As I was putting two of our sons to sleep, I was praying with our three-year-old on his little toddler bed. He hasn't yet learned to close his eyes while we pray, and I can feel his intense gaze looking up at me when I pray over him each night. As I bowed my head, a hollering little voice came from the crib on the other side of the room: "PRAY! PRAY! PRAY!" My other son was so impatient and worried that I would forget him. I could hardly stumble through my prayer with his older brother.
As I heard those earnest cries, tears welled up. That night I realized at new depth that this is the job of every Christian parent. We are to be priests to our children. The priesthood of all believers is not just for theological arguments or proper ecclesiology. It has very practical application for every parent.
Kneel Between God and Your Children
The writer of Hebrews encourages us, "Brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus . . . , let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith" (Hebrews 10:19, 22). Believers are granted confident, faith-assured access to the throne of God through Jesus — which means we are able to come to God on behalf of others. In his book Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes about this joyful responsibility:
Intercession is also a daily service we owe to God and our brother. He who denies his neighbor the service of praying for him denies him the service of a Christian.