If you’ve been a MOB Society reader for any length of time, you know that each year I like to pick a verse, or verses, to pray for my family all year long.

It’s something like picking a word for the year, but a little bit different.

I usually spend some time praying for God to show me what my family needs prayer for the most as we move into a new year, and then search the scriptures for something that meets our needs but also doesn’t take biblical concepts out of context.

Sometimes, the verses come to me very quickly, and other times I really have to dig in, think hard, and give it some time. This year it took some time.

My boys have grown a lot in 2015…physically, mentally, and spiritually. My oldest has fully moved into what Jean Piaget liked to call the Concrete Operational Stage. He’s thinking more deeply, asking harder questions, and no longer just taking my word for it. My youngest is straddling two worlds…one moment he wants to play with his stuffed animals and the next he wants his own bank account.

I could’ve chosen from any number of verses, and I struggled through my process for months before landing on the verses I knew were the ones.

I was reading my friend Jeannie Cunnion’s amazing book, Parenting the Wholehearted Child (a great book, grab it) when I landed on them.

I bought Jeannie’s book some time ago, and have wanted to read it, but life just got in the way.

Doesn’t life usually get in the way of the things we really should be spending our time on?

Then, about two months ago, I got it down off the shelf, dusted it off, and started reading it before bed. Early in the process I found a prayer from Jeannie’s own heart for her sons, and something clicked in my heart. I just knew God was leading me.

Here’s my prayer for those in my home for 2016:

“I pray that because of the richness of his shining greatness
he will make you strong with power in your hearts through the Holy Spirit.

I pray that Christ may live in your hearts through faith.
I pray that you will be filled with love.
I pray that you will be able to understand how wide and how long
and how high and how deep his love is.

I pray that you will know the love of Christ.
His love goes beyond anything we can understand.

I pray that you will be filled with God himself.”
Ephesians 3:16-19

I could just weep reading it, because these verses truly are the sum total of what I’m asking God to do in my home this year. My boys are becoming young men, and more than most everything else I just want God to keep them.

I’m going to make so many mistakes in 2016. I’ll ruin things, forget things, yell too much, and not love hard enough. I’ll pray, but in the end, it’ll be God who keeps them. Not necessarily safe from harm…I know that can’t be done…but close to him. My prayer is that this year, God would give them a strong foundational experience of WHO HE IS…his greatness, his power, and his endless love, so that their hearts will want to be kept.

So I wrote the verses down, and sent them to my friend Erin, of Art by Erin Leigh. This is what she came up with to display them. Stunningly beautiful, no?

I couldn’t be more pleased with Erin’s creative expression of these verses! And I can’t wait to hang them right outside of my boys’ bedroom door so I can cover them in prayer every night before I go to sleep (if you’d like a copy of this brilliant, high-quality print, grab it here for just $8).

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 or concept that captures the essence of what you hope God will do in your family starting in 2016.

Then search the scriptures for a verse, or verses, that speaks to that word, and make it yours for 2016 (do be careful not to take scripture out of context…if you need help, get a Study Bible and read more about what your particular verse means before choosing it). 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 2016?

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:

Choose your own prayer verse and write it out below. Need help choosing one? Feel free to use mine as your own, and download the beautiful printable above for just $8 from Art by Erin Leigh!