through their whole lifetimes.   Remember that, in Christ, nothing can ever separate them from God’s love.

August 18, 2009

Adapted from The Power of Praying for Your Adult Children, copyright 2009 by Stormie Omartian. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Or., http://www.harvesthousepublishers.com/.  

Stormie Omartian is the bestselling author of The Power of a Praying® series (more than 13 million copies sold worldwide), which includes The Power of a Praying® Wife and The Power of a Praying® Husband. Her many other books include Just Enough Light for the Step I’m On, The Prayer That Changes Everything®, The Power of a Praying® Woman, The Power of Praying® Through the Bible, and The Power of Prayer to Change Your Marriage. Stormie and her husband, Michael, have been married more than 35 years and are the parents of two adult children.