1 My people, hear my teaching;
listen to the words of my mouth.
2 I will open my mouth with a parable;
I will utter hidden things, things from of old—
3 things we have heard and known,
things our ancestors have told us.
4 We will not hide them from their descendants;
we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,
his power, and the wonders he has done.
5 He decreed statutes for Jacob
and established the law in Israel,
which he commanded our ancestors
to teach their children,
6 so the next generation would know them,
even the children yet to be born,
and they in turn would tell their children.
7 Then they would put their trust in God
and would not forget his deeds
but would keep his commands.
Jonathan Edwards was a Puritan Preacher in the 1700s. He was one of the most respected preachers in his day. He attended Yale at the age of thirteen and later went on to become the president of Princeton college. He married his wife Sara in 1727 and they were blessed with eleven children. When one traces the lineage of Jonathan and Sara Edwards for 150 years after their deaths, a remarkable legacy unfolds.
The legacy left by Jonathan and Sara Edwards includes: 1 U.S. Vice-President, 1 Dean of a law school, 1 dean of a medical school, 3 U.S. Senators, 3 governors, 3 mayors, 13 college presidents, 30 judges, 60 doctors, 65 professors, 75 Military officers, 80 public office holders, 100 lawyers, 100 clergymen, and 285 college graduates.
Despite the fact that Edwards was a key figure in the Great Awakening and a very busy man, he made time every night when he was home, to spend at least an hour conversing with his family and then praying a blessing over each child. Jonathan and his wife Sarah passed on a great and godly legacy to their eleven children.
Consider if you will, Hannah, the mother of the prophet Samuel. Barren and desperate for a child, Hannah cried out to the Lord for a son and made a bold promise to God. “If you will give me a son, I will return him to you to serve you for his whole life” (1 Samuel 1). Surely enough, the Lord answered her prayer, and true to her word when she had weaned her son she brought him to the temple where he remained throughout his life serving God as one of the great prophets of Israel’s history.
After leaving her son with Eli at the Temple, Hannah prays a powerful, prophetic prayer over the life of her son…declaring that he would be a man of God serve with great power and anointing. I spent the last two weeks at our church here in Vermont exhorting our moms and dads to emulate not only Hannah, but other great parents in the scriptures who prayed great and powerful–and prophetic prayers over their children. I believe that parents are God’s representatives in the lives of their children and have not only the right, but the authority and responsibility to speak prophetic words over their children, declaring the Word of God over them.
In a culture that has come to despise motherhood and childbearing, and who have weaponized language for the purpose of dehumanizing children in the name of health care…we need parents that will rise up to the task of building lasting legacies that will endure for generations and impact future cultures with great power and anointing.
Counteracting demonic prophecies with prophetic declarations rooted in the Word of God
The Spirit of God has burdened me to extend a call that parents would turn back the tide of prophetic words, inspired by demonic forces, that are being spoken over a generation. Words like non-person, blob of tissue, products of conception, not human, and parasite are demonically inspired prophecies that are cursing and entire generation. We need to counter this demonic prophesying with powerful, Scriptural prophetic declarations over our children. In so doing, we can turn the tide of despair and defeat that many youth are experiencing today.
During the course of my two messages, THE PROPHET SAMUEL and THE PROPHETIC VOICE, I presented a template for prophetic declaration that parents can use to systematically speak godly character and divine blessings into the lives of their children. I present these exhortations not only to parents, but grandparents and especially to foster parents, adoptive parents, and respite care parents, who can through the authority of God’s word turn the tide in the lives of broken and wounded children.
In my research I uncovered a powerful pattern of prophetic prayer for our children from a ministry in Ontario, King’s Court Brampton, and written by Pastor Yetunde Banjo. I have had numerous folks contact me and ask for a printed copy. I have included it here:
PRAYING PROPHETICALLY FOR OUR CHILDREN
Head: (INSERT YOUR CHILD’S NAME HERE) I declare that you will be the head and never the tail, above always and never beneath (Deuteronomy 28:13), You will lead sinners and not be led by them. You will excel in wisdom, knowledge and understanding as you live in the fear of God (Proverbs 2:1-10, Isaiah 11:3), you will know the Lord and the power of his resurrection (Phil 3:10)’
Eyes: (INSERT YOUR CHILD’S NAME HERE), I declare that your eyes will be open to understand the way of the Lord, your eyes will not lead you into sin but they will be enlightened by Christ’ (Ephesians 1:18, Acts 26:18)
Ears: (CHILD’S NAME) You will hear the word of the Lord and you will never depart from it, all the days of your life’ (Deut 5:1, Isaiah 30:21)
Mouth: (CHILD’S NAME) I pray over your mouth, that the words of your mouth shall be acceptable unto the Lord, no corrupt or evil communication will come out of your mouth, your mouth will be a spring of life’ (Psalm 19:14, Eph 4:29)
Heart: (CHILD’S NAME) I declare that you will love the Lord with all your heart, your heart will be a treasure of goodness and purity and Christ will dwell in your heart by faith’ (Deut 6:5, Luke 6:45, Eph 3:17)
Hands and Arms: ‘My child, You will be strong and courageous, I confess that you can do all things through Christ Jesus, through God you will be victorious. The enemy will not prevail over you neither shall the wicked one oppress you’ (Philippians 4:13, Joshua 10:25, Psalm 18:32-40)
Feet: (CHILD’S NAME) ‘I declare in the Mighty Name of Jesus, that your steps shall be ordered by God and you shall be led by the Lord himself (Jeremiah 10:23, Psalm 26:3, Psalm 23: 2)
In a general way you may declare:
‘I hide you (insert child’s name) in the secret place of the most High, no evil shall befall you, no harm will move near our dwelling place, you will be taught of the Lord and great will be my peace. With long life will the Lord satisfy you and show you His salvation. The spirit of the Lord will rest upon you, the Spirit of Wisdom and understanding, counsel and might, knowledge and fear of the Lord. You will serve the Lord only and delight in Him, you will flourish and be fruitful, because you are my offspring; the Lord will pour upon you His divine blessing. You will be blessed everywhere you go, goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life.’
One final admonition: Don’t wait! If you are pregnant, begin making these prophetic declarations over your child while still in the womb. Make them out loud, (contrary to the death narrative – your child can hear. John, comprehended the Messiah while still in Elizabeth’s womb).
If your children are older, perhaps even grown – maybe they have rejected God – doesn’t matter, step into your parental authority as God’s representative in their lives and declare the grace and mercy and power of God in their lives.
If you are a foster parent, surrogate or adoptive parent – you have a unique opportunity to impact a child’s life who feels the pain of abandonment, abuse, even addiction…turn the tide by your prophetic declarations.
I lived in a godly foster home for the first 7 years or so of my life. I don’t know what would have become of me had it not been for the ministry of my foster parents who prayed for me, took me to church, and lived godly lives in front of me.
I believe parents have greater power in the lives of their children than the mightiest evangelist. Step into your authority appointed to you from the throne of Heaven and declare your children’s destinies.