There should be a special bond between a father and his son. It’s difficult for boys to develop into men and fathers, without a father’s presence. A father’s life, example and prayers determine to a great extent his son’s life. I recently read this quote somewhere: “My child, you will need to climb over the mountains and valleys of my prayers and swim through the rivers of my tears if you want to end up in hell.” I would also like to add: “… or destroy your life.”
1. TIME. As a father, you need to spend time with your son to know what to pray for him. You must learn the way your son thinks, his hopes and dreams, his strengths and weaknesses. You must come to better understand your son’s heart. Never force your will on your son. A son must always feel that his father makes room for him to be himself. It is of the utmost importance that every son will experience his father’s affirmation. Your son must experience your approval and acceptance. Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one. (Colossians 4:5-6).
Jacob also blessed his sons.
2. BLESS. You can start to pray for your son by blessing him. Note how Jacob blessed his sons in Genesis 49. You can regularly pray the Name of the Lord over your son and ask the Lord to bless him with the blessings of Numbers 6:24-26. It is not a once-off thing to pray. In the Jewish culture, a father blesses his children once a week on the Sabbath!
3. SALVATION. Pray for your son’s salvation. There is nothing more important than your son being reconciled with God. All other aspects flow from a life hidden in Christ. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9).
Your son is not perfect.
4. GRACE. Pray with grace and mercy, because your son is not perfect. He will at times be rebellious, make mistakes, be ignorant, shy away from challenges and sometimes behave irresponsibly. At such times, be compassionate and pray with grace. Don’t be judgmental or accuse your son before God when you pray. But as you abound in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us—see that you abound in this grace also. (2 Corinthians 8:7).
5. SHOW IT. Live a life that is right before God when you pray for your son. Your life should be holy, your actions must show love and patience, and you should set an example that is worth following. You cannot live with a sin-filled heart. Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (2 Corinthians 7:1).
6. WORD. Pray the promises of God. Read the Word of God and ask the Holy Spirit to show you promises from Scripture that are applicable to your son. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
God has a purpose for your son.
7. PURPOSE. Pray for your son to understand God’s will and purpose for his life, and to walk in it. Also ask that he will understand how his life can glorify God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28).
8. RELENTLESS. You should never stop praying for your son, regardless of whether you are 25 years old or 60. It is a lifelong prayer responsibility. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
9. ATTITUDE. Ask the Lord to show you His heart for your son, and to work that same attitude in your heart for your son. Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ. (2 Thessalonians 3:5).
He will be tempted in this world.
10. PROTECTION. Evil is a reality in this world. Ask God to protect your son from temptations and attacks from the Evil One. But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one. (2 Thessalonians 3:3).
11. IDENTITY. Pray for your son not to give in to peer pressure, but to make his own choices and live according to godly values at all times. Pray for your son to have godly friends who will draw him closer to God and strengthen him in difficult times. Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. (Colossians 3:12-14).
12. HUMILITY. When God convicts you of something wrong that you said or did to your son, ask forgiveness from God and your son. But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “GOD RESISTS THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.” Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (James 4:6-8).
13. AFFIRM. Affirm your son in his God-given potential. Encourage and guide him in his journey in life. Don’t force your will and expectations on him, for example by expecting him to become a doctor because you are one. Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him.” (Isaiah 43:7).
God loves him.
14. LOVE. Ask the Lord to transform your heart so you will love your son like He loves him. Pray for godly wisdom to not condemn your son for making mistakes, but to help him learn from his mistakes. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (1 John 4:10-11).
15. FUTURE. Pray for your son’s future wife, that God will prepare her heart. Ask that, as a couple, they will fulfil God’s purpose for their lives one day. If your son is already married, keep praying for them to walk in God’s will for their lives. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6).