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I Committed to Praying for My Kids Daily, Here’s What Happened

I prayed for my kids, and it changed everything about our home.

My wife, Gina, came up with a brilliant Valentine’s Day surprise for our kids a few years back. Instead of the usual chocolates or trinkets, she decided to treat them to a photo session with their pets. Each of my kids has a very special pet that means the absolute world to them. Sawyer adores her Golden Retriever, Boaz, and Jack has his Bearded Dragon, Speed.

So off they went to the photography studio, and the scene there was priceless. Sawyer was striking poses on a stool with Boaz at her feet when Jack chimed in, “Sawyer, you look so pretty. You look like a movie star up there!” The photographer was taken aback, amazed at Jack’s spontaneous compliment.

“What planet are you guys from?”

Gina said the photographer’s eyes were in astonishment as she slowly rotated around and looked at Jack, then at Gina. Then she asked, “What planet are you guys from? My younger brother would never have said anything like that to me when we were younger. The only thing he ever said to me was that my feet stink and to get out of his room.”

Let me be clear, we didn’t instill a rule in our home like, “Make sure you tell your sister three nice things every day” or some other weird, overly legalistic requirement. Jack’s sweet words were simply a reflection of the love and friendship between siblings. I believe what the Bible says is true about ‘out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks,’ and we have spent a lifetime working to protect and steward our kids’ hearts. His sister is his best friend, and of course, he’s going to give his best friend a compliment.

Protecting and nurturing our kids’ hearts has always been a priority in the England Family. While we don’t always get it right, there are a few simple practices we’ve embraced. I encourage you to implement them in your family, regardless of your current home dynamics or structure. Even if you have the greatest kids in the world and an incredible spouse, I believe you still need these practices. If you’re a single parent, blended family, empty-nester, grandparents raising grandkids, parents of adopted kids, or anything else, you need to be doing these practices because they’re simple enough, yet powerful enough to have a lasting impact on the atmosphere, culture, and relationships in your home.

As parents, we often find ourselves trapped in the cycle of questioning if we’re doing enough for our kids, or even doing the right things. I call it The Parent Trap. There are no standardized milestones throughout life to reinforce that we’re headed in the right direction. We’re left with questions and the temptation to look left and right at other parents and evaluate how we’re doing by comparison.

I want to encourage you in a few practices inside your home, regardless of what others are doing, to help save you from the snare of that parent trap.

“The greatest thing you can do for your children is to pray for them.”

The number one greatest thing you can do for your children is pray for them. That might sound like an overly churchy or super-Christian thing to do, but I don’t care. Do it anyway. Pray for them.

Pray that they find God and develop a relationship with Christ, above all else. Honestly, if you could only have one thing for your kid, wouldn’t a relationship with Christ be the goal? Or, shouldn’t it be the goal? A true, meaningful relationship with Christ seems to work everything else out. How they clean their room, where they go to school, how they load the dishwasher, or even how they roll their eyes at you after you tell them something they “already know”, none of those are that big of a deal in comparison to walking with Christ.

Pray for your kids. Pray for them by name. Pray for their friends, for their teachers, their coaches, and coworkers. Pray for your kids to have God’s favor in every situation they step into. It doesn’t have to be fancy or scripted; just talk to God like you would to your best friend. Share your frustrations, your hopes, and your dreams. Share what’s on your mind about your kids, and ask questions about what you should do. Ask God to bless them at school and work, in their relationships and friendships. Ask God to guide them and give them wisdom, and that their hearts will always be turned towards Him. Prayer can really be that simple—talking to God is really that simple.

In the book of Luke, Jesus tells the story of a man who persistently knocked at a neighbor’s door at midnight for some food to give to an unexpected guest. After the neighbor realized that the man wasn’t going away, he eventually gave what the man needed. Jesus concludes the story by referencing prayer with God, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Be persistent in your prayer. Ask, knock, and pray out loud!


“Never underestimate the power of an 8-second prayer.”

The founder of Family ID, Greg Gunn, always says, “Never underestimate the power of an 8-second prayer.” I don’t know where he got that quote, but I’ve stolen it from him. It’s true! If a guy can ride a bucking bull in a rodeo and hang on for dear life for 8 seconds, you can pray out loud over your kids for 8 whole seconds. It might be scary, and you might be worried that you’ll do it wrong or say the wrong things. You won’t. There is no wrong way to pray for your kid. They just need to hear you do it. That is, unless it’s super sarcastic like, “I pray you never want to hang out with that boy again!” That probably isn’t helpful.

When you pray out loud for your children, you speak to their hearts, minds, and spirits.

They’ll know someone is fighting for them. Be that person in their lives. Fight for your children regardless of their age. Your kids may not always be perfect, but you’ve been entrusted with them, and prayer is your first line of both, defense and offense.

Your kids might not always be kind, patient, funny, or clean, for that matter. But, you’ve been entrusted with them, and you are responsible for caring for and stewarding their lives as best you can. Begin with prayer. Whether they are young, dreaded teenagers, already launched, or circling back for a relaunch they are not beyond God’s reach and the impact of your prayers.

If you’re already praying for your kids, keep it up! I am so proud of you. Gina and I have seen the impact of prayer in our own family. Since they were young, we have prayed for our kids’ purity, their friendship, and their relationship with God. In fact, we pray that they will always be not just friends, but best friends, that they will keep the Lord in the forefront of their minds, and that their hearts will be pure and protected in this world. In fact, we pray that our kids and our entire family will be a Beacon of Light and a Pillar of Strength in a Dark and Crumbling World. More on that later.

You may not always get what you ask for but you’ll always get God’s best for you and your family.

I won’t ignore the fact that sometimes prayers seem unanswered. I’ve faced disappointments too. I know people who have passed away, and others who have turned away, run away, or made bad decisions. Of course, I prayed for the opposite to happen. I don’t understand why, and I might not ever understand. Yet, I hold onto hope because I know the Author of Hope. If you, your family, or a close loved one is in a situation like that, I’m sorry. I know how challenging and difficult this world can be. But, don’t lose heart because Jesus has overcome this world. Continue in heartfelt prayer for your family. Be the persistent friend from Jesus’ story, and knock at the Lord’s door.

If you’re looking for an insightful book on praying for your children, grab a copy of Praying the Scriptures for Your Children: Discover How to Pray God’s Purpose for Their Lives by Jodie Berndt. Here’s what this book is all about: “There is no need we will face in parenting, or that our kids will confront in their lives, that God hasn’t already thought of and provided for in his Word. But where do we even begin? Bible teacher and author, Jodie draws on the life-changing power of God’s Word. This bestseller, Praying the Scriptures for Your Children, teaches you how to pray for all aspects of your child’s life, including: your child’s identity, health, safety, use of technology, faith, future, and so much more!”

God hears you, and He’s working behind the scenes.

If you haven’t made prayer a regular part of your kids’ routine, there’s no time like the present to start. There are no prerequisites, no restrictions—just begin where you are, with what you have. It’s all too easy to get ensnared in the parent trap of doubt and uncertainty. However, when you do, prayer is your escape route.

While we may never feel like we’re doing enough or have all the answers, rest assured that God is and He does have all the answers. Friend, praying for your children is one of the most foundational, beneficial, and impactful actions you can take.


This blog post was written by Derek England, Executive Director at Family ID