According to Barna Research, 64% of believers became born again Christians before the age of 18. This tells us a lot about the importance of Christian parenting. While children are young, it is important to invest in them a seriousness about their eternity. One of the ways we do that is to pray for their salvation.
For the next twelve weeks, I will be encouraging parents on how to pray for their children. And there is no better place to start your prayers, than with their eternity!
Jesus didn’t interact with children nearly as much as he interacted with adults, but in Matthew 19:14, parents were bringing their children to Jesus. As the disciples saw this as an interruption to their ministry, Jesus responded to his disciples and said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”
Is Jesus saying that all children automatically go to heaven? Not necessarily. He is referring to the abundance of faith and submissive willingness of children to believe. The heart attitude of children to believe that Santa exists is the same willingness to believe that Jesus exists. There is obviously a major difference between Jesus and Santa, one exists, and one does not. However, our children believe what we tell them, so parents carry a huge responsibility for what their children believe, as they are the most influential people in their lives at a young age.
In Matthew 19:14, notice that Jesus’ understanding of anything that prevented the children from coming to him is considered a hindrance. He said, “Do not hinder them.” This is the heart of the prayer for your child’s salvation. As you pray for your child daily, pray that nothing would hinder them from coming to Christ, that nothing would block them from going to him and believing.
If you so choose, and I encourage you to do so, in your prayers, name specific things in your child’s life that you know will hinder each of your individual children. If Susie is a social butterfly, pray that her relationships are conducive to knowing Christ, and that she would not be hindered to coming to Jesus by negative influences in her friendships. Be specific.
If Johnny loves sports, pray that he would not love them more than God, and that they would not become an idol that hinders him from seeing the one who gives him that joy in sports. Be specific.
There is so much in this world that can hinder our children from believing, and as parents it is our responsibility to help them navigate those challenges, and one of the most effective ways to do so, is to pray that nothing would hinder your child from knowing Jesus as their Savior.
What if my children are all grown? Do not stop praying! If you have unbelieving adult children, continue to pray this same prayer, be specific. Pray that nothing would hinder them from coming to Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.
 “Evangelism is Most Effective Among Kids,” The Barna Group, last modified October 2011, accessed September 19, 2017, https://www.barna.com/research/evangelism-is-most-effective-among-kids/