Finding Your Child’s Life Verse

Erin Davis

Erin Davis | 02.18.11
Twitter: @ErinGraffiti


Yesterday, I encouraged you to pray God’s Word for your kids. One way our family takes that to another level is by choosing a life verse for our kids.

Simply put, a life verse is a passage of Scripture that we feel like uniquely describes each individual child. Once we’ve chosen a life verse for our kids, we pray that verse over and over as a way to mark their lives with God’s Truth.

I have two sons, three-year-old Elisha (we call him Eli) and eleven-month-old Noble. I haven’t chosen Noble’s life verse yet, because he is too young for me to recognize how God has uniquely gifted him and how I specifically need to pray (beyond “Lord, please make him sleep!”). But I have been praying Eli’s life verse since before he was even born.

Yesterday, I shared with you that Eli was healed from a bladder blockage while still in my womb. It is our strong desire that the story of his healing would be a testimony that brings many people to Jesus. So we have chosen 1 Samuel 12:24 as his life verse,  “Only fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.” 
We pray this verse for Eli. We pray this verse with Eli. We’ve painted this verse on the wall in Eli’s room. When he starts reading, this will be a passage I will have him practice reading often. When he is able to memorize Scripture, this verse will be where we start.

What’s the point of putting so much emphasis on a single verse? I’m glad you asked. Here are the reasons why I choose life verses for each child:

1. It gives me a specific way to pray for my children.
2. It helps them learn that the Bible’s promises are meant for them personally.
3. It helps cast a vision for who they will be and how they will serve God in the future.

Are you struggling to know how to pray for your kids? Let me encourage you to find a specific life verse for each one. Ask God to direct you to passages that will help you see His hand in each individual child. If your kids are older, they might have some great ideas for passages they’d like to have as their life verse. Then simply use that verse as an opportunity to teach about God’s Truth every chance you get.

There’s nothing magic about this. Life verses don’t become a chant or a motto. They are simply a way to apply the language of God’s Word to the lives of your children.

Do you or your children have a life verse? Leave me a comment and tell me about it.

Topics: With Your Kids


  1. My son's life verse was given to me by God when my son was 20 yrs. old and he was addicted to prescription drugs and was dealing with depression. God gave me Ps. 40, and promised to pull my son out of the pit and give him a new song to sing. A song of praise to our God. My son is now 26 ( and a gifted musician) and I am still praying that verse over my son. He has been healed of his addiction but is yet to turn back to God. So I continue to lift up Ps. 40, knowing that my God is faithful and will turn my son's heart back to Him and Alex will sing songs of praise to Him one day.
    posted by renee
    on Friday, February 18, 2011 at 7:30 am
  2. My youngest daughter's life verse was given to me by my sister when she and my other sister flew to be with me as she had open heart surgery at 5 days old. We posted it on her bed post. She was over a month premature after 12 days of preterm labor, both things God used to help save her life as those 12 days of contractions strengthened her lungs and coming early made it easier to keep her heart going until surgery to repair the defect. It's Psalms 70:5-6 "For you have been my hope, O Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth. From birth I have relied on you. You brought be forth from my mother's womb. I will ever praise you."
    posted by Jennifer Buell
    on Friday, February 18, 2011 at 9:38 am
  3. Erin, this is a wonderful idea; thank you. I am excited to do this for all of my children.

    Renee, I'm going to post here today's entry from the book, "Amazing Grace—366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions". It speaks of a hymn based on the very verses you mentioned. I have a (soon-to-be) 26-year old son also, and your testimony was a blessing to me. Thank you for sharing, and may you be blessed by the following devotional:

    "February 18
    Words and Music by Charles H. Gabriel, 1856–1932
    He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. (Psalm 40:2, 3)

    O the love that sought me! O the blood that bought me!
    O the grace that brought me to the fold!
    Wondrous grace that brought me to the fold!
    —W. Spencer Walton

    Occasionally it is good for each of us as Christians to reflect seriously on a question such as this: “Where would I be today if God had not transformed my life, established my ways, and given me a life of joy and praise?” With all of the allurements of sin so rampant in today’s society, we must readily confess that except for the love and grace of God, we too could find ourselves with broken and shameful lives. But we have been accepted into the beloved and made children of the heavenly kingdom. Through the redemptive work of Christ, we have been given a new and higher “plane” on which to live. With the author and composer Charles Gabriel we can only exclaim, “O praise His name, He lifted me!” Such divine love on our behalf calls forth a response of thankful gratitude and a sincere desire to see other needy individuals share this redemptive experience.

    Charles H. Gabriel was one of the best known and most prolific gospel songwriters of the late 19th and early 20th century eras. His fame as a successful composer became widely known, especially with the use of his songs by Homer Rodeheaver in the large Billy Sunday evangelistic campaigns. “He Lifted Me” first appeared in the collection Revival Hymns, published in 1905.

    In loving kindness Jesus came my soul in mercy to reclaim, and from the depths of sin and shame thru grace He lifted me.
    He called me long before I heard, before my sinful heart was stirred, but when I took him at His word, forgiv’n He lifted me.
    His brow was pierced with many a thorn; His hands by cruel nails were torn when from my guilt and grief, forlorn, in love He lifted me.
    Now on a higher plain I dwell, and with my soul I know ’tis well; yet how or why, I cannot tell, He should have lifted me.
    Chorus: From sinking sand He lifted me; with tender hand He lifted me; from shades of night to plains of light, O praise His name, He lifted me!

    For Today: Psalm 40; Isaiah 61:10; Philippians 3:8; Revelation 1:5
    Express gratitude and praise to God for His transforming power and love in your life. Determine to share your testimony with another. Use this musical testimony as a reminder—"

    Osbeck, K. W. (1990). Amazing grace : 366 inspiring hymn stories for daily devotions. Includes indexes. (59). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregel Publications.

    In His love,
    posted by Leslie S.
    on Friday, February 18, 2011 at 9:47 am
  4. I pray for my four children everyday not a particular verse, but prayers taken from several passages, based mostly from the Psalms.
    -Their heart's desire to be toward God
    -The eyes of their hearts would be opened to the work of the Holy Spirit and God in their lives
    -Their hearts to be satisfied with God and not what the world offers
    -For God to be glorified in their lives
    -Their hearts and thoughts to be pure
    posted by Jody
    on Friday, February 18, 2011 at 10:01 am
  5. My 13 month old Son's life versi is Ps92v12-14

    12The [uncompromisingly] righteous shall flourish like the palm tree [be long-lived, stately, upright, useful, and fruitful]; they shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon [majestic, stable, durable, and incorruptible].

    13Planted in the house of the Lord, they shall flourish in the courts of our God.

    14[Growing in grace] they shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap [of spiritual vitality] and [rich in the] verdure [of trust, love, and contentment].

    and was given to me when he was about 4 weeks old and we pray it for him everyday and it makes praying for him so easy and assured. Thanks for the blog as I didn't even know it was called 'life verse or any one else has that...Well, thank God for True woman.

    posted by Tess
    on Friday, February 18, 2011 at 10:02 am
  6. I don't usually choose a life verse for my children. I do pray Colossians 2: 9 -14 for them. My older children have chosen life verses for themselves which makes this mother's heart glad. It is a great idea to specifically have a verse of promises from God about each child. We "keep all these things and ponder them in our hearts" like Mary did, don't we?
    posted by Susan McCurdy
    on Friday, February 18, 2011 at 12:56 pm
  7. Thanks for the posting. I've been trying to chose life verses for our niece and nephew. They are still very young and don't go to church.
    posted by Heather
    on Friday, February 18, 2011 at 4:51 pm
  8. Thanks For posting this Erin i am learning everyday from ur posts thanks.
    posted by brenda
    on Saturday, February 19, 2011 at 12:37 am
  9. Thank you for this post! Very inspiring!

    My life passage/verses that were spoken over me and has become my favorite is Ps. 37 "Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity....Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart."

    That verse (4) summarizes my life for me so well.

    I also have a 'life hymn' or rather a 'motherhood hymn' that came to me after my oldest was born...Be Thou My Vision...I knew I would not be enabled in my calling as a mother without my sight set on Him!
    posted by Anna
    on Saturday, February 19, 2011 at 1:17 am
  10. I pray for my older daughter who struggles at school. She is very shy. She was born 3 months early. Has a heart of gold. But kids can be so cruel to her. I don't understand why.A girl sent me a message on facebook to start a hate group for my daughter?? What verses do I need to pray for her? Thank you!
    posted by Venice Greel
    on Saturday, February 19, 2011 at 7:49 am
  11. Lovely and good! I am really excited to ask my 8 year old son what he thinks about a life verse :) Thank you!
    posted by Jen
    on Saturday, February 19, 2011 at 10:27 pm
  12. I love this topic. I host a MITI prayer group in my home, MITI stands for Mom's In Touch International a group of committed christian Mom that comes together once a week pray for an hour praying for our children. I find myself praying my children thru scriptures. My daughter is 8 and my son is only two and do this everyday for them. It's my gift to my children to pray for them thru scriptures. My oldest daughter have so many favorite scripture's just like myself. Alot of our her favorites are all framed very nicely and hang around in our home. Thank U for this message and God bless your ministry!
    posted by Ulu
    on Saturday, February 19, 2011 at 11:36 pm
  13. Haether, thank you for the idea to pray a life verse for a niece and nephew. I have a neice and nephew that do not attend church. I will pray about this for them.
    posted by Kathryn
    on Sunday, February 20, 2011 at 12:46 pm
  14. @Venice Greel- I am so sorry to hear about how horrible those kids are to your child. My heart goes out to you. Here are a few verses that you can pray over her.
    Exodus 14:14, Psalm 34:19, Psalm 91, Psalm 4:8,Deut 7:6.
    I will be praying for your dear child and I trust that God will work this out for the best according to Romans 8:28.
    posted by Christa Hood
    on Sunday, February 20, 2011 at 3:39 pm
  15. Venice Greel---I shed tears as I read about your daughter's struggles at school. Others have sent excellent verses to pray. May I also suggest that you encourage a mentoring relationship with an older Godly woman or teen who can also affirm Scripture and her worth in God's eyes to her.
    posted by J Adams
    on Monday, February 21, 2011 at 7:57 am
  16. I have done something similar to a life verse but not exactly. We have three daughters so everything is BOY around here! We decided to make a family crest (like they used in medieval days). My husband actually made a shield out of wood and then we painted it. We put our Last name first initial in the center with a verse we chose for our family. Then in each of the four sections of the shield we chose a characteristic that we would like our boys to develop and have by the time they leave our home. Pure, Holy, Love, Selfless....we chose a verse for each of these characteristics too. Our goal is to constantly keep this before them. The shield hangs in their toy room right now. We desire for them to memorize all 5 of these verses in time.
    posted by K Grigg
    on Monday, February 21, 2011 at 10:39 am
  17. We have always connected our kids' life verses to the meaning of their middle names. We spent so much time pouring over the meanings of the names we picked, it was a way to give it a little more special emphasis.

    We have:
    Benjamin Riley- (Riley means "small stream") Jer. 17:7-8: "Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

    Talia Ruth- (Ruth means "beautiful and compassionate") I Pet. 3:3-4: "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight."

    Leila Beth- (Beth means "promise of God") Lam. 3:22-26 "Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD."

    We have picked each verse for the kids before they were born and it has been amazing to me how well they have come to fit!
    posted by mamakiert
    on Friday, February 25, 2011 at 3:52 pm
  18. My son was 18 when he showed me his arm. It read John 3:16 as a tattoo. I about fainted but I thought he could of gotten much worse on his arm. As I thought this he said "Mudder" (that is my nickname since he was six) I could of gotten all kinds of evil tattoo's. But with this I can focus on him when I am tempted by others or my mind to do bad". I looked at him and said, that I was very proud of him for doing so and thanked God for blessing me with such a awesome son. My son also has witnessed to many people for they want to know why he has a tattoo of a man's name John on his arm and then his ministry starts. Praise God! He does know regarding his body & marking it.
    posted by Sharen Shields
    on Friday, March 11, 2011 at 12:39 pm
  19. My son's name is Israel David, we love how it's such a strong biblical name. David is also my husbands middle name and his fathers. Before my son was born we choose this verse for him:
    Isaiah 43:1-3a
    Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have called you by name; you are Mine!
    When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
    And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.
    When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched,Nor will the flame burn you.
    For I am the LORD your God,
    The Holy One of Israel, your Savior
    posted by Rachael
    on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 3:51 pm
  20. what verse do you recommend for my son who is 15yrs old and diagnosised ADHD, Learning disabled ,autistic and seizure disorder needless to say he is having trouble in scholl with his learning and just start reading a 2nd grade level..Other than these horrible things he is well liked by teachers,clasmates and all who meet him..thank-you for your recommendation ..we will meditate on it day and night..Your sister in Christ Jesus....M.D.
    posted by Myra Doukrou
    on Monday, May 21, 2012 at 4:23 am
  21. @M. D. We commend you for knowing the value of God’s Word in your son’s life (Ps. 19:7-11). Choose Psalms from the NIV Children’s Edition, or Good News or New Living Translations. Also, choose a selection of verses from Philippians 4.
    God bless you.
    posted by Sarah, with the TW Team
    on Monday, May 21, 2012 at 10:11 pm
  22. I have a 4 year old Daughter Haley Maddison and a almpst 13 year old son Chase Addison. Chase turns 13 on October 8th and I would love to be able to supply him with a life verse. Any suggestions.

    He is compassionate, loving (quality time is his love language), kind, a great big brother,has a a great gifted mind. These are just a few of his great qualities.
    posted by Terry
    on Thursday, September 26, 2013 at 2:11 am
  23. Terry,

    Chase sounds like a great kid!

    Here are a few suggestions.

    May mercy, peace and love be multiplied to you" Jude 1:2

    You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16.
    Jeremiah 29:11 ESV / 359 helpful votes

    For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

    Hope this helps!
    posted by Erin Davis
    on Thursday, September 26, 2013 at 2:58 pm
  24. I selected my son's life verse while i was designing his senior page for his high school yearbook. Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (NIV) At the time I had no idea how important that verse would become to my son. On January 8 th of his senior year my son was diagnosed with AML Luekemia. Four days later on his 18th birthday we were sitting in the hospital waiting room while Andy was having a line surgically implanted in his chest. I noticed a gentleman watching us. He later walked over and told us that God had a verse that he wanted him to share with us concerning our son. That verse was Jeremiah 29:11. This January it will be four years and our Son is healed! He has hope and a future. Our God is so great!
    posted by Gail Mims
    on Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at 9:33 pm
  25. Hi, I tried to leave a message before but it would not work. I am 30wks 5days pregnant and the doctors had diagnosed my son as having LUTO(lower urinary tract obstruction) when I was 20wks 4days. They basically told me my baby will die or if he's born he will not live for very long. But one day as I came across this post and it has really encouraged me . I truly believe God led me here actually because of your testimony of your son's healing.I have chosen 1Samuel 12:24 and Psalm 71:5-6. I have been speaking and praying these passages over my son eversince. Every time i return to the doctor for his scans we've had good results. The blockage is still there but I have learned to really trust in God and I believe and know that my son is healed. Please pray for us.
    posted by Christal Niles
    on Saturday, May 3, 2014 at 7:32 am
  26. Christal,

    A lower urinary tract obstruction is exactly what two of my sons have (also diagnosed at about 20 weeks in utero). Eli, is now six and lives a healthy normal life with one functioning kidney. Judah is 10 months old and will have surgery later this month to remove the obstruction. I know about the fear and anxiety you are likely experiencing. I have been there. But I can say with confidence that both of my sons are doing very well. More specifically, God has been an ever present help in times of trouble. He has walked with us every step of the way.

    I have prayed for the baby in your belly this morning and will continue to do so.

    Grace and Peace!

    Erin Davis
    posted by Erin Davis
    on Monday, May 5, 2014 at 8:55 am
  27. We are having our son who is 5 dedicated at church on Mother's Day. Our children's pastor has asked us to send in the meaning of our child's name and a life verse for them. Can somebody please help me. I have no clue where to even start. I have to send this in to him by this afternoon. He was recently diagnoised as ADHD and we are struggling as is he. Thank you so much. I found this because I was looking for what a life verse meant.
    posted by Rebecca
    on Monday, May 5, 2014 at 11:43 am
  28. @Rebecca...Erin might be able to weigh in on this, but since you are on a time crunch, I thought I might offer some suggestions. Our sons are grown and it has been my privilege and joy to watch God work in response to the very Scriptures I prayed for them over the years! This is an exciting adventure for you today; bow your heart and mind before God and ask Him to reveal His purposes and direction for your sweet son and give you a verse to pray for him. Undoubtedly, God has work He will do, and fulfill in his little life--watch expectantly to see His hand.

    Consider these:

    For eternal life -- Ps. 23:6. " Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever." John 10:27 "My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of My hand." Or John 3:16.

    For contentment -- 1 Timothy 6:6. "Godliness with contentment is great gain." Proverbs 22:1. "A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold." Or, Ecclesiastes 12:13.

    For obedience -- 1 Timothy 4:12. "Don't let anyone look down on you because your are young, but set and example for the believers in speech, in life, and in love, in faith and in purity." Proverbs 4:25-27 "Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make lever paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil."

    For a blessed life -- Romans 15:13. "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Micah 6:8. "He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you, But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?" Psalm 20:4. "May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed." Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 27:4. "One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple." Psalm 105:4. "Seek the LORD and His strength; seek His presence continually!"

    For self-control -- 2 Peter 1:5-6. "Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness." Titus 2:11-12. "The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age." Or Galatians 5:22-23, Proverbs 3:21-26, Proverbs 23:22-25, 1 Corinthians 15:58.

    Ask the Lord to quicken your heart to a verse and plant it deep in your heart to pray over him day by day! Pray the verse of your hopes and dreams for him. Thinking of you and praying for you as I type. May the Lord bless your little guy with His peace, grace and presence all the days of his life.
    posted by Sarah, with the TW Team
    on Monday, May 5, 2014 at 2:05 pm
  29. I need help choosing a life verse for our baby's dedication this weekend. I had a rough pregnancy and was in the hospital for 3 months and had many complications. We are so thankful to God that he protected both of us and she is a healthy happy baby! Can you help me choose a verse?
    posted by Sheena Harvey
    on Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at 2:21 pm
  30. @Sheena...It is a pleasure to help you. As you pray this week, ask the Lord to help you define your desires for your precious one. Choose a verse to pray over her. You might consider these verses:

    For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted my petition made to Him. 1 Samuel 1:27

    Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face continually. Psalm 105:4

    “Observe what the LORD your God requires: Walk in His ways, and keep His decrees and commands, His laws and requirements… so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go” 1 Kings 2:3

    He has told you…what is good; And what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8

    Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

    How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, who seek Him with all their heart. Psalm 119:2

    Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Matthew 5:8

    My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to You because You have redeemed me. Psalm 71:23

    Bring joy to Your servant’s life, because I turn to You, Lord. Psalm 86:4

    Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, you righteous: and shout for joy, all you that are upright in heart. Psalm 32:11

    If we can be of further help, don't hesitate to let us know. God bless you and your little baby. God has been good to you, Sheena. We rejoice with you!
    posted by Sarah, with the TW Team
    on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at 11:08 am

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