“God doesn’t want us to rescue our children. He’s the Rescuer.” – Elizabeth Musser
She was about 3 years old and we were at the playground across the street from our little townhouse. She was happily playing with the little girl that lived a few houses down from us while we stood close by chatting with the other parents who were there with their own children. The sun began to go down and bedtime was approaching so my husband said, “Brianna, it’s about time to go inside and get ready for bed.” Without hesitancy she plopped down onto her behind, right in the middle of the playground, and said firmly, “NO!” and began throwing a fit. I was mortified! Brian picked her up and carried her to the house while she continued to kick and scream. She made it very clear that what her father wanted her to do was very different from what she wanted to do.
That was just one of the many incidents we faced over the years that served to remind us our children are individuals with thoughts, feelings, and desires all their own, and that we are not able to control them!
If you are like me, you’ve worked hard to raise your children in a way that points them to God. You’ve prayed, read books, sought counsel, provided the best Bible based resources you could find for them to read, taken them to church, tried to have consistent conversations, made the best schooling choice for your family, and have tried to be a good example. You did the best you could with what was available to you, praying that they would choose to follow God when they became adults. So, what do we do if one of our children decides he is not interested in walking with God?
What do you do when their thoughts, feelings, and desires are different from yours and different than what you’d hoped they would be?
We already know that we are unable to control the decisions our children make, but there is one thing we can do that is more powerful and effective than anything else.
We can pray!
5 Verses to Pray When Your Adult Child is Not Walking With God
Bring people into their lives who will point them to You.
Father, please bring people into my child’s life that will direct them to You, who will spur them on towards love and good deeds, and encourage them towards faith in You (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Draw them to Yourself.
Father, I know that no one can come to You unless you draw him to You. Please draw my child into a right relationship with You (John 6:44).
Give them a desire to know You.
Father, please give my child the desire to know You. Cause him to want to be in Your Word that is alive and active, sharper than any double-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12).
Cause them to remember all they have been taught.
Father, please bring to my child’s memory the truths they have been taught and give them the desire to not let go of it. Cause them to desire to keep all that they have learned and remember that it is the most important thing in life (Proverbs 4:13-23).
Protect them from the evil one.
Father, please protect my child from the enemy, the devil, who prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
Our children are individuals with thoughts, feelings, and desires all their own. We are not able to control them, no matter how young or old they are. There are no guarantees that they will make the choices we so desperately want them to make. But God is always in control and He is always working in their heart to reveal Himself to them and draw them into their own, personal relationship with Himself. Even though we did partner with God as we raised our children, He is the one doing the work in their hearts and He will continue to do so. You can continue to partner with God, in the fight for your adult child’s heart, by spending time on your knees in prayer for them.
at her blog. She’s the author of Everyday Prayers for Joy, a 30-Day Devotional & Reflective Journal for Women.Gina Smith is a writer, author, and has been married for 32 years to Brian, a college professor and athletic trainer. For 25+ years she and her husband served on a Christian college campus as the on-campus parents, where Brian was a professor and dean of students. They reside right outside of Washington DC and are the parents of two grown children, one daughter-in-law and one son-in-law. Now an empty-nester, Gina has transitioned her ministry from full-time mom and part-time writer, to being a mom who is available to her adult children as much as they need her and writing as much as she can