Parents’ prayer

As parents, we need to be positive role models for our kids. If you feel that courtesy is an area of personal weakness, know that many parents struggle in this area. Use this sample prayer to ask God to help you, as well as your children, take this lesson to heart.

Alternatively, build your own prayer using some of the verses suggested under “Scripture-guided prayer for parents.”

Sample prayer

Lord of All, Elihu heard Your voice in nature, and this is how he described it:

“Listen! Listen to the roar of His voice, to the rumbling that comes from His mouth. He unleashes His lightning beneath the whole heaven and sends it to the earth. After that comes the sound of His roar; He thunders with His majestic voice. When His voice resounds, He holds nothing back. God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; He does great things beyond our understanding” (Job 37:2-5).

In contrast, Elijah heard You speak in a gentle whisper, rather than in the wind, the earthquake or the fire (1 Kings 19:11-13). Father God, thank you that all of Your communication is based on Your great love for us.

Thank you for Your Son Jesus, whose sacrifice made it possible for me to have direct communication with You. It is a life-changing privilege to know, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1 John 5:14).

Thank you for the gift of Your Holy Spirit, who allows me to commune with You intimately (Romans 8:26-27).

Luke 4:22 says, “All spoke well of Him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from His lips.” They were talking about You, Jesus. What an example for us to follow! Lord, sometimes I hear my children speaking with impatience, sarcasm, unkindness or ________. They sound so much like me, and it is an embarrassing indication of my own sinful nature. I would rather be Christ-like so that when my children imitate me, they are also a reflection of You and Your character.

You tell us in Your Word that out of the overflow of my heart my mouth speaks (Luke 6:45). Please fill me with Your mercy so I speak with kindness and gentleness, in a way that encourages rather than discourages. In all aspects of my communication, verbal and non-verbal, I would like to reflect a Christ-like attitude (Philippians 2:3). Jesus, my desire is to see people as You do. When I communicate with others, I want them to see Your love for them in me.

I bring my children to You. When ________ and ________ are feeling upset, self-centered, or ________, rather than venting these negative feelings through hurtful language and actions, I pray that they will have a desire to go to You. Proverbs 13:3 says that “He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly comes to ruin.” I pray that Your Holy Spirit will help ________ and ________ to guard their lips. At times when they are tempted to use their tongues to speak unkind words, please give them the strength of character to bless those who curse them (Luke 6:28). I pray that their hearts will be full of Your love and grace so that they can respond in all situations with gentleness, kindness and respect.

“Before a word is on my tongue, You know it completely, O Lord” (Psalm 139:4). In the name of Jesus Christ, I ask You to protect our family from Satan, who seeks to tempt us to use our tongues for harm instead of good (James 3:6). My prayer for our family is that the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer (Psalm 19:14). Thank you, God, for the victory You have given us through Your Son, Jesus Christ. We want to live with Your power in us so that You can receive glory and honour through the way we interact with others. Amen.

Scripture-guided prayer for parents

Read and pray through one or more of the selected Scriptures under each heading. Focus on listening to God and allowing His Spirit to direct you as you pray.

Character focus

Begin by letting God know how much you appreciate His sovereignty and desire to hear His voice.

Job 38:1-2, 34-36 | Job 42:1-6 | Mark 1:21-24 | John 14:23-27 | John 15:12-15

Heart search

Acknowledge when and how you demonstrate a lack of courtesy personally.

Psalm 34:11-13 | Proverbs 10:19 | Matthew 12:35-37 | James 1:19-20 | James 3:7-12


Thank God for ways you have seen courtesy exhibited in your family.

Family requests

Ask God to make you and your family courteous and Christ-like in your communication.

Psalm 19:14 | Psalm 141:3 | Luke 4:22 | 1 Corinthians 13:1,4-7 | 1 Thessalonians 5:11