30 Days of Prayer: Repetition

Day 25: Repetition

Lord, may my children never forget the lessons they have learned concerning Your love and Your commands.  May these lessons prolong their lives and bring them prosperity.  Write the message of love and faithfulness on the tablet of their hearts so they may win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.  Proverbs 3:1-4   In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

One way to overcome forgetfulness is repetition.

Over and over and over

teach and review

and model and review

and talk about and review

and sing about and review the truths found in the Word of God.

For younger children, this can be achieved through scripture songs and games; for older children through conversations.  One great blessing in my life started on New Year’s Day in 2016.  Inspired by my friend, Allen, my three oldest children agreed to read through the Bible in 180 days with me.  Okay, I admit, the challenge was supposed to be 90 days, but that was unrealistic for us, so we doubled the time.  That meant 8 chapters a day.  We didn’t take notes, or even try to study it.  We just read.  And boy, did we learn a lot!  The Holy Spirit pointed out things I had never seen before.  And best of all, I had great, adult conversations with my children. They pointed out things that I had never seen before, and we discovered together that the Old Testament is Christ concealed, and the New Testament is Christ revealed.

Ever since my oldest child started school, I have sent them to school with a scriptures in their pocket.  It started out as a handwritten note, but I soon got smart and typed out a LONG list of scriptures I wanted them to know and remember.  I print out the scripture list, cut them into strips, and send a strip with each child, each day.  I am sure there are some days they read them and some days they don’t.  But at the very least, after many years of this daily routine, they understand the value of DAILY seeking God and His truth.   And this daily routine reminds me of His Truth as well.  I know and believe that His Word will not return void in their lives.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

                                                                        Deuteronomy 6:5-9

 


30 Days of Prayer: Fear and Faith

Day 24: Fear and Faith

Lord, help these children to know that You will never leave them, nor forsake them.  When they are afraid, may they trust in You.  In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.                 Deuteronomy 31:6; Psalm 56:3

One thing we try to explain to our children is that everyone will let them down sometimes.  As parents, we will fail our children occasionally.  We won’t mean to, but it will happen.  A broken promise, a bad reaction, a emotional need unmet and unnoticed.  Even the best, most diligent parents will drop the ball at some point.  Therefore, it is very important to point our children from the earliest age to the One who will not let them down.  Point them to the Perfect Parent, who will never leave them nor forsake them.

How do we counsel them through their fears?  The best way I know is to teach them key scripture verses related to fear.  The Bible is full of them.  And the common theme?  “Do not be afraid.”  Rumor has it that there are 365 references in the Bible with this message—one for every day of the year.

We have helped our children memorize these verses and have instructed them in the power of confessing this truth aloud.  I have to do this myself sometimes.  So, if you see me on the road, seeming to talk to myself, don’t worry.  I may just be reciting the truth that I know but sometimes forget!

 


30 Days of Prayer: Favor with God and Man

Day 23: Favor with God and Man

Lord, may these children grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus, both now and throughout their lives. May they grow in wisdom and in stature and in favor with You and with man. II Peter 3:18; Luke 2:52          In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I first found these verses to pray when my niece, Wesley, was born.  She was the first baby of the family and we all were overwhelmed with love.  I left soon after she was born to go do mission work in Costa Rica.  In the months that I lived in Costa Rica, I missed my family so very much, especially my new niece Wesley.  However, I knew enough about prayer to know that redeeming the time away through prayer was the most positive thing I could do when I missed them.  So, every day as I rode the public bus to work, I prayed these prayers for Wesley.   Now, 31 years later, I see how God abundantly answered my prayers for her, as well as the prayers of her parents.  She is a beautiful, godly woman, who has indeed grown in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus.

One point about these verses is the word “grow”.  To grow means to develop, to progress, to cultivate.  It means to “to become larger or greater over a period of time.”  We need to realize that when we pray this prayer for our children, we are reaching into the future on their behalf.  We won’t see it all at once, but over time we will realize the fruit of growth and maturity in their relationship with Christ.

It was said of Jesus, as well as of the prophet Samuel when he was a boy, that he grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.  That is what I want for my kids, too.  This prayer is the perfect combination.  Favor with man alone is shallow.  It can become a popularity contest.  Favor with God and man means influence in godliness. It means friendships which glorify God, not those which rebel against him.


30 Days of Prayer: Faith

Day 22: Faith

Lord, may these children trust You with all their hearts, leaning not on their own understanding.  In all their ways, may they acknowledge You, and You will make their paths straight.         Proverbs 3:5-6          In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Trusting without understanding … that is a hard one.  Yet, that is faith–the assurance of what we hope for and the evidence of what is unseen.  And that is what we want for our children and for ourselves.

Truly, I think it is easier for children to have faith.  They do, after all, come to us as tiny babies, unable to do anything without the help of a parent.  As toddlers, it never occurs to them that we wouldn’t come when they cry or help them when they need it.  At least that is true when they know they are loved.  No wonder we are told that we should have faith like a little child.  Let us return to that child-like faith, and may our example lead our children to never let go of theirs.

 

 

 


30 Days of Prayer: Grace and Righteousness

Day 21: Grace and Righteousness

Lord, may these children know that even a child is known by his actions, and therefore, may their actions reflect integrity. May they not be looked down upon because they are young, but rather may be examples to those around them.      Proverbs 20:11; I Timothy 4:12                          In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

We want to teach our children at an early age the value of a good reputation.  This can be a tricky endeavor, because if we are not careful, we may find ourselves on the slippery slope of being a people pleaser.

We also don’t want to instill in our children that they can earn salvation with their good behavior.  We want our children to understand GRACE—God’s Richest At Christ’s Expense.  We want them to know that they don’t deserve it, they can’t earn it, Jesus bought it for them, and it if FREE!

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—

                                                                                    Ephesians 2:8

What we do want our kids to understand is that good behavior is a response to the goodness of God.  Good behavior, and a good reputation, will reward them.  We want them to be lead in what is true, and good, and right.  We want them to choose what is right because it is right.  We want them to be righteous and we know that true righteousness only comes through the work of God in their lives.

Most importantly, we want to be a voice of truth in their lives.  We want our lives to be an example for them.  So, I guess we better pray this prayer for ourselves, too. (Okay, well maybe not the “young” part!)