Recently a book was given to me called, "Prayer Saturated Kids" by Cheryl Sacks and Arlyn Lawrence. It's a small book packed with vital information how to equip and empower our children in prayer. The very first chapter, a child's original design, altered the way I pray for my children and how I look at them.
It's natural for us as parents to have great plans for our children. We want them to do something great in their life. Maybe we want our child to become a doctor, missionary, NFL football player, or the next American Idol? But what if our hope for our child is not the same as God's? In Psalm 139:16 God's Word says, "God saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed". God knows better than us what our children were meant to do. It's praying not my will but yours, Lord!
We are aware everyone is made with different strengths and weaknesses. When looking at these differences in our children we can see God's blueprint. God has designed our children with unique characteristics such as personality traits, character qualities, talents, abilities, spiritual gifts, and life callings. We, through practical observation, discernment, and inquiring of the Lord, can pray God's original design for our children and for it to come to fruition. We can partner with God to help our children become who God destined them to be.
An important part of this process is to first release our own expectations and dreams of who we would like our children to be. It's easy to project our own hopes and desires onto them and miss God's plan. Instead set out to discover their "natural bent" which is their inner design or direction. You will find clues to your children's original design in their behaviour, their likes and dislikes, the kinds of friends they choose, and so on. Cheryl Sacks and Arlyn Lawrence in their book note that "You can also listen to God's voice telling you how He made your children. The Holy Spirit may show you specific character qualities as you pray and listen for His voice. Or, long after you've actually prayed about it, He may give you a flash of divine insight when you least expect it. Listen, take note, and meditate on what the Lord reveals, even as Mary meditated on the things the angel revealed to her about Jesus: 'But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart' (Luke 2:19)."
To help you get started, saturate your child with this prayer today:
Lord, I thank You that You knew my child in the womb, and even sooner, and You designed and declared a marvelous plan for this child's life. I want to be able to see this child the way You do, Lord. Please point out to me the unique characteristics You have woven into their temperament. Give me insight into their calling and destiny. Help me encourage and pray for my child according to the natural bent that You planned---close to You, led by You, and fulfilling Your original design in every area of this child's life. Amen.