Prayer is the way we come to know God personally - as the Heavenly Father to Whom our Lord Jesus Christ cried "Abba" (that is, "Daddy") - and it is a vital part of our journey toward salvation. Parents and godparents especially pray for their children - both thanking God for them, and begging that He give them protection and guidance as they grow. The prayer below, based on one by Archbishop Luke (Voino-Yesenetskiy), "hits the nail on the head" in identifying the physical and spiritual battles our children face today, all those things of which we parents are reminded when a new school year begins.
O God and Father, Creator and Preserver of all creation!
Give to our poor children the grace of Your Holy Spirit, that He may light within them that true fear of God which is the beginning of wisdom, and common sense, the following of which is a source of eternal praise. Bless them with true knowledge of You, keep them from all idolatry and false teaching. Enable them to grow in true saving faith and in all piety, and let those be with them to the end.
Grant to them a faithful, obedient, humble heart and intellect, that they might grow in years and in grace before God and before men. Plant in their hearts love for Your Divine Word, so that they might be pious during prayers and during divine services, that they might show respect for the servants of Your Word, and be sincere in their actions, modest in body, chaste in morals, honest in word, faithful in action, diligent in studies, happy to complete their tasks, and wise and just toward everyone. Preserve them from all temptations of this world, and grant that they not be perverted by bad company. Do not allow them to fall into uncleanness and unchastity, to cut short their own lives or to bring sorrow to others. In time of any danger, be their Protector. Ensure that we see in them not dishonor and disgrace, but honor and joy, so that the number of faithful might increase, and that they might be in heaven at Your Banquet, like heavenly olive shoots. May they, with all of the chosen, give You honor, praise, and glory through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Adapted from "Parents' Prayers for Their Children," http://www.orthodox.net/trebnic
© 1999 by Orthodox Family Life and the original author(s).
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