A Prayer for Sons

Lord, let there still be a few good men.

Sure, in the end, there’s a small chance we’d like no rings through nostrils or studs through tongues or ivory plugs through earlobes, but the only mattering part is that he’s pierced by Your love, marked by grace, run through with mercy and one untiring sense of humor. A world tilted as wild as this one needs a little bit more of that.

May he always know True North.

And the way to the laundry basket and the stove and wide open big sky.

Please, Lord, please —  only a minimal number of broken bones and emergency rooms?

But always a heart bit tender and broken so Your love and light can leak out. May the good lines in the books and the movies always make him liquid a bit, the way poetry can water the hard and forgotten places.

When there are guys trying to score, may he remember that real men win by going last and putting others first.

May he be one of the real men who are dead to all ladders, who always go lower, to the least and the lonely and the lost. Everyday.

May he love babies toes and old ladies and loud laughing and unlikely underdogs and Jesus.

Make him one of the Real Men braving the Truth — Because if Christ is The Truth — then where there is Truth, there is Christ, and why ever be afraid of the Truth? 

Make him one of those Real Men who knows how to simply say sorry, how to serve without applause, and how to give grace — because Grace isn’t some soft, ethereal notion. Grace is a verb, it’s a noun, it’s a thing, it’s concrete, it’s like air. Just try living without it.

Make him one of the Real Men fighting injustice — because he knows the peace of Christ.

Make him one of the Real Men taking peer pressure  – because it only makes him stronger in Christ.

Make him one of the Real Man taking responsibility for his body. Responsible men — are response-able. Make this his job. A woman has her’s. Have him focus on his. Real Men don’t focus responsibility on the women staying “pure” because none of us are pure but focus on the men not pressuring — because no one tries to crush a diamond. 

Let Christ captivate him and not the glossy magazine covers of the Walmart checkout. Because Real Men don’t objectify alluring women. Real Men edify all women.

Make him one of the few men saturated by the Book, who doesn’t care whether that’s cool or not, because the absolute bottom line is: Unless a man looks to Jesus, a man doesn’t know how to treat a woman.

May he never stop looking to Jesus.

May he feel what he feels, may he wear his heart be on his sleeve, may his life plant a million seeds of happiness before he’s planted.

And may his face always be willing to face the wind, may his knees always be willing to bend, and may every one of his steep inclines, incline him more toward You.

This world needs to more than a few good men to tilt and lean a lot more wildly like that.

In the name of the Son who will never leave our sons…

Amen.

 

 

 

Q4U: What’s your prayer for this world’s boys?

One prayer for the new boy of Prince Will and Princess Kate?

Tell us about life with boys and its blessings and challenges?

(Email and RSS Readers — come join the conversation here?)
Photo Credit by Rhino Neal
Written for you with love, by Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience ….

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  1. 1

    Oh, my! How perfect is this, Ann. Today is my Casey’s 29th birthday. We had broken bones and emergency room visits with this one. He once ran into a barb-wire fence in the dark of a lunar eclipse and cut his neck from ear to ear…a barb missing his carotid by only millimeters. When he graduated from homeschooling, we presented him with a compass as a reminder of that “True North.” No rings or studs, but tattoos and plugs have been part of his young adulthood – but so has marriage to the lovely Jessi (who invited me to the conference with Christine Caine this past weekend) and the birth of 3 amazing boys who fill our lives with so much joy. In spite of my own missteps and mistakes as his mama – grace has been greater, love has covered a multitude of sins, and Casey makes me so proud of all he has overcome in becoming the man of God he was created to be. God is so, so good!

    • 2

      Blessed birthday to your Casey! He is so blessed with you as Mama, Patricia — you have mentored me much in loving well — our Savior and our sons…

      Much love, Patricia, on such a banner day!

  2. 3

    Ann,
    As I read your prayer, I inserted my son’s name where you wrote “him”, because you so eloquently expressed the desires of my heart for my son! This is my prayer for my son – every mother’s prayer who has been blessed with a boy. I could fill a book or two with all of my son’s escapades (he will soon be 21). I still, to this day, do not quite understand what possesses boys to do some of the inexplicable things that they do, other than to say that’s how God wired them.
    When asked, in my presence, by the police officer why he and his friends were sitting on the roof of the school, my son replied, “Because there was a ladder leading up here.” Enough said… Thanks for putting words to the deep desires of my heart.
    Blessings,
    Bev

  3. 5
    Anonymous says:

    Our boys need us to pray for them! Our girls, too!
    I pray for purity for them- in thoughts and deeds
    I pray God would be their first and deepest love and would remain so throughout their lives
    I pray God would guard and protect them- their eyes, their minds
    I pray for wisdom in raising a godly young man
    So thankful God has blessed me with the opportunity to raise my “little man”!

  4. 7
    ro elliott says:

    3 of my 5 are young men…and I have seen how important the role of their dad has been in their life…to love others…wife, children ,people…as Christ loves the church…strong backs to help carry the wounds of others…laid down lives (ladders) so they can become a path…steps, to the heart of the Father…Men of Valor who walk in strength with a gentle and kind heart…
    My husband was so instrumental in me coming to know the unconditional love of the Father…He carried me until I could find my legs…this is my pray for my son’s…for them and their wives…children and lives they will touch.

  5. 8

    I pray that he will grow up to be like his “Father.”

  6. 10

    And this, my favorite line~

    May he be one of the real men who are dead to all ladders, who always go lower, to the least and the lonely and the lost. Everyday.

    Thank you- always

    • 11

      I pray that line every night, Lori — every single night.
      The very DNA of my earnest prayers…
      Praying with you, sister.

      • 12

        I turned 60 a few weeks ago and am just now learning to descend. Oh how I wish my dad would have – could have – taught me the beauty of Jesus’ upside-down-kingdom-truth. But he didn’t. And now I’m longing to demonstrate to my two sons the joy in descending the ladder, despite modeling a lifetime of chasing heights never intended for me, for us; that cannot satisfy. Thank you, Ann!

  7. 13

    Just breathing these words out, praying them over my two boys, 9 &7 who look more like little men each day.ay The Lord cover them all of their life, and may they know Him as I do–may He dwell wholly within them. Thank you Ann. ❤

    • 14

      That, Kris… .
      And I keep coming back to this:
      I mother as well as I know my Father.

      Praying for them — and for me as their mama. That God may dwell wholly within us.

      • 15
        Mandy Helm says:

        Ann…

        “I mother as well as I know my Father.”

        Read this yesterday and it has me undone…may I never forget this truth!
        Reaching for Him is the only way I can reach their hearts.
        Thank you for your ever-encouraging words!

  8. 16
    Lori Faris-Huffer says:

    “Blessed are those whose strength is in You, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.” ~Psalm 84:5 The word “pilgrimage” struck me this morning as I thought of how many people had traveled from all over to catch a glimpse of this new future ruler. Having spent some of my senior year in England, it was easy to get caught up in the anticipation yesterday as we all awaited their happy news. William and Kate will have a daunting job as new parents. After all the fuss, it will be hard for them to stay humble…let alone sane. I pray for them as I do for any new parents…that their hearts would be set FULLY on Jesus Christ…Our King of Kings. As this precious young couple grappled for some much needed privacy yesterday…I was reminded of the verse earlier in the Psalm: “Even the sparrow has found a home and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young~~a place near Your altar, Lord Almighty, my KING and my GOD.” ~Psalm 84:3 In a tumultuous world peace is only found only near your altar, Dear Lord. May they always go there first.

    • 17

      Ah, Lori — what if the whole world prayed just that for the new parents:

      “that their hearts would be set FULLY on Jesus Christ…Our King of Kings.”

      Yes, yes, yes — I am joining you.

  9. 18

    My prayer for the new baby, and for all people everyone: That if we climb anywhere, may we not climb the world’s ladders, but climb like Zacchaeus. He scaled high in a sycamore to SEE Jesus better, not to BE seen. And that Jesus would respond to us as He did to Zacchaeus, “Come down. For I am going to your house.”

    (Love this letter, Ann. And your letter to Kate yesterday. Beautiful.)

  10. 21
    Cathy T. says:

    Well said and beautiful! My favorite line is “Unless a man looks to Jesus, a man doesn’t know how to treat a woman.” I’m thankful for a mother-in-law who raised a son to know Jesus. This line also expresses what I want my son to be and my daughter to look for when she is older! Thank you for your insight.

  11. 23

    Ann,
    I love how you can put to words what many of us only feel in our hearts.

    If only there was a way to breathe this prayer over the new Royal child, and let Kate know that there are people in the world who care about her little son.

    And yes, I have prayed these things for my sons. I have 3, who have become awesome young men, and it is truly only by God’s Grace that they have become anything at all because my stumbling efforts at parenting could only produce chaos outside that Grace.

    Blessings! I love you, even though I have only ‘met’ you through your writings!
    Sue

  12. 25

    Just soulful and beautiful, Ann!

    I put a little prayer of blessing on my blog today, a gift for the baby prince (and all of us, really):

    “Your life will surely be most uncommon, but what brings real joy is common to every person, poor or privileged. And while I pray your life sings of close family relationships, friends that are for you, and contentment in your castles, I pray you know the serenade of the Savior Who sings over you. And when the world tries to arm wrestle you with its agenda, may you seek the arms of the One who loves you because you’re you, not because you’re royalty.”

    Amen! Love you, friend. xo

    • 26

      Aren’t you and I heart sisters? :) Us both praying for the Little Prince and all the King’s Sons!

      SO beautiful, Kristen… “I pray you know the serenade of the Savior Who sings over you. ”

      This, this, this. For all of us.

      Thank you for your praying heart. I wonder about getting to my life and aching with wishing I had prayed more. The time is now — you and me, sister!

  13. 27

    Mine has fallen away from Jesus, and is getting ready to leave for college next month. He battles depression and social anxiety and during his 10th grade year he tried to take his own life. He has fought so many inner demons and has come so far these past few years and my mother’s heart worries sleepless nights over sending him off. Thank you for this Ann, thank you. I know that even if he has turned away, Our heavenly Father hasn’t forgotten him, and He hears my prayers and will keep him safe.

    • 28

      Praying too, Beth. Praying right now.

      Much love to you, sister.

    • 29

      Beth? Yeah. Girl, you are not alone. Your note brings tears… I promise to pray with you. Jesus knows. He holds our mama hearts close….

      We never stop labor and delivery — Delivery meaning “hand over, give up, yield” — and you have no idea how I am with you — keep handing over, yielding them up to God.

    • 30

      Praying too, Beth. That he would find peace in his heart, that Jesus would reach him and protect him. And for your mama heart, that you would know how loved and valued you are, that you would have hope and perseverance, that God would use this suffering to encourage many. Father, bring redemption here.

      • 31

        God promise in Isaiah chapter 49:25 is this “…Yes, captive will be taken from warriors and plunder retrieved from the fierce; I will contend with those who contend with you, AND YOUR CHILDREN I WILL SAVE.” The enemy may take captive, and he certainly contends for our children on a daily basis, but he is a defeated warrior! If God is for us, who can stand against us? Your son He will save!

    • 32
      Carole Meyer-Rieth says:

      Dear Beth,

      I read your note here and wanted to share a few words in the hope that you will be encouraged. I became a Christian during my time in college – at UCLA – where I was faced with many possible paths, but the Lord is so DETERMINED in His faithfulness, He pursued me and wooed me to the Path of Life, just as He continues to pursue your-son-also-His-son. I am grateful for God’s ministry through InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (to me, specifically) and other campus groups who endeavor to represent Jesus as faithfully as they can, creating spaces in academia where Jesus comes through the Word and the Body to bless and to heal. God is doing amazing things at universities, and I just want to encourage you that your son remains under God’s wing even when/if on a secular campus – it can actually be the birthplace of a great, lifelong thirst for more of God. This is my prayer for your son, that college will be the place when the hope he seeks and the joy he longs for translates into a deep hunger for Jesus. I am confident that the Lord is already focused in His love for your son and in full pursuit.

    • 33
      Beth Williams says:

      Prayers for your son Beth. Tell him, if he battles those demons at college He can seek professional help at a Counseling Center. They should be able to assist him with those issues.

      Blessings as you struggle with this and prayers for a good first year of college for your son!

  14. 34
    Bridget K. says:

    Ann,
    Your words are always a delight to read. Thank you, again and again. A thousand thank yous.

  15. 36

    What a beautiful prayer for the royal prince, Ann. Thank you for sharing it. As a mother of two boys (10 and almost 9), one very strong-willed, I find myself often praying they will have hearts that yearn, crave to follow Jesus, that they will grow in humility as a character strength. I pray for wisdom to be a godly example of a wife and mother. I prayed your prayer for my two guys today. They are growing so quickly from boys to young men.

    For this precious royal baby, I pray his heart will be soft toward Jesus, and that as he grows to manhood that the burden of his role will not overwhelm him.

  16. 38
    Shanalea says:

    As a mom of 4 soon to be men, I love this prayer. My prayer is that they may know that true strength is being weak and learning how to lean into Jesus for the strength and wisdom they desire. May they seek after God’s approval rather than men’s to be safe and secure in their identity in Christ.

    • 39

      Mom of 4 sons here, and what you pray Shanalea is upside kingdom and counterculture and profound Truth: “true strength is being weak.”

      And then He is strongest.

      Praying that for our men, Shanalea…

  17. 40
    Danyalle says:

    Love it! Thank you, I printed it out for my boys to see what is my hearts prayer for them put into words they can read.

  18. 42

    I do love what you say; “I mother as well as I know my Father.” It struck a deep cord with me when you said that in one of your posts. I panted that into my soul for living life really. As a parent, grandparent, servant.

    We have three grandsons under the age of four. My heart is so tender to what they will face in their life. I watched what you shared on Saturday…. (RA Dickey (winner of the Cy Young Award) — and I am Second.) It still makes me crazy and still I cry to think about a boy being dropped off to a baby sitter and being abused. It has moved me to drop hard to my knees in prayer.

    Thank you for your heart and your writing Ann, your pouring yourself out. I was thanking the Lord for how He has gifted you. He has used it to draw me closer to Him, to reveal His heart through your words.

    Praying for you and details of life today.

  19. 43
    Beth Ann says:

    I love this! I was not blessed with a son of my own, but as I read your prayer, I thought of my husband. After all, he’s a son too! And he’s grown into a wonderful godly husband that I treasure more and more each day. He looks to Christ every day and exudes Jesus to every one he meets. I’m so very proud of him!

  20. 44
    Pegi Ackerman says:

    My prayer for this precious, new, God-given baby, is that he will allow Jesus to lead him in all things. I am so happy for Prince William and Duchess Kate, that the baby was safely delivered and I pray that he will bring much and long happiness to his parents. May William and Kate look to Jesus for their help in raising their, I am sure, handsome and beautiful new son. I deeply hope and pray that the world will allow the baby to be raised according to his parent’s wishes and hopes. I pray he won’t be smothered by people and their wishes for him. “Jesus, Bless this wonderful newborn child that You created between William and Kate. May this child be led by You and Blessed by You, in his lifetime. May he make the right decisions in his life, and guide his parents in raising him, in his life. Amen.”

  21. 45

    I have 3 “man-children”, 2 married and one leaving for college in 3 weeks. My daily prayer is “Please make them men after YOUR own heart!”.

    If that is settled then everything else falls in to place!

  22. 46
    Bernice Shupe says:

    Let’s live out our faith and you’d praise God for what happens! Taking them with you to church, for example, and make it a fun time to go worship The King! No matter where our seven sons are in the world, you will find them worshiping with others on a Sunday morning! What could bring a mother more joy! God is so very good! :) Blessings to you and your family, Ann, as you do the same! :)

  23. 47
    Pegi Ackerman says:

    I meant to mention that we have two wonderful sons. Yes, life has had it’s challenges throughout their lives, but, we would not trade them for anything. They are both such a blessing to both of us and always have been. In all of their life’s experiences and ups and downs, we have learned so much. They have both become wonderful and loving Fathers to their children. Both of them said years ago that they neither one wanted to be married nor to have children…………..now, God had other plans and we are happy He did. We will always love them with all of our hearts……no, we can’t tell them what to do or how to act, but, we can encourage them and pray for them, which we do each and every day. We love our two daughters, equally and as well……………

  24. 48

    It’s rare for me to read something through tears, but this article had me crying. My grandson’s parents need to read this…..I want to send it to them, but they have abandoned their religion. Their children do not know Christ and the young man is moving in ways that are very worrisome to his Grandfather and me. I really don’t know what to do, but pray. Please say a prayer for my grandson…and for me and his Grandpa to know how additionally we can help him. Thank you very much.

  25. 49
    Leah Oliver says:

    So perfectly timed. Thank you!
    I have a boy who will be two on Thursday.
    I was writing him a letter last night and my prayer was that he would be used by God to bring glory to God’s name, that he would have a relationship with Christ that was deep. That he would know his Creator and know Him intimately.
    It’s funny, I never felt like I would be a good mother to a boy. When we found out we were having a boy my first thought was God, remember who I am.
    God’s response: Leah remember who I Am.
    God has taught me so much in the past two years and while there are still days I am not sure exactly how to relate to him I love him with all of my heart.

  26. 50

    This, this is the man I want my son to become! Since he was a newborn, my prayer has been the God would break his heart for the things that broke His. That he would be a man of compassion. While we’re at it, could we order up one for my princess to marry? Please and thank you!

  27. 51
    genessa says:

    I just gave birth to my first son on Saturday. I’m weeping over this prayer and so grateful, joyful and excited about what God has in store for my little guy! Thank you for a great post!

  28. 52

    Beautiful! Nothing more to be said. Well done Ann – as only you could say it! :)
    Blessings!
    Susan

  29. 53
    Richele says:

    Absolutely Beautiful. I’m Always Wanting For Specifics When Trying To Pray For My Kids. Perfection.

  30. 54

    Amen indeed! I have two growing boys, ages 16 and 15, and I pray for them every day, using many of the same thoughts as you express here. I like the idea the one lady had about printing out the prayer.

  31. 55

    Mother to three grown girls. Mimi to two little boys. Blessed to be an influencer for the Son in their lives. May God grow them to be men made for grace and always for Him.

  32. 56

    Oh, yes! I need to pray for my boys more than I worry for them. They are almost 2 and almost 5, and I can’t imagine them growing up to have nose rings or ear plugs, but I don’t care much either. Only that they would love Jesus, that they would know that true strength stands up for what is right and true and honorable, stands up for the weak. That they would be bold and courageous to share His grace. That they wouldn’t be called by fame or fortune, but by servanthood. That they would love each other and their friends well, and not be distracted by competition (too often!), but outdo one another in love. That they would love girls and women well, empower them, encourage them, see their true beauty and call it out. That they would work hard with integrity, whatever their work may be. And that they would do the work of the Gospel first and foremost… as you said, sweet Ann, bending lower and lower to serve and love. Amen.

  33. 57

    This prayer, through tears, expresses my hearts desire. Praying for my first born, my only son, who so desperately wants to know the truth, but has turned away from the only Truth. Right now he is relying on science to explain his questioning heart. Praying as he gets ready to leave for college that God draws my son to Himself in mighty ways.

    • 58

      Praying for your son, Ann… that he would know the One behind the science, that he would see his need for a Savior and humble himself. And praying for your mama heart to be comforted and to comfort many.

  34. 59
    Charlotte says:

    Thank you sweet Ann for brightening my path of prayer for my sweet son of 8 whom I am the mother and father of. I wouldn’t trade the 2 roles I play until such time as God sends us the right leader for our home and selves. And if we do not see that day my son knows HIs Father in heaven loves him deeply and cares daily. if Samuel has to identify with anyone then he has found the best of the best in our Father God. May I continue to pray such as this into him and upon my sweet Samuel everyday that I am blessed to have come. My road can be lonely and hard yet I know I have all the answers in the One who has made our way right if only I look upon His face for my daily answers. Oh sweet Samuel may you always know the love of your Father and not turn for that of the world.

  35. 60

    This is just begging to be a printable.

  36. 61

    Dearest Ann without the ‘e,’ – Thanks so much for this beauty and for the one yesterday. I find myself praying that by some miracle, Will and Kate may actually read these fine posts and sense the prayers of many, prayers offered for them and their small man as they begin this endless and remarkable journey of parenting. I am mom to one male child, who is older than you are, and Nana to six boys, ranging in age from 22 to 7 (and 2 girls at the end of that line!). My 2 eldest grandsons are searching right now and one of them struggling, coming to terms with some of the harder parts of his own story. I pray for grace made real in their lives, for openness to the sweet song of the Holy Spirit, for fearless honesty with God, themselves and trusted others and for wise decision making as they enter fully into adulthood. I am trusting that they are never lost to Jesus, even when they feel lost to themselves, even when they question whether God is real or not. You have provided lovely words to what is often a wordless time of prayer for me – I’m learning much about silence in prayer these days, and always look for well-written words to breathe into that silence from time to time. These will be breathed often. Thank you.

  37. 62

    What a beautiful prayer. I often pray the scriptures over my boys. I pray for God’s peace over their lives, God’s desire for their life to be undeniably clear and for them to be on fire for God and his people. I have prayed prayers of safety over my boys and had to place them in God’s hands over and over. My oldest will be 21 this year and is in the Marines. His safety and sound mind is a prominent prayer. I was recently reading about praying for our boys to be dangerous in place of safety. That their hearts would be so in line with our Savior that they would have the courage to live for Christ.

  38. 63
    Lynn Morrissey says:

    So beautiful and powerful. We pray for strong sons with hearts soft towards the Lord and others. My parents prayed those prayers for my brother. Prayers are not always answered in ways we want. Sometimes beautiful sons become broken men. My heart grieves for my brother. He doesn’t even have the strength to reach life’s ladder’s bottom rung. But we keep praying and we praise the Lord Jesus who stooped lowest of all to lift up boys and men and all those who need His grace. And you’re so right, Ann. None of us lives without it. We need grace like we need breath like we need Christ! Thank you for a wonderful post.
    Lynn

  39. 64

    How appropriate to have read this on this particular afternoon as our daughter-in-law is in labour with our very first grandson! I have prayed for him all of these months, that he would be a man of God for his generation. I covet your prayers for his safe delivery in the next few hours!

  40. 65

    Joining you and all these women praying over our boys today.
    My toddler grand twins…
    Boys, with that capital B ever since they first began to press their wills into the dynamics of daily living; so. very. different. than their mama as a babe!
    Yes, those barely rolling babes boldly exploring beyond the edges of their floor blanket,
    those adventurous toddling babes seeking the far edge of the playground fence to determine their farthest boundary,
    those runners of 34 months that seem to n.e.v.e.r get winded…
    Yes, joining the world in praying for little boys today.

  41. 66
    Joan Eason says:

    Over here in NZ we too rejoice in a new little prince third in line to the throne. I have daughters, one following Jesus, one not and my prayer for her and all mothers is that their children turn back to Jesus and that this little prince too grows up knowing who his Creator is in the true sense. You are an inspiration Ann and your books have brought joy to many of my friends! Thank you all for your comments as I rush into my day on the other side of the globe!

  42. 67

    Your words so eloquently reach down to the soul and bring up tears of joy. I have raised one to manhood and now am beginning a journey with a second. Your prayer is my prayer too. Thank you.

  43. 68

    Ann,
    WOW! What beautiful words to pray over our sons, no matter how old they are!
    As a mom of 2 grown young men (31 and the other turns 29 on Friday), my heart turns to prayer for them today. Both are in their own identity struggles due to a spiritually/emotionally absent father. Even yesterday the oldest said, “You know mom, we are all nothing but trophies for him (their dad) to pull down when he needs us.” Although we are now divorced, it still breaks my heart to know this is the legacy the kids see. I have prayed for these precious boys (and their sister) from the time they were conceived, and throughout all the joys and trials, and still continue to do so today. I
    And so today, I see 2 broken young men, both of whom were close to the Lord growing up. The oldest is seeking the Truth, and his step-dad is showing him how a godly husband and father lives. Love God and love people! And sadly, the younger son has turned from his life of serving and ministry, running from his Abba Father as he is being deceived by the enemy and the stronghold of the homosexual community.
    So we continue to pray . . . and as you say ~ “hand them over and yield to Jesus.” We claim God’s grace and His Promises and give Him ALL the glory.

    Bless you Ann – I love your mama’s heart!!

  44. 69

    My only son is now 21 and has Down Syndrome. Being the mom to this precious young man has taught me a lot over the years. My son will not face many of the temptations most other young men will face, but he still needs Jesus for without Him we have nothing. I’ve learned what a wonderful gift it is to be able to express ones thoughts with clear speech, to walk up stairs with confidence, to even be able to write ones name clearly. Please pray for my son…slow of speech and thought but a big heart. All praise to Him who lowered Himself and took on flesh for us.

    • 70

      I have a son with special needs as well, Alice. He is 10. I will pray for you and your son. It’s true that he may face some challenges and temptations that the rest of us don’t, and he may avoid some of the ones we do face. But you’re right, we all need Jesus. God uses the things (and people) that the world may not honour, to show His love and good news. So your son and mine are precious gifts to the world!

  45. 71

    O God how I pray for young boys all across this nation and especially for my 3 grandsons. How this world NEEDS strong, brave boys who learn at a VERY EARLY AGE to be great men of God. Give them a passion for your Word and the strong feet to stand on it! That they would unashamedly follow hard after you and lead those who are not as strong to the Cross to find salvation. May they use things and love people and not love things and use people. I pray for humility and grace with tons of strength. Be with us as the “older” generation to come beside them and encourage them to GREATNESS. I PRAY O GOD…… That you would draw dads and granddads to lead them to you!!

  46. 72
    Lauri McCallum says:

    Thank you so much for this. I have four sons. My 18 yr old is off on an adventure on his own for the first time ever. Sure he has went to many camps and other things but never has he driven himself and then flown. I praise God that I realized several years ago that I can trust HIM with my boys. My momma heart is proud and sad all at the same time. Where have the years gone? So thankful he is allowing God to lead him. So proud he has allowed God to use him to be a leader among his peers.
    Thank you again for reminding us about what is important.

  47. 73
    Cellina says:

    Ann, Prayers that I have uttered, some in calmness, some with aching heart, others with storm raging within through the 19 + years, you weave into a beautiful eloquent prayer. Your writing crystallise thoughts that swirl in my mind and heart, giving it form.. Thank you!

  48. 74
    Ginger Salmon says:

    Thank you. What a beautiful prayer. I have three boys. My oldest is away at Marine boot camp at Parris Island, SC, he just graduated high school in May and prayerfully will fulfill his childhood dream of becoming a US Marine when he graduates from boot camp on September 6th. He is a Christian and your words pretty much sum it up for me as a mom and my hopes for him as well as all my boys. He can only receive snail mail for 13 weeks and I will be printing this off and sending it tomorrow. I write all these ideas and hopes to him for his life living for Christ, but your words are always so much more eloquent than mine! Thank you for being such a blessing.

  49. 75

    Ann,
    Raising children in this day and time is much harder than I thought. How even now their ears and eyes need protecting from the world. I to have a little guy, my good and perfect gift. I also have my little joy girl. An amazing privilege to be a mamma to these two. A day never goes by that I’m concerned for their future, bathing these two souls in prayer. Praying that He would dwell richly in them, for their purity. Praying they will have hearts that will run hard and fast after He who’s full of grace and truth! Praying that He will hold them tightly in His bosom. Praying He would give them faithful hearts in the midst of the evil that will one day surround them. Thank you for giving all of us mom’s words to pray today! Love to you Ann!
    ~ Lori

  50. 76

    I found myself writing a different kind of tribute and prayer for the parents of sons. Yesterday we mourned the loss of a 23 year old son whose joy could fill a room. His legacy is one that any parent would treasure.
    The post: http://countingjoyblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/23/a-sons-legacy/

  51. 77
    Alexandra says:

    This is so very beautiful. Any chance of having it as a printable?

  52. 78
    Eve Anderson says:

    Oh Ann. So good these words and so true. Amen. I pray this for my boys. I have 2 who already see the face of God but I have 4 here who I want to be men like this prayer. Yesterday my daughter wrote a note about my Big Troy and she shared what kind of man he is becoming and it filled me to know that he is becoming a man like this. All the hard years were so worth it. This is from her writing to me, my Samantha and my Troy born 13 months apart and who have lived a life of wonder and sorrow too. I am blessed by this. This is part of what she wrote to me about her brother~ “We’re grown up now and I’ve spent the summer watching Troy live his life. Generally, he still does what he wants to do, turning where he wind smells right, always flying by the seat of his pants. He went to a yard sale and I asked him if he found anything, he answered that they didn’t have he needed. Not realizing he was searching for something in particular; I asked him about it. He shrugs a shoulder and says, “I’ll know it when I see it!” I cleaned his room, it was all a mess except a lone shelf with all his books lined up neat in a row. Louie L’Amour, Bryan Jacques, a haggard copy of Every Man’s Battle, random biographies of presidents and war heroes. Oscar Wilde says that it is what we read when we do not have to that determines what we will do when we feel we have no choice. I wondered, looking at that shelf, if maybe that was indeed the measure of a man. We went and watched a movie, and he holds my door. He pays for me, which is unexpected, but I let him so he will someday treat his girlfriend right. He walks head and shoulders above those around us; his long ambling stride filled with a confidence that bubbles out of him. Though his presence is commanding, he is gentle and quiet; he either laughs out loud or chuckles through a crooked smile that comes easy. He told me how he and the guys sing at work, hymns that pass the time. His friends don’t know it, but they have been weighed and measured; I know who is acceptable to date, and who certainly is not. He is excited because he didn’t realize he could download sermons on his fancy new phone, he shows me how it works….” there was more but this is enough for me. God bless our boys! This is a hard world to be a man. Thank you Ann.

  53. 79

    as always Ann – your words bring me to tears. We are raising 4 boys and I just read this prayer to my husband. He is a teacher and I know he will be reading this beautiful prayer in his classes :) Thank you!!!

  54. 80

    Dear Ann, thank you for this. So needed. I do not have my own children but my boyfriend has two beautiful boys whom I already love without knowing them personally [if that makes sense}. As they grow up, I would like nothing better than for them to grow up to be the men in this prayer. I will tuck this sweet prayer in my Bible to read for them.

  55. 81
    L. Ellen says:

    Hi Ann,
    I have been blessed with a new grandson, now one month old. (I so wanted to include a picture of him, but just couldn’t figure out how). Your prayer for sons is my prayer for my grandson. And for his Dad, my son-in-law.
    You and I met in Minneapolis/St. Paul at the Set Apart Conference and you signed a couple of your special books for my daughter, as I told you about how your book has helped us deal with her rape two years ago.
    Although my daughter met and married her Bible college sweetheart, he has lost his faith in God’s goodness, because of the evil done to his wife/my daughter. Please join my daughter and I in praying that her husband (my son-in-law) lets God into his life again. We know God understands his anger and pain and wants to comfort him. And we know how much my grandson needs his Dad to heal from this deep wound and allow the scars to find a way to glorify God.
    Ann, God bless you and your special prayers for sons (and grandsons!).
    In His grip,
    Laurie Evans
    p.s. I found a way to put my grandson’s picture on my Facebook page where I have your comments show up each day. Isn’t he adorable?

  56. 82

    Prayer I needed to hear and say daily. Thank You!
    Mother of 3 boys

  57. 83

    This Is Perfect Ann. You Did A Wonderful Job Takin All My Hopes & dreams About My Sweet Boy & MakIng A Prayer Out Of It! I Hope You Don’t Mind, I Would like To Link This to A Post On My Blog Bc I absolutely Love This. Thanks For Inspiring & MiNistering To My Heart.

  58. 84

    Dear Ann, Thank you so much for this! As a man, a husband, a father (of one precious daughter), and the one and only son of a Godly and long-suffering mother, this said so much to me. I am deeply and forever grateful for my Mom and the prayers that even today still echo from her knees to God’s throne on my behalf. I like so many other men am assaulted on all sides by this world that wants to drag me away from my first love, from integrity, from purity, and from the example that I need to be for my wife and daughter. My Mom is an angel placed in my life to help me see what it means to be a real man, a Godly man, and a follower of Christ. And my father was and is an example for me to honor and to emulate. I thank God for all of the wonderful mothers out there who stand in the gap for their sons by being prayer warriors and carrying their sons to the foot of the cross of Christ to there dedicate us to His service. Thank you again Ann for sharing your heart and soul with all of us!

  59. 85
    Wendy Meijer says:

    Praying this for my first-born who is eighteen tomorrow.

  60. 86

    I’m praying for my oldest son; that he will be touched by the love of Christ. He is 18 now, and it’s very difficult to reach him. His computergames are his mammon…He doesn’t want to go to church anymore, and sometimes walks away when we’re reading the bible after dinner. When you read this: please pray for a miracle. I love him so very much and he has such a good heart; please Lord, open his heart for your love!

  61. 87
    Beth Williams says:

    Ann,

    Such beautifully written words that could only come from a mama. We need strong Christian men in this world. Men of courage & valor who “wait” and don’t pressure. Who honor God above all else!

    Thanks

  62. 88
    Trish S. says:

    Ann, so thankful for your beautiful pray for boys. My son enters high school this year and I know that I am having to let go a little more so that God can guide his steps. I have always loved the story of Daniel. I can’t imagine how his parents felt when Daniel along with other young men were taken captive in Babylon. They were offered all the best just to bow to the idols and worshipping false gods. We live in such Babylonian world where so much is thrown at our sons and daughters. Daniel’s parents planted good seeds in the life of their son at an early age. He stood strong and knew who believed he in- his leadership and perseverance was an example for others to stand in faith as well. My prayer for our son as always been that he would choose not to be drawn to the things of this world but to stand in the light of the One who saved him. I pray that God would send him great friends this year , as well as Christ centered mentors that will walk with him over these next 4 years – that God will give him clear direction. I pray that the many seeds planted in our long rides to school will take root and the soil will grow a bountiful crop. My greatest blessing has be to be his mom.

  63. 89

    Your ministry has been such an encouragement to me, Ann. Our only child, whom we prayed for since before he was born and sought to bring up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (though with many mistakes and failures), is now 24. He left home in rebellion at 18, shortly after completing 12th grade in home school, and has sunk to the low depths of the pigsty. He has tattoos and studs in his ears and hair that changes color frequently and will be in court Monday for a felony drug-related charge, perhaps facing prison. Nothing has broken me like this, but nothing has driven me to the throne of grace like this. I am constantly recruiting pray-ers for Daniel, and all prayers for his salvation are most appreciated. My hope and dream is that he will one day be used mightily to lead others in the same low depths to the only Savior. Thank you for this opportunity to write.
    Miller (yes, that’s my first name), a grieving mom seeking to learn Eucharisteo

  64. 92
    Keely King says:

    Ann,
    I have no children of my own, but I did help in the raising of my younger brother. He always had such a sensitive Spirit… tender. My prayer for him was that he would never lose that. That his heart would never become hard, but that it would remain vulnerable and malleable. My earnest prayers were answered. And his heart has helped form mine. I’m in love with your words today sister. Full of grace.

  65. 93

    Ann, Thank you for all of your encouragement and thought provoking messages. This one is so good, but leaves me feeling a little sad. My two sons, now 27 and 19, are both prodigals. So as I breathe in, and breathe out I still number the gifts. They are both healthy and able bodied, so a turn around is always possible.

  66. 94
    Carole Keffer says:

    Thank you Ann for the special prayer. Your words resonate with my heart! I am mamma to three boys. Even though their ages are 19, 17, and 16, I am still learning how differently they think/act/respond to life. As their parents, my husband and I have seen a few broken bones, have held our breath while hearing of many crazy adventures, and have been broken as we walked through many difficult days with each. Through it all, I am so thankful to God for His patience with me, and for His never-ending love for us all. A verse that has helped me through many days…”and all your sons will be taught of The Lord; and the well-being of your sons will be great.” Isaiah 55:13

  67. 95

    My oldest son is age 20. As he makes his way in this sometimes cold and unfriendly world, I have two prayers I’ve been praying regularly. The first is that he would always remember Christ as his foundation and never forget he has an unending love deeper than any other love, which will carry him regardless of his circumstances. He must remember that when friends and even family disappoint, Jesus never will.
    The second is that whatever girl he chooses to spend his life with, I pray he would be loved with a beautiful, unbreakable love. That she would honor him and be protector of his heart.
    My mother-in-law always has said to me that her largest prayer was for her children to be loved.
    I guess more than anything. I pray for love from all sides to cover him.
    Thanks for writing this beautiful post.

  68. 96

    Dear Ann,
    What a lovely prayer and so timely. I wish the whole world could read it and imprint the words upon our hearts and live the words through the upbringing of our children and grandchildren. I am so blessed to have a wonderful son, now 30. We are not sure what the Lord’s plan is for him and his wife to have children (we are praying). He is great with children and would be a wonderful father as he has been son and husband. However, we must be faithful to see what God has planned for them. In your prayer you wrote “a heart bit tender so your love and light can leak out.” That is so beautiful! When our hearts break and Jesus fills the hurt with His presence–His love and light shines through. Thank you, Ann!

  69. 97

    I am heartbroken for my 23 year old son who has fallen away from the Lord. Praying that He recognizes God as the one and only true God and turns back to Him. Praying also for direction for his life. He graduated from college in December and has had several job interviews, but no offers. The last 7 months have been some of the most painful and difficult months. I have been and am continuing to struggle to make sense of it all. Ann, I have read One Thousand Gifts and it has been a source of inspiration and encouragement when I was at my lowest. I am learning to be thankful in all things and to see God’s blessings. I haven’t fully arrived, but God is teaching me all kinds of things. Please pray for salvation, provision, and peace.

  70. 98

    As a first time mom to a son only 8 weeks old I am echoing this prayer over his precious life. That he would choose Jesus every day because He is worth it.

  71. 99

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! These divinely inspired words were what I SO needed to hear today. Bless you, Ann!

  72. 100
    Stefanie says:

    Mama of a five year old boy and step-mama of an 8 year old boy-who have been raised completely different. And it’s been easy to forget the big picture in the day to day lately. But yes, this is the big picture: men that look to Jesus. God has been telling me over and over to “become less”. Funny how skewed things can get when we move to become more instead. Thank you Ann for beautiful reminders. I count your words as gift over and over again.

  73. 101

    Our son is now 36 years old and a man of God by God’s grace and indwelling life…not because I was a great, godly mama. I tried so hard, but in the end I threw in the towel and put him on the altar, trusting God to mother through me…but Oh the wasted years of self-effort!
    But God in His mercy brought Jeremy through the trial of his life at age 20 with a diagnosis of cancer. What a shock to us all. But the beautiful and tear-producing thing to this day is that I got to watch my baby boy walk through the trial of his life with courage clinging to his God. And today he is GOLD…and an incredible loving husband and father of two boys. And he is cancer free for 15 years…so thankful for God’s gift of this precious son…more than I could have ever prayed for!
    Here’s the story of his 15th year cancer free:
    http://www.abranchinthevine.com/life-to-life-celebrating-love-life-and-a-little-boy-all-grown-up/

  74. 102
    Beth Ellen says:

    I love this prayer! I have 3 small boys (almost 5, almost 3, and 2 months)and I want them to grow into men like this.
    Thank you for these honest, heartfelt words.

  75. 103

    Oh, Ann. As a mother of boys, I am clinging to this prayer today. I grew up surrounded primarily by women, and I never understood the world my boys would face. May God strengthen this generation of boys to become His men, an army of faithful fathers and husbands, in a world that needs to see the love of Christ.

    Many blessings to you. God has certainly anointed your words.

    in His love,
    Melanie

  76. 104

    I love this and it perfectly puts words to what I want for my boys. The older I get, the more I am just so thankful for a father who was this kind of man and this kind of dad. And still is. He tells me he’s proud of me every single day. He encourages and builds me up even though I’m a grown woman daily. The world needs those men!

  77. 105
    Melanie Vanlaningham says:

    I have been lifted into God’s loving arms over and over again through your heart poured out in words, Ann. I have been in a long process of praying for two adult sons and often need to borrow your words because I have none left. Finding myself in that place again, battle weary and confused, no words – only tears. Thank you for sharing your precious heart, so in love with Jesus, grace-full, and true. You have been a special sister even though we’ve never met.

  78. 106
    Valerie says:

    Wow. Just wow. All the things I could never put into words. So powerful and amazing. Soooo. Near. Tears. God provided you with an amazing gift to help the rest of us :)

  79. 107
    carol bright says:

    These words pour into my heart. As the mother of five adult children, two sons I prayed the best for them. But when one turns his life to a life that you never thought, down a road you never imagined he would take there is a crushing of the soul that is so unimaginable that you would not wish it upon anyone. I know of no one who has gone through this but many have opinions. I have recently put pictures of my son up everywhere that no matter where I turn I see his face and I am reminded to pray for him, thank God for turning him back home continually. The weeping begins and sometimes seems to never stop, the pain as fresh this minute as when the announcement was made. I will trust God through the pain,, the soul crushing and find my hope and joy in His strenght.

  80. 108

    Dear Ann,
    Thank you so much for praying for the royal baby; George, I believe. And for you kindness in all this. It’s frustrating how many rude and hurtful jokes, and horrible talk is going around about him. And for no reason at all! He’s just a baby! Not to mention a Child of the One True king! So as much as we need more men like the one you mentioned, we need more prayer going around. Let him be loving.

  81. 109

    Ann, thank you for this prayer. Our son is 6, is sandwiched in between 2 dominant girls. He is a tender soul, to the point where fear and anxiety keep him from participating in a lot of activities many other kids his age are do effortlessly. As a mama it’s heart wrenching to see him struggle, when I know it’s the state of his perspective that’s keeping him from jumping in. I often don’t know what to do. Just this evening my husband and I were talking about what will help our son right now the most. And it’s relationships. Thank you for reminding me that his relationship with Christ being the most important one of all. I have a fresh perspective tonight – in the wee sleepless hours of the night. Thank you. And I’m touched by reading through others’ comments. I am so encouraged to put each of my children on the altar – trust His power at work, not self-effort.

  82. 110
    Jackie Crawford says:

    I am the mother of sons , three sons . They are so different. I am in my 60s now and have given up all my ,repeat my dreams for them and am only left with this… I am along for the ride.I was given these boys not to mold but to love and to enjoy. I wish I could have molded them and foretold their lives so there would be no surprises but there have been many.. I wish someone would have told me that their walk was not my choice.. I see that now ,and see where and why and by what road they needed to travel..God often gave me windows to glimpse through,to see their future.. I see it more fully now and an able to experience the harvest that I sewed to ,but I do wish I could have rested more and fretted less during the journey.. I wish I could have held Jesus hand and little tighter and trusted His words to me a little more..They are all grown now and all hear His voice.. As a mom now, that is my goal for them. Hear HIM..

  83. 111

    Ann,
    Thank you for writing such a beautiful prayer. I am a momma of two sweet boys and my third boy is due in October! As I enjoyed a few peaceful minutes alone I read your precious words…each hitting me in tender spots that made me say oh God made Ryan that way…or oh God made Charlie that way and oh please God help me raise these soon to be three boys up in this way. Thank you for your sweet words and reminding me of the greatest title…momma!

  84. 112

    This is beautiful… I am a mom of 4 boys.. under 8 and just loved this post… thank you for sharing it.

  85. 113

    Today, I have invited a few moms to pray together specifically for our sons. It has been truly burning in my heart and when I read your blog about sons, it was confirmed in my heart. My husband is a pastor, college professor and speaker (Cavetime.org). We have 3 sons, 1 daughter and son-in-law, and 1 granddaughter. Our oldest son (25 years old) has been targeted by the enemy of his soul and has lived a life of believing the lies of that enemy. It has been the most painful journey for him and our entire family. He will have completed, in October, over a year long program, Life Challenge, that has kept him safe and sober, and has helped him walk through deliverance, healing, and redemption. I have clung to Christ, believing for my son’s life to be not wasted but completely restored into the life that Christ has had for him before he was born on this earth. My hope is that he lives out the rest of his days with a passion to be the might man, mighty warrior that he truly is at his core. Thank you for your post, prayer, and encouraging words to a mom who has not stopped praying nor will stop. My son is worth fighting for. :)

  86. 114

    Ann, Thank-you. This is so what I needed to read before I set out the door with a heart that wont sit still . Our youngest son (13) got some discouraging news concerning his sport at a national level yesterday, and its not him that is taking it the hardest! Its hardly life threatening, but somehow the news , and the process leading up to it, has rocked my boat. Thank-you for the reminder of all the wonderful things he already is, and how much more there is for the Lord to develop in him that is of eternal worth and significance. I continue to be so grateful for your support in mothering – even if we live thousands of kms away in NZ. Love Erica

  87. 115

    Late in reading this, but praying these words for my husband, brother-in-law, dad, nephews, and best friends’ husbands. They never outgrow being sons or needing prayer. Thank you for sharing thoughts to lift to our Father together.

    And yes, for Prince George too.

  88. 116

    Thank you so much for this amazing prayer! Don’t have any sons of my own but have been reading over this so many times for my four brothers and boyfriend!

  89. 117

    The old kids’ song, “Dare to be a Daniel” has resounded in my prayers for years – That the wild, daring, risk taking impluses that You have wired into them Lord will be directed wholly for You. That they will be strong and courageous, and take the risk to follow you into the unknown that will be truly Home.

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