Parents’ prayer

Before you begin leading your children through this study on self-control, spend time alone with God interceding for His help.

Use the sample prayer below, or build your own prayer using the verses under “Scripture-guided prayer” for direction and inspiration.

Sample prayer

Jesus, You, are the Lord of self-control. Satan tempted You to flaunt Your power, to show off and to indulge Your appetite. But You were “full of the Holy Spirit” and used Scripture to rebuff Satan (Luke 4:1-13). Thank you for choosing to experience life in a human body. You really do know how challenging it can be to exercise self-control (Hebrews 4:15).

Self-control doesn’t come easily to me. Please forgive me for the times I have said and done things rashly. Please remind me to consider self-control as “God-control” – not trying to control myself with human effort, but rather depending on You to fill me with the Holy Spirit so I can be self-controlled. I ask that You would make that supernatural change in me so I can keep in step with the Spirit. My desire is to have the fruit of Your Spirit evident in my life, especially self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). You know that I struggle with self-control when ________. Please remind me to go to You when I am tempted, as I know Your promise to “provide a way out so that [I] can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). Thank you for promising Your Holy Spirit to all who ask (Luke 11:13)! As I wake each morning, please remind me to ask for a fresh filling of Your Spirit.

If, as an adult, I sometimes struggle with impulsiveness, I wonder what it must be like to be a kid trying to exercise self-control. My children struggle with maintaining self-control when ________. Wonderful Counsellor, please pour out Your heavenly wisdom on ________ and ________ so they are able to recognize temptation when the devil comes prowling around to tempt them to lose self-control in this area. Do not give Satan the joy of seeing them “like a city whose walls are broken down” (Proverbs 25:28). Instead, please prompt my children to go to You for help when they are tempted, so the walls of their hearts remain intact. Please give them the wisdom to ask to be filled with Your Spirit so they can be self-controlled.

As a family, I ask that we will be strong in You, Lord, and in Your mighty power. Remind us of our need to put on the full armour of God so we can take a stand against the devil’s schemes. I ask that in addition to the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, and the helmet of salvation, that we will hold firmly to the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, and that we will be a praying family! Please fit our feet with readiness that comes from the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:10-18). How better can we be equipped to have victory over the plans of the devil? None of this can be accomplished in human might or power, but by Your Spirit, Lord Almighty (Zechariah 4:6). Amen.

Scripture-guided prayer for parents

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 ultimate control and the promise of His Holy Spirit.

John 14:15-17 | Romans 8:26-27 | 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 | Colossians 2:9-10 | Hebrews 4:14-16

Heart search

Acknowledge where and how you lack self-control personally.

Proverbs 25:28 | Proverbs 29:11 | Proverbs 29:20 | Romans 6:11-14 | Galatians 5:16-21 | James 1:19-20


Thank God for the ways you have seen self-control exhibited within your family.

Family requests

Ask God to help you and your family to be self-controlled in your thoughts and actions.

Luke 11:11-13 | Galatians 5:22-26 | 1 Thessalonians 5:5-8 | 2 Timothy 1:7 | 2 Peter 1:3-4