Deuteronomy 6:4-7 reads ““Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home . . . “

We’ve gone a step further when we sit at our home . . . we regularly pray through our kid’s bedrooms. This is not a superstitious little ritual. This is a powerful claim of your home, your children, and all aspects of their lives for the LORD. It’s standing up and proclaiming, “As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15) Stormie Omartian, author of Power of a Praying Parent, is quoted as saying, “Everyone’s house needs a spiritual housecleaning from time to time, especially in the rooms where our children sleep and play.”

A holy housecleaning is done periodically as a matter of principle, but definitely whenever we feel troubled by something in our child(ren). If he/she is becoming fearful, rebellious, angry, depressed, distant, strange, a disciplinary problem, or having bad dreams and nightmares, sometimes simply praying through the room can change things quickly. I have seen a change in spirit in my children after every time I have done so. My prayer always started, “LORD, if there’s anything in this room that shouldn’t be here, show me.”

As we entered the teen years, I explained that for his/her own peace and blessing, we would clean the room of anything not of the LORD. Did she/he like it? No, not always. Did we have to remove anything from his/her room? Yes, sometimes. We removed anything that promoted drug or alcohol use, violence, disrespect to family members, or anything we knew would encourage disobedience to God’s word. It didn’t take long for them to welcome it, even ask for it.

We found that music was the most common item of removal because kids trade and copy. So no headphones, no tvs, nor computers were ever allowed in bedrooms. That way I could hear what was being sung and I would ask God for the discernment of what battles to pick.

And when we still struggled through a season, I enlisted the help of his/her small group leaders, my prayer group (who could pray for my children when I was in such distress I couldn’t pray beyond, “Help!”), and their youth pastor. Their spiritual leaders maintained their loyalty to my kids and I never did anything that would harm their need for confidentiality. Youth culture and children’s issues are what they dealt with daily and they were our greatest resource. These folks are here to help us be the godly parents God intended. It’s the personal relationships we have with real people just a bit further down the road of parenting than we are who will set up our kids and us for the greatest possibility for success to navigate a real world for a real God. Today, I get to stand in that role for others. To God be the glory!

“Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.” Psalm 24:8

(This updated posting was originally posted September 2011)