Toward the end of the year, I begin to see many of my friends and blogging family choose their word of the year. Many of them pray and ask the Lord what the theme of their year should be, and in some way only God can explain, they find a word that sums up what they believe God will accomplish for them in the new year.
I think it’s lovely, and good, but I like to take that word of the year a step further.

What I have felt led to do, and what I believe matches my personality and bent much better, is to choose a verse to pray for my sons each year. It ends up being something I pray for the whole family, because so much of the theme of our lives together revolve around what God is doing in the lives of our children.

God reveals my deepest sin through the actions and reactions of my sons, and gives me grace to see my great need through theirs. (<<—Tweet That).

So this choosing of a verse to pray? I take it very seriously, spending time in prayer, asking God to lead me to the one that suits us best. And just like I did in 2014, I’ll ask you (and me) again…

What if we got serious about praying for our boys in 2015?

What if we got serious about praying for our boys in 2015?

What if instead of just saying we need to pray more for them, we actually did?

What if we prayed God’s very Word for them, believing that it will never return empty (Isaiah 55:11), but accomplish exactly what God purposes it to?

What if we knew that delays in answer to our prayers weren’t necessarily “no’s,” but opportunities to grow and trust and know God more?

It appears to me that believers have generally expected far too little present fruit from their labors for children. They hope that the Lord will someday confirm their instruction and answer the prayers which they offer up on the children’s behalf. The Bible assures us that in everything we do for the Lord, including bringing up children in the fear of the Lord, our labor is not in vain. We have to guard against thinking that it does not matter whether we see present fruit or not. On the contrary, we should give the Lord no rest until we see fruit. Therefore, in persevering yet submissive prayer, we should make our requests known to God. (The Autobiography of George Muller).

With this in mind, and with my heart refreshed and renewed in the belief that all things are possible with God, I’ve chosen Romans 15:13 as my prayer verse for 2015.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

You may remember that my verse for 2014 included a theme of joy, too. I prayed specifically for God to let us sing for joy at the work of His hands, and He accomplished this for us over and over. It wasn’t quite like I thought it would be, but God showed Himself for us many times, and we sang for joy.

As I look at the hearts of my sons, and combine what I see there with the needs of my own heart and that of my husband, the need for joy is still there. But there’s also a need for constant hope.

Surprisingly, joy and hope seem to go together often in the Bible. I did a quick search and there are many verses that include both words. My conclusion? Joy brings hope.

One of the most pervasive, weed-like feelings I endure as a mom is weariness. It winds its way around me, binding my heart and controlling my emotions until sometimes I can’t even see God. When I get in that place of ultimate weariness, where the voice of God feels far away and my present circumstances are all I can see, joy is a distant memory and hope seems dead.

But I can choose to remember.

There is a God who doesn’t just make hope available…He IS hope (1 Timothy 1:1), and we can access the hope He gives, the hope He IS, as we find joy in Him.

How do you find joy in God and hope for the new year?

  • Read His Word. Allow your heart to be strengthened knowing that what God has done, He can do again.
  • Remember the way He has worked for you in the past.
  • Worship Him in the midst of trials (that’s when you need Him most).
  • Pray, and ask Him to show you more about who He is and how He wants to work in your life.

So my prayer for my sons (and my family) in 2015 will look something like this:

“God of hope, fill us with all joy and peace as we trust in You, so we may overflow with hope by the power of Your Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13).

This will be my prayer, but your son’s needs might be different. So today, I’d like to encourage you to take a moment to pray, asking the Lord to bring to mind one word that describes something your family needs to have from Him in 2015.

Then search the scriptures for one verse that captures the heart of that word, and make it yours for 2015. Print it out. Hang it outside your son’s room, and pause to pray it over him morning and night, or any time you walk by.

After you’re done, would you take a moment to share what you’re praying for your boys in 2015?

Just jot it down in the comments. If you feel comfortable, tell us why you chose that verse. Our team will personally pray for each of you by name using the verse you write below as our guide.

Take Action:

1. Choose your own prayer verse and write it out below. Need help choosing one? Feel free to use Brooke’s as your own, and download this free wallpaper to display on your computer and phone by signing up for the BoyRaiser newsletter!

Choosing a Verse to Pray for 2015 (and a FREE wallpaper)

2. Start 2015 by covering your sons in prayer from head to toe. Join over 12,000 other boy moms who have taken Brooke’s 5-day Praying for Boys prayer challenge.

Brooke McGlothlin

Brooke McGlothlin is co-founder and President of Raising Boys Ministries. She’s a mother of two boys who believes God has chosen her to fight for the hearts of her sons. She can be found most often on her knees in prayer, not because she’s so holy, but because God is. Not because she knows how to raise godly men, but because God knows the plans He has for them.

She’s the author of Praying for Boys: Asking God for the Things They Need Most, and co-author of Hope for the Weary Mom: Let God Meet You in the Mess.