by Steve Siler
Lord, I pray that our daughters and sons…
1. …will be protected from exposure to pornography.
2. …will learn to honor the dignity and humanity of each individual and treat everyone with kindness and respect.
3. …will develop the inner compass to reject the distorted views of human relationship that they see modeled in our pornified culture.
4. …will grow up in a culture that increasingly rejects pornography in all of its forms.
5. …will learn to look to the best interests of others in romantic relationships, treating others the way they would wish to be treated.
6. …will become adults who see physical intimacy as something sacred.
7. …will never use sex as a tool to manipulate or to wound.
8. …will view sex as a gift from God.
9. …will see sex as something to be shared, not something to be taken.
10. …will reject voyeurism and be unwilling to take something that does not belong to them and give nothing in return.
11. …will not look for validation or love in the approval of others—particularly with regard to appearance and sexual behavior—but will develop a strong inner sense of their worth that is based in an understanding that they are a beloved child of God.
Lord, I further pray…
12. …that no girl will think she has to take nude pictures of herself to get a boy to like her, and that ‘sexting’ will become a thing of the past.
13. …that those who have already been damaged by pornography will have their view of sex redeemed and their ability to experience true intimacy restored.
14. …that teachers and mentors will rise up to affirm for them that character matters more than appearance.
15. …that more places of worship will seek to help people find the help they need to break free from the bondage of pornography or heal from brokenness caused by sexual abuse/assault.
16. …that in the not-too-distant future advertisers will be called upon to renounce using sex as a tool to sell.
17. …that in the not-too-distant future more film producers will refrain from putting gratuitous sex scenes on the screen.
18. …that in the not-too-distant future more television producers will create prime-time programing free from sexual innuendo and coarse sexual references.
19. …that in the not-too-distant future more music artists and music video producers will feel called to turn away from glorifying casual sex and having women always dress in salacious and immodest outfits.
20. …that people of faith will rise up and speak for the dignity of all persons.
21. …that people of faith will let their wallets do the talking and pull their support and purchases from companies that profit from pornography or use sex to sell their products, and that they will speak up to retailers when they find objectionable material displayed within easy view of children.
22. …that political leaders will hold themselves to a high moral standard, practicing faithfulness in their marriages and refraining from using their position of power to garner sexual favors.
23. …that religious leaders will hold themselves to a high moral standard and set up safeguards that will protect them from scandal and the potential of succumbing to sexual temptation.
24. …that those who create pornography—producers, directors, performers, and all the businesses that profit from it—will experience a transformative change of heart and cease participation in the industry.
25. …that those who have been forced or entrapped into being part of the sex industry will find freedom and healing from the trauma of their experiences.
26. …that parents will seek strong relationships with their children and have the courage to talk openly with them about sexual issues.
27. …that parents, to protect their children, will be actively engaged in keeping up with changes in technology and the accessibility of inappropriate materials on the internet.
28. …that merchants—like Starbucks and McDonalds—and public institutions—like schools and libraries—will be proactive about keeping their patrons safe from pornographic material while online.
29. …that we will learn, as a culture, to look one another in the eye—the window to the soul.
30. …that prominent spokespeople, especially celebrities and sports stars with influence over our youth, will emerge to speak out on the harms of pornography.
31. …that our universities will do more to protect young people from the rape culture and instead create cultures that honor and protect all students.
32. …that the fashion industry will feel called to a return to designs that emphasize beauty rather than hypersexuality—and that this will prove highly profitable.
33. …that the “vampire” craze in youth literature and films will pass, as it glorifies violence against women and sexual encounters that are dangerous.
34. …that male leaders, particularly in male-dominated environments like the military and sports, will rise up to denounce the “boys will be boys” attitude and call for a more honorable view of manhood.
35. …that community leaders, educators, and parents will recognize and work to curb the proliferation of violent and misogynistic video games.
36. …that in the not-too-distant future the irrefutable brain science on the harms of pornography will become common knowledge.
37. …that in the not-too-distant future the normalization of pornography created by phrases like “pimp my ride” and “pawn stars” will be considered in horribly poor taste and frowned upon and discouraged in all its forms.
38. …that there will be a new commitment to family and community that gives rise to a paradigm where achievement is consistently valued over appearance, especially for young women.
39. …that there will be a call for civility in our public discourse that in turn lessens the vulgarity in our media and our personal dialogue.
40. …that young men everywhere will speak out against objectification of women everywhere they see it or hear it, as if it were being done to their own mother or sister.
41. …that high-profile public figures—like former President Bill Clinton—will publicly acknowledge the harm caused by past behavior, ask for forgiveness, and call for a national dialogue on a healthier approach to sexuality.
42. …that women’s rights organizations will be willing to unmask the “empowerment” claimed by those working in the sex industry.
43. …that “women’s” magazines—like Cosmopolitan—that routinely run sex features will be challenged by women’s leaders.
44. …that organizations working to tell the truth about pornography—and to help victims of pornography and sex trafficking—will get more attention, gain more traction, and build on their successes.
45. …that lawmakers will pass and enforce laws that will make it harder for people to profit from the sexual objectification of others.
46. …that, in our lifetime, healthier attitudes about sex will prevail.
47. …that our children’s children will one day inherit a world where it is possible to come to the innocent thrill of a first kiss without first enduring an upload of explicit and unhealthy images into their psyches.
48. …that those who have been taken advantage of sexually will find healing and know that they are pure and clean in the eyes of God.
49. …that every girl and every boy will be seen as somebody’s daughter and somebody’s son respectively—as having a family and a Creator who loves them—and that sexual objectification will diminish all across our land and our world.
50. …that the shades of grey brought on by objectification and abuse will once and for all be chased away by the blinding light of God’s perfect love.
Steve Siler is the founder of Music for the Soul. He writes and produces songs that address painful topics rarely breached in music—abortion, eating disorders, cancer, life after suicide. One of his central passions is putting to music the pain of sexual abuse and addiction, expressed in his She’s Somebody’s Daughter project, which tells the truth about pornography. Read our interview with Siler!
Last week I wrote about prayers for your marriage. There was such a response, I decided this week to have my friend Brooke McGlothlin write a guest post on 10 prayers for your son. (On Friday I’ll be posting 10 prayers for your daughter.)
Here’s my friend, Brooke…
He looks at me with a “heels dug in” kind of glare. I know if I said, “the sky is blue on a sunny day” he would try to prove me wrong.
Sometimes, I don’t feel like we’re on the same team anymore, my son and I, and it breaks my heart.
On days like today, when he’s arguing with everything I say and trying his eight-year-old best to do things his way, it seems I’m fighting against him—like there’s a war going on in my house between me and my son, and a distance between us I want to bridge no matter the cost.
I know from my education that this process of differentiation is pretty normal. Boys ache for independence from mama, and feel ready to “boldly go where no man has gone before.” They want to be strong, assert their opinions, and explore their own ideas. Unfortunately, at the McGlothlin Home for Boys, we’re living in the in-between season— where ideas abound before they are mature enough to handle the responsibilities that go along with those ideas.
And so we butt heads.
Sometimes, I’m tempted to let our circumstances tell me my son is the enemy—he’s the one I’m fighting. But then I remember…
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 ESV
When the days of mothering grow long, and make a girl weary, and when what you really want to do is lock your son up in his room and throw away the key, it’s good to remember this:
He’s not your enemy. But there is an enemy.
That’s right, our sons have a real enemy—one that wants to kill, steal and destroy them (John 10:10)—but that enemy, according to the Word of God, has an opponent himself that’s a force to be reckoned with.
Me. Any mother who’s willing to get on her knees and cry out for the heart of her son.
James 5:16 says, “the prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with” (The Message).
The best way a mom can enter the battle for the heart of her son is on her knees, so let’s start fighting for him right now.
10 Powerful Prayers to Help You Fight for the Heart of Your Son
1. Create in my son a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within him (Psalm 51:10).
2. May my son walk after You, God, and fear You and keep Your commandments and obey Your voice. May he serve You and hold fast to You (Deuteronomy 13:4).
3. May my son be strong and courageous and not fear or be in dread, for it is You, Lord, our God, who goes with him. You will never leave him or forsake him (Deuteronomy 31:6).
4. May my son walk before You, God, as King David walked, with integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that You have commanded him and keeping Your statutes and rules (1 Kings 9:4).
5. Like Timothy, may my son be an example to believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity (1 Timothy 4:12).
6. May my son listen to the way of wisdom and be led in the paths of uprightness (Proverbs 4:11).
7. Lord, be with my son in trouble; rescue him and honor him (Psalm 91:5).
8. May my son honor his father and mother… (Ephesians 6:2).
9. May my son have love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith (1 Timothy 1:5).
10. May my son think on whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is commendable; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, may he think about these things (Philippians 4:8).
Thank you, Brooke, for this beautiful list of Scriptural prayers!
Brooke McGlothlin has a new book called Praying for Boys: Asking God for the Things They Need Most. It’s an insightful and much needed book for all moms of boys. Click here for more details.
And today, Brooke is giving away 5 copies of Praying for Boys! To win, leave a comment below telling us what prayer you are praying for your son(s).
There’s a song that Spotify has introduced me to that I can’t stop playing, it’s called ‘Sons and Daughters’ by Allman Brown and Liz Lawrence…
In an interview about this new track Allman talked about how the song was inspired by normal life. Where most songs are written about larger than life moments, extraordinary moments like your first kiss or other really big romantic ideals, his song celebrates the everyday things. The whole idea of the song is just two people in a house, because when you’re really close to someone you then begin to view the objects in your life or the space you occupy with meaning. This love song about everyday life has really spoken to me. You see, I feel as though I’m inhabiting that space at the moment. Nothing spectacular has happened to us for a while, which in some ways is great. I’ve not stepped inside a hospital for over a year and I love it! I’ve not had another miscarriage and my body finally feels as though it’s recovering, but I’m not pregnant either. We’ve had two years of ‘normal’ life, of companionship, of cooking together, watching films, going for walks with Betsy, our cavapoo and hanging out with friends. We’ve been living the life described in this song. I love the harmonies and the way the song builds, describing the beauty and romance of the everyday life of a couple, but it’s the lyrics of the chorus that have struck me most:
And I'll build a fire, you fetch the water and I'll lay the table, and in our hearts, we still pray for sons and daughters, and all those evenings out in the garden, red,red,wine. These quiet hours turning to years
I don’t know if Allman Brown was intending to write a song that spoke to someone struggling with childlessness but he’s done it. For a while I’ve been trying to work out what to write on the blog, I mean there’s nothing new to report, nothing’s changed. But maybe that’s where the story is. I’m moving into this new phase of my life as a childless woman, it’s undramatic, but I think it also has the potential to be beautiful. I’m living on the other side of struggle where hope remains, prayers are still offered up but life can no longer be on hold. Dave and I are living in that precious companionship that can only be found when you’ve faced the storm together and are crawling out the other side. My faith is both fragile and so very strong at the same time. I’m discovering more about who I am and what I have to offer, determined not to rely on my fertility to define my worth or value to society. I’m trying to live a good story, a story that has meaning. In learning to accept my current situation I’ve found a new comfort from the stories of the childless in the Bible. Yes, the majority of them end up with kids, but that’s not where their stories start. In fact the writers of the Bible are often more interested in the years of living with infertility than those when the infertile are finally blessed with a child, with the storytelling often ending once parenthood is achieved.
These stories of God and His followers who are childless focus more on their faithfulness, on the daily tasks of fetching water, lighting fires, laying tables and praying for sons and daughters. That’s where the story is. That’s where my story is now. I’m with Hannah who poured out her heart to God over the years she was childless. My story is found with Elizabeth and Zechariah who served faithfully for years as a childless couple, continuing to pray for God’s intervention. My story also lies with the Shunammite woman in 2 Kings 4:8-36, she’s one of my favourites – a childless woman who used the extra space she had in her home to be hospitable, offering a bed and food for Elisha whenever he visited. Instead of writing them off because of the Disney-like ending to their lives and the miraculous babies they’re eventually blessed with, I’ve realised I can learn from them. You see, they never knew they would end up having children, they lived in the pain of childlessness for years but the stories they lived out were beautiful, messy at times, but beautiful. They tried to move forward, they fought to remain faithful to God, to respond to His call on their lives, they continued to pray but they also engaged with the world as they were, in their broken state. They didn’t do that middle-class Christian thing of pretending they’re okay, trying not to make a fuss and telling everyone, including God that they’re over it. Their stories were ones of strength and struggle, their pain still present after many years, demonstrated by their responses of fear, laughter and disbelief when presented with the miraculous news of a child, warning God, angels and priests that this better not be a joke because they wouldn’t be able to handle it.
Now I’m not trying to say that once you have a child that your life is over – I’ve heard people say this – but it’s not true, God has definitely got more in store for you as an individual as well as a parent. But so often there’s a point, when you reach a certain age or you’ve been married for a while and people start to imply the story your living would be better if it had a husband or children in it, feeding the belief that the next stage of your life is on hold until this happens. This simply is not true. The story you are living out still has meaning regardless of your marital status or family size, it is not on hold, it is not worthless or uninteresting, it has deep value. You still have a story to live out, a rich and beautiful story that God is interested in, not because of what you have, or what you’re going to have, but because at the moment you’re trying to live a faithful life even though things haven’t gone to plan. A life of strength and struggle, of repetitive tasks and new adventures, of faithfulness and frustration, of saltwater and honey, now that is a story worth telling.