A Parental Prayer
“Give my son Solomon the wholehearted devotion to keep your commands, statutes and decrees and to do everything to build the palatial structure [temple] for which I have provided.” 1 Chronicles 29:19
When my son and daughter were young, I prayed with each of them before bedtime. Common requests concerned sound sleep, upcoming tests or assignments, and friendship conflicts. Once they became teenagers, though, they went to sleep on their own—sometimes after I went to bed myself.
But the change in bedtime routines didn’t end my nightly prayers for them. I continued to pray about school-related issues and friendships. When they left home for college, the prayers intensified—especially regarding companion and career choices.
Along with all the specific prayer requests was a general request: “Lord, give them signs of your goodness and love. Show them the benefits of living according to your standards.” Neither my children nor I consistently meet that goal, but that only intensifies my desire and the need to pray for them and for myself.
Near the end of his life, King David included general and specific requests for his son Solomon when the aging king prayed at a public gathering. First, David asked God to give Solomon “wholehearted devotion.” The Hebrew word David used is shalem, which can mean “complete, safe, peaceful, perfect” as well as “devoted to God.”
David understood that both Solomon’s personal well-being and his political success depended on his spiritual relationship with God. That’s the reason David’s second request was that God would help Solomon habitually live in obedience to God’s commands. David ended with a specific request that Solomon would be successful in completing the temple, which God had commissioned him to build (1 Chronicles 28:5–6).
I use David’s prayer as a pattern when I pray for my children. Of course I want them to be healthy, happy, and successful in their chosen careers. But more than anything else, I pray that they will have a “wholehearted desire” to obey the Lord.
When you pray for your children and family members, whether they are young or old, what tops your list of requests?
Read all of David’s prayer of dedication in 1 Chronicles 29: 10–19. What else does he include in his prayer that we can include in our prayers?
Read Zechariah’s blessing for his son, John, in Luke 1:76–79. What similarities do you see between Zechariah’s desire for John and David’s desire for Solomon?
Denise K. Loock
This devotion is part of our series on prayer.
 “H8003 – shalem – Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon (NIV).” Blue Letter Bible. Accessed 19 Sep, 2019. https://www.blueletterbible.org//lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H8003&t=NIV.