Jesus is the perfect example for everything relating to character development and spiritual maturation. Luke 2:52 says, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.” Even the Son of God needed to mature. Not that he was sinful and needed to be reared out of sinful behavior because he knew no sin (2 Cor 5:21), but he was a child and needed to mature into a man.
Our children must also mature into adulthood. We have visions of their future, hopes for great things from our children, and we create opportunities for them to succeed in the things they pursue. But before they get there, they must mature.
Pray that your child will mature in wisdom, in stature, and in favor with God and man. Wisdom, stature, and favor covers all areas of development and growth. Our prayers need to include their mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual developmental needs.
With Jesus as the example, we see the need for our children to find favor in God. They are not able to earn God’s favor through behavior, but we are able to pray that God would find favor in them, as well as their fellow man finding favor upon them.
We include prayers for wisdom as well. Wisdom not only includes the knowledge of truth, but the application of truth in everyday situations. Sound judgment is not just a mental exercise, but a practice in behavior.
Also pray for your child’s physical growth. Not that we ask God for our child to be 6’6” so that they could play in the NBA, but that we would pray for a balanced physical development.
Additionally, praying for your child’s mental health is important. This is partially included in the pray for their physical development, since mental health includes the growth of certain brain functions that produce maturity.
Finally, pray for your child’s emotional health. There are so many factors that can disrupt a child’s natural emotional maturity, and we need to pray against those destructive factors and ask God to provide our children with a sound mind and balanced emotions.
Essentially, we need to pray over the total development of our children, asking God to infuse himself into all aspects of our children’s formative years.
However, there must be a reason for this kind of prayer. That reason is so that our children would be best prepared to receive the gospel, live out the gospel, and communicate the gospel to others. This gospel-driven purpose is founded upon the parent’s greatest passion for their children; for God to be glorified in being our children’s greatest satisfaction.
Meaning, our children at their happiest, is God most glorified in them. Their perfect development and maturation is not mandatory for them to be most satisfied in God. In fact, some of the most joyful Christians are so full of joy due to factors that have limited some form of maturity in them. So ultimately, our prayer is for God to be their greatest joy and satisfaction, but underneath that prayer is a desire for our children to mature into godly men and women.