The Prayer I Pray for My Children Every Day


When Elliott and I were newlyweds, we attended an Anglican church in Washington, D.C. Many of the traditions of that church were a mystery to me, and they still are. (I can tell you about my church roots some other time.)

But during that year and a half, I came to deeply appreciate the Anglican church liturgy.

At first it seemed funny to repeat the same prayers every week – the same one for confession, the same one for communion, the same creed sandwiched between the two – but eventually I came to savor those prayers. It’s hard to describe, but I felt like my soul sank into them. Like into a soft bed or a couch.

During most of the service, my brain was humming: lifting up and soaring during the hymns and songs, focusing and thinking during the sermon, flitting from people watching to worship to people watching and back again.

But during the liturgical repetitions — during those prayers — my mouth and my heart and my brain all connected as I said those same familiar words again, forming them like pearls in my mouth, pondering and polishing them like rosary beads. Each week every word made more sense, and then became more precious, and then became the song of my heart. By comparison, I’ve felt this way about some popular songs that I’ve heard over and over on the radio until they worked their way into my brain and became my song and defined a certain period of my life. You know what I mean?

Anyway, back to the prayer I pray for my children, not the liturgy in general. Here is the prayer we learned in that church:

Almighty God, heavenly Father,
you have blessed our congregation with the joy and care of children.
Give us courage, patience, and wisdom
as we bring them up in the faith
that they might never know a day apart from you,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

I love those words:

  • Blessed our congregation – Raising these children is corporate work, ie. it takes a village to raise a child
  • The joy and care of children – A blessing and a responsibility
  • Courage, patience, and wisdom – What a powerful trifecta. How many thousands of times a day do I need courage, or find myself horribly lacking in patience, or grapple for wisdom?
  • As we bring them up in the faith – This hearkens back to a commitment that began with the congregation’s and parents’ pledge to the children at their baptism, that they would teach them about their faith and how it applies to their life and work.
  • That they might never know a day apart from you – The cry of my heart! Elliott and I were both born into homes where Jesus was loved and followed by “clay-footed” but faithful parents. Over the years we came to make that faith our own, and we are grateful that God has held us in his hand throughout our journeys. I hope and pray that our children have this same testimony.
  • Through Jesus Christ our Lord — all things are possible through him!

I remember the first Sunday after we found out we were pregnant with Lena. I was so lonely and sad, because Elliott had just deployed for a year and Lena was totally unexpected and I was overwhelmed and so discouraged. And there I was, standing alone in church, our first child being knit together inside me, praying aloud with the congregation this beautiful, rich, deep, true prayer, and I was praying it for our own child, and I just cried and cried. There was such longing in those tears for so many things.

After repeating it a hundred times over a hundred Sundays, I memorized this prayer. I began to pray it at home whenever I prayed for our children. In Italy, with our old church far away, we prayed. And now we pray in California, years after we began, longing together for courage and patience and wisdom to bring our children up in the faith, longing that they might never know a day apart from Jesus.


There are so many ways to pray for those we love. I remember my mom said she prayed for me and my future husband every day of my life. Well, I’ve already failed at that for my own kids… but I guess doing starts with trying! (And I can imagine it feels more relevant as they get older.)

Do you have any prayers that you particularly love and repeat often, whether about children or not?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

19 Responses to The Prayer I Pray for My Children Every Day

  1. Rachel January 15, 2015 at 9:12 am #

    What a beautiful post! I am in tears, imagining you in that church after you found out about precious Lena.

    I pray aloud with the kids right before they leave the house to get on the bus. I always thank God for each of them by name, for a warm home, more than enough food to eat and clothes to wear. I pray for safety, individually for each of us to do the tasks that God will set before us that day, and show kindness and Jesus’ love to everyone we meet as we do them. I pray that God will keep David safe and (one of my favorite phrases from Power of a Praying Life) “bless the work of my husband’s hands, and give him favor in the eyes of his superiors” (even more poignant and powerful now that we’re in the Army!).

    I agree with you about liturgical prayers. I used to feel weird about them, but I’ve truly come to love saying the Lord’s Prayer as a congregation each Sunday. EVERY time, I hear the voices of the Arthurs’ children in my head. I loved that!

    • Becca January 15, 2015 at 2:46 pm #

      Yes, yes, and yes to so many things in your beautiful comment! I am so grateful for your friendship and godly example to me.

      And I can totally hear the Arthur kids’ voices in my head for The Lord’s Prayer too!


  2. Kathleen January 15, 2015 at 9:22 am #

    I’ve been praying & personalizing Colossians 1:9-12 for my kids since they were very young and Colossians 3:12-17 for our family & church.

    • Becca January 15, 2015 at 2:44 pm #

      Such good verses. Thanks for sharing, Kathleen!

  3. Amanda January 15, 2015 at 3:38 pm #

    What a beautifully written post! Your words reminded me of a time long, long ago when I attended a Presbyterian church in college. They read liturgy every service, and I thought it was very awkward at first since I didn’t grow up with it. Over the years, though, I grew to really appreciate it. Thanks for sharing!

    • Becca January 17, 2015 at 8:08 pm #

      You’re so welcome! I can totally relate.

  4. sarah January 15, 2015 at 6:31 pm #

    Ah, so good! I love this prayer (and I, too, have grown to savor and depend on church liturgy here in C’ville). . My prayer as a Mama, this tiring past year of adding #3 has honestly most often been Eph 6:10 – be strong in the Lord and the strength of HIS might. (along with a friend’s mantra: “sleep is not my Savior!”) But, there are so many good Scriptural ones I’d love to incorporate. This is the first year I’ve picked a verse on my kids’ birthdays to pray over them for that year (like a growth area of timidity, self-control, fear of God not man, etc). I have a long way to go in making it a discipline, though (which is where liturgical habits can be so helpful!). I continue to be blessed by, and enjoy, your blog much!

    • Becca January 17, 2015 at 6:24 pm #

      Thank you for sharing and for your honest words! I would love to learn some new prayers, or incorporate more than are Scripturally based. The Word does not return void!

  5. Tiffany January 15, 2015 at 7:53 pm #

    What a beautiful prayer! It’s simple, but in times that are hard to pray, I’ve found that the Lord’s Prayer is incredibly comforting and just feels right somehow.

    • Becca January 17, 2015 at 6:24 pm #

      You’re so right about the Lord’s Prayer. The older I get, the more I am struck by its beauty and simplicity and how perfectly it applies to every situation and emotion.

  6. Sarah January 16, 2015 at 11:25 am #

    This is beautiful! Your writing captures your raw emotion and love for your children. Love reading your articles, Becca :). As I’ve said before…I was born/raised as a Roman Catholic, so having a set liturgy is very familiar for me. BUT – it wasn’t until Paul and I married and we made the joint decision to join the Lutheran church in Williamsburg that I felt that same resonant feeling you mention in your post – a comfortable, calm familiarity. There is one part in particular of our Lutheran liturgy that I absolutely LOVE, and I find myself humming the tune (it’s a song we all sang together as a congregation). “This is the feast of victory for our God, Alleluia! Worthy is Christ, the Lamb who was slain, whose blood sets us free to be people of God. Power and wisdom and glory and might be to God and the Lamb forever, Amen”. What was so great about this song/prayer was that the men and women had separate verses and then we all sang the antiphon together. Our church was in the round, and the voices and organ just blended beautifully. The ultimate song of praise that is now a part of my psyche!

    • Becca January 17, 2015 at 6:23 pm #

      Yes, this is exactly what I am talking about! Do you know where your next duty station is? Can you go back to Williamsburg?

  7. Lucy January 17, 2015 at 1:06 pm #

    Well, as your mother, I can only truly say that I Tried to pray daily for you and your future husband! My comfort is that it isn’t about how successfully I have prayed, but God’s abundant grace toward my family, and you, my dear daughter, and your husband. Hasn’t God been gracious to us!!

    I think one value of repeated prayer is that you will remember it. You will remember praying this prayer as the children grow older, and you can look back and see the myriad ways God has answered your prayer.

    • Becca January 17, 2015 at 6:22 pm #

      Thank you for praying for me — however regularly, but I know it was more often than I know — for I know God has been gracious through your faithfulness!

  8. Sarah January 17, 2015 at 10:21 pm #

    Yes, Becca…headed back in 4 short weeks!!! The closer we get to our moving date, the more I keep humming this song of praise :). My kids are going to have a huge AHA moment when they join us at worship for the first time in our old church congregation and realize that THIS is what Mom has been singing for forever. Russell was baptized there, and we look forward to going back in this new season of life with three little boys. Hugs to you and yours!

  9. Emily January 23, 2015 at 9:55 am #

    I’m an Anglican and I’ve prayed this corporately in church, but somehow never brought it home to pray over my children. I LOVE that idea. Thank you!!

    • Becca January 28, 2015 at 10:07 pm #

      You’re so welcome! There’s so much at church that I wish I brought home and used every day…


  1. Pure Barre, Prayers, and a Thankful Printable - January 16, 2015

    […] may have to start praying this beautiful prayer for my […]

  2. Post-Deployment Family Fun Around San Diego - Becca Garber - April 6, 2015

    […] we took our friends hiking at Torrey Pines State Reserve, which you already know from here and here that I love so […]

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes