While married couples with children were in the majority decades ago, nearly 57% of USA households are childless today. There are many more childless couples than we realise, because they seldom speak about being childless and the consequent battles they face physically, emotionally and spiritually. Many have had to deal with miscarriages, tests and treatments – having tried everything humanly possible without success. They dread the questions regarding this issue from friends and family and the hardest for them is to hear of yet another friend or couple who became pregnant. How can you pray if this is you?
The following are guidelines for childless couples when praying
- First and foremost, make sure of your personal relationship with the Lord Jesus. Surrender your life to Him and ask for His will to be done in your life.
- If you have repented of all known sin, but you are still plagued by thoughts that God is punishing you for something that is wrong in your life, then these thoughts are not from the Lord. He will never hide sin from us – He wants to cleanse and purify us (John 16:7-8). Ask the Holy Spirit to show you how you view God. Do you see Him as someone ready to punish you for anything you do wrong? Or do you perhaps see Him as unwilling and that you have to convince Him to answer your prayers? As a couple, consider writing down your view of God – how you think about Him or feel about Him?
- Pray boldly and continue to ask the Lord for a child of your own. Believe in God and believe God, which means: “Lord, we ask You for a child. With You nothing is impossible.” (Luke 18:27).
- Surrender to His timing. Abraham and Sarah waited for many years before Isaac was born, although Abraham had a promise of offspring as numerous as the sand of the sea! They had to wait until the time was ‘full’. Their own efforts to hasten the promise only brought heartache and pain. When the time came, God fulfilled His promise to them. Asking God for a child therefore also means: “Lord, Your will be done. Your ways are not our ways. Your timing is not our timing. We surrender ourselves to Your will, while we confidently ask because You are our Father.” (Mark 14:36, John 20:17).
- Don’t blame each other if you do not fall pregnant, regardless of what the problem is. This is especially true for men – do not measure your self-worth by your ability to conceive. Pour out your hearts and emotions, and everything you experience, before the Lord in prayer (Psalm 62:8).
- Live joyfully and hopefully. God is good, faithful and still mighty – regardless of whether you have a baby or not. Do not be robbed of your joy by allowing condemnation or the accusations of the enemy to flood your mind. Declare God’s goodness and faithfulness over your marriage. Start in faith to bless your offspring, praying God’s promises concerning their future and the work they will do in His Kingdom (Psalm 106:1).
- Ask the Lord for His heart about your situation. Psalm 27:14 – Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD! We are sometimes so focused on asking God for something that we forget to listen to Him. He wants to bless us, even give us understanding of our situation.
- If you or your parents were perhaps involved in occult activities at any time, it will be wise to pray with someone who has enough knowledge of these matters. Once you have dealt with these roots, the blood of Jesus cleanses you completely and no further condemnation is necessary. John 8:36 – Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. If you have previously had an abortion or if you suffer continuous miscarriages without any particular medical reason, it is even more important to pray with someone through these different issues, asking the Holy Spirit to lead you.
- Keep integrity. There are ethical limits to acquiring a baby. There is nothing wrong with adoption, and for many this has become a wonderful answer to prayer. When making use of surrogate mothers, the sperm of another man, etc. we are crossing the boundaries set in Scripture for marriage. Integrity, morality, purity and holiness before the Lord is paramount. Pray for wisdom in making use of medical help. This comment is not meant to be judgmental, but to caution and give guidance.
Guidelines for people praying for childless couples
- Do not be judgmental in your prayers or cause them to think they do not have enough faith. Put yourself in their shoes. Pray with compassion, with tears and supplications (Psalm 143:1)
- Don’t act as if you have the answer for them. Humble yourself and offer to pray with them. Keep encouraging them.