As parents, we want our children to pray. And yet have you considered that God may possibly be calling your child to be an intercessor?
Having your child say they want to be a missionary, teacher, pastor, baseball player, or doctor are jobs we readily know how to cultivate their interest in such positions. Yet being an intercessor is something you may not really understand yourself.
As parents, we have the responsibility to fan into flame (2 Tim 1:6) the spiritual gifts Father gives our children — with intercession being one of those gifts (Job 16:20-21, Heb 7:25, Romans 8:26-27).
During their childhood years, we want our children to grow in their love relationship with Jesus and in the practice of hearing and obeying His voice (Prov 22:6). Along with that, we want to come alongside Jesus in the spiritual gifts He is developing within them.
Have you noticed several of the following qualities in your child?
- A hunger to pray for others’ needs
- A passion to continue praying for situations, people, and even countries for long periods of time
- A great desire to pray for long periods of time with little encouragement or evidence of a forthcoming answer or change
- Being woken in during the night with both spiritual revelation and demonic attack
- A delighted, overflowing excitement and joy over answered prayer
- An amazing recall of dates, times, and circumstances surrounding answers to prayer
- A sadness over people not praying over things that need praying over
- A sensitivity to what God is about to do and to how He is working around them
- Attuned ears to His voice
- Child-like faith that boldly believes God when they sense He says what He is about to do or is going to do (Is 46:9-11)
If you notice several of these qualities, these are ways you can specifically help your child grow as the intercessor God may developing them to be:
- Go through the youth edition of Experiencing God (dvd pack, book) with them — this study is excellent for specific instruction on how we hear and discern God’s voice
- Encourage your child to journal things they sense God wants them to pray for, encouraging them with the reality that it may take months or years before they see answers to those prayers
- Encourage them to write the date by verses in their Bible that stand out to them as ones God has as promises to claim for themselves or for a person God is having them pray for
- When they are in their pre-teens or teenage years, give them a copy of Beth Moore Praying God’s Word: Breaking Free from Spiritual Strongholds. This is an excellent resource of verses that specifically targets spiritual strongholds in our own or others’ lives.
- Pray Psalm 55:18, Isaiah 49:25, Psalm 56:3-4, & Luke 10:19 over the ministry of intercession God is entrusting to them
- Encourage them in Scripture memory — these words of truth will not only act as motivators not to sin (Ps 119:11), but also as a personal arsenal of strength to rely upon during times of intercession and spiritual attack
Additionally, God often gives intercessors a sensitivity to numbers (dates, verse references, even things in nature like the number of geese flying overhead or the numbers and letters on license plates, etc.) as a means of encouragement and confirmation of what He’s showing them or speaking to them about. Encourage your child to always test the spirits (1 Thess 5:19-21), but don’t discourage them in this because you may not understand or relate to it.
Something that may be of great encouragement and spiritual inspiration to your child is visiting a house of prayer and learning more about the worldwide 24/7 prayer movement.
God is raising up multitudes of intercessors in the last days, your child may be one of those He is calling, molding, and shaping towards that end (1 Peter 4:7). How will you join Him in affirming and strengthening your child in his/her vital calling?
Beyond the Veil: Entering into Intimacy with God Through Prayer by Alice Smith
Precious Stones of Intercession: Specific and Persistent Prayer on Behalf of Others by Angela Sansone