You’ll always pray for your son because you love him as a parent. You may do everything for your son’s well-being, but in the end, it is God Who looks after him. That is why – just as you do everything to keep your son safe, provide for the needs that he has, comfort him in tough times, and do all that you do as a parent – you come before God in humility, because your son’s well-being does not rest on your hands but God’s. As a parent, you indeed have times when you are worried about your son. However, whenever you feel anxious because of your worries, you are to humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and cast your anxieties to Him since He cares for you. That is the privilege you have in Christ. In Christ, you can freely approach God’s throne of grace and pray to Him. You can present your prayers and supplications to God regarding your son, and the peace of Christ which transcends all understanding shall guard your heart and mind.
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
16 Rejoice evermore.
17 Pray without ceasing.
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
1 Peter 5:6-7
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
How do I pray for my son?
If your son is not yet a Christian, the essential thing that you should pray for him is his salvation. Why is that so? You may pray for provision upon him, safety and protection, strength to excel in his work or studies, and other things, but none of those things ever bring eternal life to your son. If he is not in Christ, he is separated from God and a recipient of His wrath because of sin. The things he receives from God are there only by God’s common grace, which He shows to both the just and the unjust in the world and which is a different kind of grace that people can find only in Christ. In other words, if your son is not yet a Christian, the best prayer for his well-being is for his spiritual well-being; that he will be able to have the living water in which he will never thirst, which is Christ, and have eternal life in Him. What you can pray for your son, then, is for the Holy Spirit to turn his heart of stone to a heart of flesh so that he will repent, turn away from the life of sin, and believe the person and work of Christ. Pray also that the Holy Spirit will cause him to be born again and that He will open his spiritual eyes so that he may see the kingdom of God and his need for Christ. Praying for your son’s salvation is praying for the Holy Spirit to work in the heart of your son. Salvation is the work of the LORD. Of course, that also means that you have to preach the Gospel to your son; it is your responsibility as a parent to disciple your son and train him in the ways of God. Our confidence is that no heart is too hard for God’s grace to work.
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Father of mercy, You are gracious and merciful to send Your Son to die for our sins so that in Him we may find eternal life and forgiveness of our sins. I pray for Your grace and mercy upon my son. Holy Spirit, turn his heart of stone to a heart of flesh so that his heart won’t be hardened when he hears of the Gospel and he would repent and believe. Open his spiritual eyes so that he may see Christ and understand that eternal life can be found in Christ alone. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
If your son is a Christian already, you can pray just about anything for him. That will need for you to have a renewed mind so that you will know what to pray to God for your son—prayers that are good, acceptable, and pleasing before God. We will only know about those things if we always read and meditate on God’s Word and let the Holy Spirit renew our minds.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
27 Neither give place to the devil.
28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
You can also include other things you know your son needs in your prayer. If your son is working, then, indeed, you can pray for grace, strength, and excellence as he goes to work; that he shall always glorify God in the work that he does and always remind himself that he is working for the LORD. There are also prayers that you can pray for your son simply because you want to pray them. As mentioned a while ago, these prayers are a product of having a renewed mind and a mind saturated with God’s Word. For example, you can pray for grace upon your son that he shall continue to walk in the fear of the LORD and strive to live a pure, holy, and upright life. You are praying for this not because your son is falling away from the faith but because it is a prayer that is good, acceptable, and pleasing before God. It is a prayer that you pray for your son out of your love and concern for him. Of course, you can also ask your son if there are things that you can pray for him. Here is an example of a prayer that you can pray for your son:
Father in heaven, You are the God Who looks after my son. I pray that he shall always delight in the fear of You and that he shall always walk in wisdom, prudence, and blamelessness. I pray that he shall not wander from Your commandments, but instead he shall always cling to them and his heart’s delight shall also be in Your commandments. I pray that he shall continue to grow more in sanctification and more Christlike every single day. May he always faithfully witness Christ in his workplace/school and be salt and light there. I pray that he shall guard his heart as it is the well-spring of life, and that he shall always love You above everything else with all his heart, soul, and mind. Give him the grace to endure and persevere through hardships and faithfully finish the race that You have set before him. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
You can always pray for the different aspects of your son’s life. If he is already a working professional, you can pray for his work. You can pray for his studies if he is still a student, wisdom when looking for a spouse if he is already in that season, fruitfulness in his ministry, and all the other things that are important to him. You could pray for him even if he didn’t mention any prayer requests but still, it would be better to ask your son from time to time what things you can pray for him and ask him how he is doing—not just with work or studies but with regard to all the many aspects of his life. You don’t know, but he might be disheartened when it comes to ministry because he has been trying to reach out to the lost as much as he can, but no one seems to come to his Bible study group. That is just one of the cases where you can ask your son how he is doing; if there is something you can minister to him, you can pray for him right there and then as well as during your devotion with God.