Let’s face it, the culture we’re living in is becoming increasingly more difficult for families of faith. As society becomes more and more secular, how do parents raise their children to not only survive, but to thrive in it? Is it possible to empower our children to stand up and even stand out in their faith when there is hostility toward them? Yes, I believe that you can. To do so, they need to have what I call “faith to follow.” Faith comes by hearing — simply meaning that when your children hear you speaking, even praying over them, they will be emboldened to follow the faith.
My friend, George Sawyer, was so passionate about children being empowered to thrive while living in a secular culture that he wrote a book entitled, The Daniel Prayer for Parents. George wrote the prayer based upon the young man, Daniel, who was living as a captive in another culture at the time. Daniel not only survived, but he thrived in Babylon.
“I believe that my children are healthy. They flourish in their diet and physical ability. They are not harmed, assaulted, wounded, nor threatened by terror.
“My child is quick to understand. They show an aptitude for learning. They comprehend and retain knowledge. They have discernment and wisdom to know the outcome of decisions.
“I know that my children are resolute. They are not compromised by this culture but stand courageously in their convictions of faith. They are not influenced to change who they are, but they influence change in this world.
“Favor opens doors and ushers my child into greatness. I believe that their teachers, leaders, coaches, and friends are favorably disposed toward them.
“I also believe that there are none equal to my children. They are remarkable in their demeanor and disposition. They stand out in the crowd. They excel in their education and experience.”
This prayer is based upon the attributes that were found in Daniel’s life while he lived in Babylon. You may know that Daniel certainly faced challenges — slander, persecution for his faith, jealousy, false accusation, imprisonment, and condemned to death by being thrown into a den of lions. Yet his life is a testimony of how a young person can not only survive but thrive in a hostile culture.
As much as we would like to have our children live in a safe and perfect world that’s simply not the case. Our children will face challenges. They may confront injustice and bigotry of all sorts. Their schools may be a hostile environment for their faith. However, I believe that we can be proactive and speak words of encouragement so that they can face life with courage and conviction.