10 Simple Prayers That Will Make You a Better Parent

10 Simple Prayers That Will Make You a Better Parent

If you’re like me, you constantly wonder what more you should be doing for your children. Am I giving them enough of my time? Am I offering enough encouragement in their lives? Am I being a good enough role model?

We all feel like we blow it at times, when it comes to parenting. And there’s always guilt if we’re looking for it –about what we could have done or should now be doing differently. Now that my daughter is an adult, I’ve found the most effective and rewarding things I gave her stemmed from the things I asked God to do in me through prayer.

You and I, as parents, can only do so much for our children. But God can work in their hearts and minds to shape them into the people He wants them to be. And God gives you and me the privilege, as parents, to be a part of that process when we surrender our will to Him and allow Him to mold and shape our character in a way that is best for not only us, but our children, too.

Here are 10 simple prayers that will make you a better parent:

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  • 1. A Prayer to Number Your Days

    1. A Prayer to Number Your Days

    Moses prayed in Psalm 90:12 “So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom” (NASB). I believe the key to wisdom as a parent is numbering your days – realizing you only have so much time to influence your children positively, and they will only be babies (or middle-schoolers, or young adults) for so much time, too. It’s a “Seize the Day” prayer to keep you focused on the few things that matter so you don’t rush through your days, rush through their growing-up years, and rush through all that you were meant to savor.  

    Lord, help me to number my days so I can present to You – and my children – a heart of wisdom. Keep me focused on the few things that matter in life so my children will follow my example by living with intention and making each moment count. Slow me down to savor what is passing quickly so I live life carefully and meaningfully. 


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  • 2. A Prayer to Seek God First

    2. A Prayer to Seek God First

    In Matthew 6:33 Jesus told His followers to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (ESV). As we seek Him and His purposes above everything else, our lives will be prioritized and we won’t fall prey to worthless pursuits, meaningless obsessions, and unintentionally serving the god of self, all of which make us parents our children won’t want to be around. 

    Lord, help me to seek You –and Your purposes – above any other pursuit in life. I can easily be distracted by the temporary but keep me focused on the eternal. Help me to not just talk of a relationship with You but truly live it in my daily priorities and actions. Although there are things I want for my family, that I can tend to stress about, You are aware of them all, and Your Word promises that when I put You first, You will take care of everything else, according to what You know is best for us. Help me to truly believe that and live by it so my children will place their confidence in You, as well. 


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  • 3. A Prayer to Guard Your Mouth

    3. A Prayer to Guard Your Mouth

    When I was writing my book, When a Mom Inspires Her Daughter, I interviewed daughters of all ages about their relationships with their mothers and discovered that most daughters – by the time they were adults – believed their mothers were very critical of them, while their mothers had no idea that was how their daughters perceived them. That showed me how easy it is for parents to unintentionally come across as critical rather than supportive. Pray that God will only let words escape your mouth if they are words that will build your children up, rather than tear them down. 

    Lord, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of [my] mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29, NIV). Lord, I don’t want my children to detect a critical spirit in me, or jealousy, or even a lack of faith or discontent. So, guard my mouth so I don’t talk critically of anyone. And when it comes to how I address – and correct – my children, help me to build them up rather than tear them down. When they make mistakes or fail miserably, help me to discern when they need love, grace, and forgiveness instead of a lecture on what they should’ve done differently. 


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  • 4. A Prayer to be a Grateful Person

    4. A Prayer to be a Grateful Person

    Scripture commands us to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).  

    There is no more miserable person to be around than someone who is constantly complaining, constantly singing their woes, constantly a downer. On the other hand, it is refreshing to be around someone who is grateful, always positive, and praising God in spite of the pain or difficult circumstances. Be a person your children will want to be around all their lives by being a person of gratitude. 

    Lord, help me to be thankful in all circumstances, not just the ones that are comfortable and enjoyable. Help me to especially be thankful in the difficult situations so my children see me as a person full of praise, not self pity. Whenever I praise You, it changes my perspective and focuses me on the good things You are doing in the midst of the troubles. Help my kids to see that. Make me a thankful person, a person of praise in every circumstance, a parent who can “in all things, sing.” 


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  • 5. A Prayer to Stop Worrying

    5. A Prayer to Stop Worrying

    Scripture instructs: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7, NLT).

    When I wrote 10 Secrets to Becoming a Worry-Free Mom, I learned that most children still believe their parents worry too much about them, even now that they’re grown. In some cases, kids grew up worrying that their parents worried too much! Ask God to replace your worry with a peaceful trust in the One who can accomplish all things. 

    Lord, help me not to worry about anything, but to instead, and immediately, pray about everything that concerns me about my children and anything else. I want to experience Your peace that exceeds anything we can understand. As I display that peace, my children will see that I really do trust You with everything and my faith is not just a “talk” but a real-life walk. By praying about what would otherwise concern me, I am teaching my children to go to You in prayer instead of worrying, too. And Lord, help me not to just hide away and pray about what concerns me but to verbally pray aloud, at times, so my children see my default mode is to take it to God in prayer rather than flip out, freak out, or fret. 


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  • 6. A Prayer to Take Good Care of Your Body

    6. A Prayer to Take Good Care of Your Body

    We live in a health-conscious era. We also live in a society that is telling our kids “love your body.” But the message behind that needs to be about more than self-confidence and “show off what you have because you love it.” The message our kids need to hear is that they are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) and that bodies are God’s temple (1 Corinthians 6:19), and therefore, we want to treat them well, for His glory. When our children see us taking good care of ourselves in how we choose to eat, and treat our bodies, they will likely follow suit. They often develop their habits based on the ones we endorse by our actions. 

    Lord, thank You that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Help me to live out that knowledge by treating my body well and realizing it is Your temple where You dwell. Don’t let me talk poorly about how I look, how much I weigh, and how disappointed I am in my physical characteristics or abilities, but to praise You for being my all-knowing, all-capable Creator and Sustainer. Help me and my children to see that maintaining our health, as well as keeping ourselves sexually pure, is a form of worship (Romans 12:1).


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  • 7. A Prayer to Break Dysfunctional Patterns

    7. A Prayer to Break Dysfunctional Patterns

    If you’ve ever feared your children will pick up on your own dysfunctions you are not alone. You don’t have to be bound to your past. Pray that God will help you to live in your new identity as a child of God and a new creation. 

    Lord, thank You that when I am trusting in Christ alone, I am a new creation; the old things (about who I used to be) are gone and the new things (that represent who I am in You) are come (2 Corinthians 5:17). When I start to revert back to old patterns or hear old tapes playing in my mind, remind me that I have left that life at the cross when I died to self. Help me to remember that “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). Please don’t let my children repeat the mistakes I’ve made, but remind them that they, too, are new in Christ Jesus when they surrender their lives to You. 

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  • 8. A Prayer for a Gentle, Humble Spirit

    8. A Prayer for a Gentle, Humble Spirit

    Some of the most generous and compassionate people I know came from humble beginnings, with parents who were gentle and humble, too. It isn’t popular to be humble today. Our society feels entitled to everything. Pride is strong and ego rules. But not in Christ’s kingdom. Be a parent who prays for a gentle, quiet spirit that is humble and precious in the sight of God. 

    Lord, help me to understand that in Your eyes those who are first will be last. And those who allow themselves to be last will be first (Mark 10:31). Help me to humble myself in Your sight so that You can lift me up at the proper time (1 Peter 5:6). And help me to cast all my cares on You instead of feeling I have to work out everything on my own. Help my children to remember me as one who served and put others first, not as one who always had to be at the front of the line. 


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  • 9. A Prayer for Your Emotional Stability

    9. A Prayer for Your Emotional Stability

    I’ve often told parents (especially moms) “Your child needs your emotional stability even more than their own.” Don’t be a parent who pulls on your children or clings to them to fill the needs in your life. Instead, be steady as a rock so you can ultimately lead your children to Christ, their Rock during the unstable times in their own lives. You can be steady as a rock, emotionally, when you cling to Christ Jesus and look to Him to fulfill you in every way. 

    Lord, strengthen me so I can be a parent who strengthens my child. Help me to cling to You so my child will see how to do that, too. 


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  • 10. A Prayer to Find Your Identity in Christ

    10. A Prayer to Find Your Identity in Christ

    Too many times parents try to live vicariously through their children to the point that they push their children into sports, hobbies, interests, or excessive accomplishments. But your children need to find their identity in Christ, just as you, mom and dad, need to find your identity in Him, as well. It starts with you.

    Lord, show me my value and worth in You, not in what I accomplish or what my children accomplish. Don’t let me put undue pressure on my children to perform because of my own lack of skills, or opportunities. Help me to support who they are as individuals, and be confident that I answer to You alone in how I parent them and You are waiting to partner with me to help me be the best parent I can be. 


    Cindi McMenamin is a national speaker and author of 16 books, including When Women Walk Alone, When a Mom Inspires Her Daughter, and 10 Secrets to Becoming a Worry-Free Mom. She and her husband, Hugh, have also co-authored When Couples Walk Together: 31 Days to a Closer Connection. For more on her resources to strengthen your walk with God, your marriage, or your parenting, see her website: www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.

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