How to pray for my daughter

Every time I attend a wedding and speak to the mother, she always tells me how she’s been praying for this day, and for her daughter’s husband, ever since her daughter was born. I think it’s amazing that a mother would commit to praying for their daughter’s husband for that many years and before I was a mom I always wanted to do the same thing.

But when I had my daughter something changed. Having a daughter suddenly made me think about all the years I spent being insecure, not knowing who I was in the Lord, and looking for my identity in all the wrong places.

From very early on in my daughter’s life I was convicted to pray a different prayer, a prayer not for my daughter’s future husband, but a prayer that more than anything in the world, she would know her identity in the Lord.

how to pray for my daughter

My prayer for my daughter has always been that more than anything she would know who she is in the Lord, she would know who He has called her to be and that she would hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. It might seem like a simple prayer but I believe this is one of the most powerful prayers we can pray over our children.

“…that she would know who she is in the Lord…”

If my daughter grows up to know who she is in the Lord, instead of finding her identity in who the world says she is, then she will be a powerful force to be reckoned with. I can’t even image how different my life would have been if my parents had prayed this over me, and I’d known my identity from the time I was young. What I do know, is that it would have saved me a lot of heartache and years of being insecure, and if I can save my daughter from that heartache because she’s confident in her identity in the Lord, then I will be over the moon with joy in watching her.

“…that she would know who God has called her to be…”

How many of us spend years of our lives wondering what our calling is? I know I did! I feel like that’s one of the biggest questions asked in the church, “what is my calling, what is my purpose here on earth?” Imagine if you had always known your calling because it had been prayed over you and God had revealed it to you when you were little. If I had known my calling years ago, it would have saved me from wasting a lot of time trying to figure it out. Think about how powerful our children could be if they knew their identity and their calling from the time they were young.

One of Malea’s callings is to show God’s love to people and from the time she started school she has always done that well. She is someone who will pick a flower and give it to a stranger, go out of her way to compliment someone’s outfit, all because God has shown her from the time she was little, that that’s one of the ways He wants to use her to bless His people.

“…that she would know the voice of the Holy Spirit…”

Of all the things I pray for my daughter, I believe this is one of the most powerful. To know the voice of the Holy Spirit means that she will hear truth and be able to discern the lies of the enemy. It means in time of temptation that she will hear God’s voice and walk away. It’s one of the most powerful tools we can give our children. To know the voice of the Holy Spirit means to know God, hear Him in a moment and be able to converse with Him intimately.

For most of my life I have heard the voice of the Holy Spirit but it wasn’t until about 14 years ago that I figured out what it was, because I was never taught. What a privilege I have to teach my daughter starting now, what the voice of the Holy Spirit sounds like and that He is there to give us wisdom when we need it, give us discernment when we ask for it or to encourage us when we are feeling sad. The Holy Spirit is with us to guide us and be our direct line to the Lord, and that is definitely something I want my daughter to be aware of.

how to pray for my daughter

So back to what I mentioned at the beginning of my post, about praying for my daughter’s husband; I have never felt convicted to pray for her husband (maybe someday I will) because I know if I faithfully pray for her to know who she is in the Lord, what her calling is and that she would clearly hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, all those other details – like where she goes to college, who she dates, who she marries, etc. will all fall into place. I don’t worry about my daughter’s future because from the time she was born I have prayed identity in the Lord over her, so I know she will grow up to be powerful, confident and make wise choices being guided by the Lord.

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faith-fullness.net

A Prayer for My Daughter

by William Butler Yeats

Once more the storm is howling, and half hid
Under this cradle-hood and coverlid
My child sleeps on. There is no obstacle
But Gregory’s wood and one bare hill
Whereby the haystack- and roof-leveling wind.
Bred on the Atlantic, can be stayed;
And for an hour I have walked and prayed
Because of the great gloom that is in my mind.

I have walked and prayed for this young child an hour
And heard the sea-wind scream upon the tower,
And under the arches of the bridge, and scream
In the elms above the flooded stream;
Imagining in excited reverie
That the future years had come,
Dancing to a frenzied drum,
Out of the murderous innocence of the sea.

May she be granted beauty and yet not
Beauty to make a stranger’s eye distraught,
Or hers before a looking-glass, for such,
Being made beautiful overmuch,
Consider beauty a sufficient end,
Lose natural kindness and maybe
The heart-revealing intimacy
That chooses right, and never find a friend.

Helen being chosen found life flat and dull
And later had much trouble from a fool,
While that great Queen, that rose out of the spray,
Being fatherless could have her way
Yet chose a bandy-legged smith for man.
It’s certain that fine women eat
A crazy salad with their meat
Whereby the Horn of Plenty is undone.

In courtesy I’d have her chiefly learned;
Hearts are not had as a gift but hearts are earned
By those that are not entirely beautiful;
Yet many, that have played the fool
For beauty’s very self, has charm made wise,
And many a poor man that has roved,
Loved and thought himself beloved,
From a glad kindness cannot take his eyes.

May she become a flourishing hidden tree
That all her thoughts may like the linnet be,
And have no business but dispensing round
Their magnanimities of sound,
Nor but in merriment begin a chase,
Nor but in merriment a quarrel.
O may she live like some green laurel
Rooted in one dear perpetual place.

My mind, because the minds that I have loved,
The sort of beauty that I have approved,
Prosper but little, has dried up of late,
Yet knows that to be choked with hate
May well be of all evil chances chief.
If there’s no hatred in a mind
Assault and battery of the wind
Can never tear the linnet from the leaf.

An intellectual hatred is the worst,
So let her think opinions are accursed.
Have I not seen the loveliest woman born
Out of the mouth of Plenty’s horn,
Because of her opinionated mind
Barter that horn and every good
By quiet natures understood
For an old bellows full of angry wind?

Considering that, all hatred driven hence,
The soul recovers radical innocence
And learns at last that it is self-delighting,
Self-appeasing, self-affrighting,
And that its own sweet will is Heaven’s will;
She can, though every face should scowl
And every windy quarter howl
Or every bellows burst, be happy still.

And may her bridegroom bring her to a house
Where all’s accustomed, ceremonious;
For arrogance and hatred are the wares
Peddled in the thoroughfares.
How but in custom and in ceremony
Are innocence and beauty born?
Ceremony’s a name for the rich horn,
And custom for the spreading laurel tree.

Literary Analysis

“A Prayer for My Daughter” is a reflection of the poet’s love for his daughter. It is also about surviving the turmoil of the contemporary world, where passions have been separated from reason. The setting of the poem is unspecified. The speaker is the poet himself talking to his daughter. The tone is gloomy, precarious, and frightening, as well as didactic.

The poem opens with a description of the speaker praying for his innocent infant daughter, Anne, lying in the middle of a storm “howling, and half hid.” The poet demonstrates his feelings through the use of symbols of weather. The newborn baby girl is sleeping “Under this cradle-hood and coverlid,” implying the innocence and vulnerability of Anne. Though the external world is violent, she is protected from it. The storm is a metaphor for the Irish people’s struggle for their independence, which was an uncertain political situation in Yeats’s day. He further presents the situation of the storm with “roof-leveling wind”, representing turbulence, in the midst of which the poet has “walked and prayed for this young child an hour.” Intense and threatening forces surround her like a “flooded stream.” The poet symbolizes the sea thus: “Out of the murderous innocence of the sea.” Despite his apprehensions for his child in this turbulent world, he is hopeful for her.

The poet continues on to comment on his hopes for her beauty:“May she be granted beauty and yet not.” His vacillation is that beauty in women sometimes brings disasters. For example, some such people have a difficult time choosing the right person as a life partner, and neither they can “find a friend.” The speaker lays emphasis on the need for feminine innocence. The poet advances his argument in the next stanzas by citing examples of beautiful women such as Helen of Troy, whose beauty was said to be the cause of the Trojan War. By the end, the poet wants his daughter to be courteous, as love cannot come unconditionally and freely. She must earn love with good efforts and kind-heartedness, and she cannot win it by merely physical beauty because “Hearts are not had as a gift but hearts are earned.” Summing up his theme, the poet wishes his daughter to possess such qualities that could help her face the future years confidently and independently.

Structural Analysis

The poem is written in a lyric form containing ten stanzas with eight lines in each stanza. The poem follows a regular rhyme scheme, which is AABBCDDC as shown below:

I have walked and prayed for this young child an hour  A
And heard the sea-wind scream upon the tower,          A
And-under the arches of the bridge, and scream          B
In the elms above the flooded stream;                         B
Imagining in excited reverie                                        C
That the future years had come,                                  D
Dancing to a frenzied drum,                                        D
Out of the murderous innocence of the sea.                C

The meter of this poem alternates between iambic pentameter and trochaic pentameter, as inI have walked and prayed for this young child an hour / And heard the sea-wind scream upon the tower.” The poem is rich in literary devices such as symbolism, personification, paradox, sibilance, assonance, alliteration, and onomatopoeia. The line “murderous innocence of the sea” is an example of paradox. Sibilance is found in the words “sea-wind scream,” while “scream” is also an example of an onomatopoeia. The use of personification can be noted in the lines “future years … dancing”, which implies the transience of life. The poet uses symbols such as “sea wind” and “flooded stream” which denote turbulent forces at work. Alliteration is present in the phrase “be granted beauty.”

Guidance for Usage of Quotes

The poem is concerned with the chaotic modern world. It shows a father consumed with apprehension for his daughter’s future in an uncertain political situation. The father is tense about how he can possibly protect his daughter from the raging storm outside, because she is very beautiful. Therefore, he prays for her as well as gives advice about how to live successfully on earth. Similarly, modern-day fathers can send quotes from this poem to their daughters as a piece of advice for special occasions:

“In courtesy I’d have her chiefly learned;
Hearts are not had as a gift but hearts are earned
By those that are not entirely beautiful;
Yet many, that have played the fool
For beauty’s very self, has charm made wise,
And many a poor man that has roved,
Loved and thought himself beloved,
From a glad kindness cannot take his eyes.”

literarydevices.net

Here’s a prayer that will inspire you to pray for your daughter. Cherish her and intercede on her behalf before our heavenly Father. Even if your daughter is facing problems, believe that your prayer makes a difference. It may take time, but she is worth it. Let God know how much you care for and love your daughter.

Related article: I worry about my kids too much. What should I do?

how to pray for my daughter

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Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Philippians 4:6

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how to pray for my daughter

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Sometimes I wish life had a pause button. I would use it after dinner when we have our family dance parties or game nights. I would point the remote toward my daughter when she plays teacher with her stuffed animals or rides her bike on the road behind our house.

Watching your children grow is one of the most rewarding, yet at the same time challenging, things parents go through. We get satisfaction from seeing our children accomplish new tasks and take on new challenges, but we know that with each passing day they are closer to being on their own. Each day they move a tiny bit further on their path to self-sufficiency. It’s a place where you no longer make their decisions for them; a place where trust and faith take over.

As a father, I don’t like to think a long way into the future. While I know that I won’t always be the only man in my daughter’s life, I’m still reluctant to give her future husband the attention he deserves. By burying it, I’m missing out on the valuable opportunity to commit him to prayer. My daughter’s future hangs in the balance, yet I waste time focusing and worrying about the here and now. Yes, I believe that God’s in control and we shouldn’t worry (Luke 12: 22-26). We shouldn’t be anxious, but we should take it to the Lord. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:5-7).

Being uncomfortable with the idea of my young daughter having a future love life shouldn’t stop me from praying about it. Once that fact is established, here’s a good place to start.

First, pray for your daughter. Pray for her to have a close relationship with God. Pray that her first love will always be Jesus. Everything – and everyone – else will come and go, but God will always be there. I heard a pastor give an example during a sermon about his single days. Instead of focusing on finding a bride, he let his pursuit of God be his first passion. He began running as hard as he could toward God, then he looked to the side and found a woman – his future wife – running right alongside him. It’s a brilliant example of priorities – God first, and everything else second.

Next, pray for the young man. Pray for God to raise up a “man after His own heart” for your daughter to share her life with. King David was famously referred to as such a man. “And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will’” (Acts 13:22). David certainly sinned. But, he also repented and was known as a man who would “do all of will.” My prayer for my daughter is that her future husband will be a man who seeks God’s will first, and always.

Third, pray for the young man’s parents. Pray that his parents would teach him well, or that he would have Godly role models in his life right now. For those of us with young children in the home, these are very important years. These times are when values are instilled and morals are established. We should pray for our children’s future in-laws today. Pray that God would grant them wisdom and discernment to lead their children well and in the ways of the Lord. It could be that my daughter’s future husband will come from a different, or more challenging, home environment. I pray that regardless of his current living situation, that God would surround him with godly role models and influences to start him out on the right path.

Last, pray for yourself. Pray that you would display a biblical example of marriage for your daughter to see. You’ve probably often heard that there’s “more caught than taught.” Our actions and daily lives set the stage for what our children expect from relationships. For me personally, my daughter needs to observe how I love her mother, and as a result, have high expectations for how a man is supposed to treat her. In your prayer time, pray that you will be filled with that kind of love to your spouse. And, pray that you will have wisdom to know how to act in all situations, because little eyes are watching.

A Prayer for Your Daughter’s Future Husband

Father, thank you for my children. While they are still young, I want to pray today for their future. Today, I lift up my daughter to you. Help her grow to be a woman after your own heart. Help her to have discernment in the ways of love. I pray that you will raise up a future husband for her who has a relationship with you, God, and that he continues to grow in that relationship in the years ahead. I pray for his parents or role models. Give them wisdom and discernment. Lastly, I pray for myself. Help me to be a good, godly father and example to her. I commit all this to you in Jesus’s name, Amen.

Brent Rinehart is a public relations practitioner and freelance writer. He blogs about the amazing things parenting teaches us about life, work, faith and more at www.apparentstuff.com. You can also follow him on Twitter.

Photo credit: ©Thinkstock

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