30 Days of Prayer: Earliest Age Possible

Day 20: Earliest Age Possible

Lord, may each of these children come to know You as their Lord and Savior at the earliest age possible.  May they each be taught of the Lord, so that their peace would be great.          Isaiah 54:13               

 In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

We have prayed for the salvation of our children starting when they were in the womb, or at least since we first saw a picture of our adopted children.  We have always prayed that they would come to know the Lord at the earliest age possible. We want them to have very short testimonies!  Rather than speaking of all the time of being “lost”, we would love for them to speak of coming to Him at a young age.  Of course, everyone goes through difficult times which draw them closer to The Father, but how beautiful to run into people who are able to say, “though I’ve been through hard times which have strengthened my faith, I don’t really remember a time that I didn’t love the Lord.”  Though we trust in the Lord to bring about His perfect plans in their lives, we do hope and pray that our children feel that way.

 “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

Acts 4:12

 

 “This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

1Timothy2:3-4

 

Often, parents question whether their child’s salvation is “real”.  I personally believe that if we are praying fervently for our children to come to know the Lord at the earliest age possible, then why should we be surprised when they do?  When children come at an early age into relationship with Jesus, they may have times of renewal when they get older. In my particular story, I became a Christian when I was a little girl, when I knelt beside my bed and prayed with my Daddy.  And I believe that God saved me at that point.  However, when I was a teenager, I finally understood Lordship.  I went with my home church to a retreat when I was 13 years old.  At that retreat, I finally understood that Jesus want to be both Savior of our souls, and Lord of our lives.  There is a difference.  Having a Lord over every aspect of our lives involves a surrendering of our self-reliance and control. Many times, God shows me another area of my life that I have not surrendered to His Lordship.  He shows me through His Word, through prayer, and through other people.  At that point, I confess and pray and turn around. Neither you nor your child will ever experience all the wonderful things that God has for you, if you have never really met Him in a personal way.  There must be an acknowledgment of sin and of a need for a Savior.  I believe that our life in Christ is a journey; a wonderful, amazing, journey, which lasts our entire lives.  However, we simply cannot experience the journey, if we have not come to personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  This journey begins upon salvation, and is fueled by making our personal relationship with God the highest priority.  Just as in any relationship, there will be highs and lows.  An important time in my spiritual walk came when I realized that just because that “good feeling” went away, didn’t mean Jesus went away.  You may need to explain this to your child.  In Joshua 1:5, God says: “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

 

I have been a Christian for over 40 years, and I have always found that verse to be true.

 


30 Days of Prayer: Desperate Prayers

Day 19: Desperate Prayers

What about those times when you are on your knees, crying before the Lord?  What do you pray then? What scripture can you pray when you are sad, scared, and overwhelmed?

How do you cry out to the Lord when you don’t know the way out of a situation or you are afraid your children don’t know the way out?

I think every parent has times of desperate prayer.

Maybe you are paralyzed with fear.

Maybe you are heartbroken with disappointment.

Maybe you are filled with regret.

Maybe you don’t know what to do or even how to articulate what you want to happen or change.  Try this:

Think of every promise of God you can remember.  Get out your Bible and search the Psalms for words of truth and comfort and promise.  And remember what God says:

so is my word that goes out from my mouth:    It will not return to me empty,but will accomplish what I desireand achieve the purpose for which I sent it.  Isaiah 55:11

His Word will not return void.  It does have purpose in your life and in the lives of your children.  That is why we pray scripture based prayers.  If we are praying God’s Word back to Him, we know that we are praying prayers which line up with His ways and His will.  We must constantly remember that God truly does love our children more than we do.  If we are constantly surrendering them to His care, we must trust that everything that happens to them, good or bad, is filtered through His love.

To my knowledge and according to my study of the Word of God, I cannot recall a single time that a parent brought their child to Jesus and He didn’t do something.  He heard, He healed, He delivered.  He invited the children to come to Him and told the disciples not to forbid their coming, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

One of my favorite “parent stories” in the Bible is found in Mark 9.  A father brought his deaf and demon-possessed son to Jesus.  He told Jesus of the struggles and pain and desperate situation they endured.  And then the father said:

But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

                                                            Mark 9:22-24

And Jesus immediately delivered the boy and commanded that the evil never return again.

I have prayed many times:  “Lord, I do believe; help me with my unbelief.”  It is hard to believe sometimes, especially when it comes to our children.  And that is when the desperate prayers come in.  Desperate prayers are actually exactly what is needed at times.  In fact, scripture tells us to pray desperately for our children.  Lamentations 2:19 says:

Arise, cry out in the night,as the watches of the night begin;

pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord.

Lift up your hands to himfor the lives of your children….

I have experienced what it means to pour out my heart like water for the lives of my children.  That is how I feel when I have those moments of desperate prayer.  And yet, we pray with belief, all the while asking the Lord to help us with our unbelief.

What might a desperate prayer look like?  Maybe something like this:

God, You are Creator of the Universe, nothing is too hard for You.  I know You love me, Lord.  I know You love my children, even more than I do.  But I need Your help, Lord.  I need Your peace and Your presence.  I need You to come quickly to my aid.  I need You to hide my children in the shelter of the Almighty.  Lord, Your Word says to call upon You and You will answer with great and mighty things which we know not.  With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.  I trust in You with all my heart and I lean not upon my own understanding.  Only You can make our paths straight.  You, Lord, are the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  I believe You, Lord.  But help me Lord with any unbelief concerning my children.  I know You are able to do far more than I could ever hope or dream or imagine.  Do this, according to Your Word.  I pray all this in the  great and mighty and powerful name of Jesus.  Amen.  ( Jeremiah 32:17, Psalm 22:19, Psalm 70:5, Jeremiah 33:3, Mark 10:27, Proverbs 3:5-6, John 14:6, Mark 9:24, Ephesians 3:20, Psalm 119:65, John 14:14)

Trust in him at all times, you people;pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

                                                                                                                                   Psalm 62:8

 

 


30 Days of Prayer: Strength From Above

Day 18: Strength From Above

Lord, may these children know that they can do all things through Christ who gives them strength. May they learn to ask you for the strength to accomplish the plans you have for their lives.        Philippians 4:13      In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

Confidence.  We all want our children to have it.  And yet, one bad day at school or one difficult soccer game can sabotage the confidence of our children.  We do need to encourage our children and build them up.  We do need to help them grow in their confidence of themselves.  However, it is more important that they grow confident in the strength of God.

Often, I pray this prayer aloud over my children.  I also pray that in their weakness God would be strong, and that they would experience the grace of God and know that God’s grace is enough for every need.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

                                                                        2 Corinthians 12:9

In addition, we pray for humility.  We have helped our children memorize Psalm 115:1

“To You alone, O Lord, to You alone and not to us must glory be given because of your constant love and faithfulness.”  

When our kids are strong,

when they are confident,

when they are celebrating a win or a good grade or a grand performance,

we want them to glorify God, the One who gave them strength.


30 Days of Prayer: Godly Friendships

Day 17: Godly Friendships

Lord, we know that it is good and pleasant to You when we strive to be at peace with those around us. Please help these children to do their part in establishing solid relationships with others.           Psalm 133:1           In Jesus’ Name.  Amen

Friends are an important part of growing up.  We want our children to be well-liked and accepted.  But as Christian parents we want most of all for our children to have Jesus as their Best Friend.  Friends will come and go, but Christ alone remains forever.  Sometimes it takes a rough patch with their peers for them to truly see Jesus as the best friend of all.  When those rough patches come, be prepared to point them to Jesus as the Friend who will never leave them nor forsake them.

I often pray aloud over my children this prayer.  And in addition, my children hear me pray that God would send them friends who would build them up, not tear them down.   And I pray, “Most importantly, may my children be a good friend.”  They need to know that it is more important for them to be a good friend than for them to have good friends.

Friends are very important, and they grow more and more important as our children grow older.  Pray now for the right friendships for your children and that your children would be a leader in what is true, good, and right.  If there are siblings in your family, pray for a divine connection between them.  What a blessing to have close friends among your family!

Lastly, get to know your children’s friends.  Pray for them, too.  If your children’s friends are walking in truth and growing in grace, it will be much easier for your children to do the same.

 

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

 


30 Days of Prayer: Strength and Courage

Day 16:  Strength and Courage

Lord, may these children be strong and courageous.  Help them to not be terrified or discouraged.  May they know that the Lord their God is with them wherever they go. May they be willing to stand for You.        Joshua 1:9

                                                                                                             In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

This is one of those prayers that we have prayed aloud over our children on a regular basis.  Fear is such a stronghold in our society.  Rates of anxiety have never been higher among our children and teens, so we must pray that fear and anxiety and weakness to peer pressure will not take root in our children, nor should it have its way in our own hearts.

The above verse comes from the book of Joshua in the Old Testament.  Joshua is one of my favorite Biblical characters, I guess because he is a person in whom I can relate.  Joshua outwardly appears so strong and courageous, yet inwardly must have dealt with fear and discouragement.  Repeatedly, God tells Joshua, “Be strong and courageous, do not be terrified, and do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  In the first chapter of the book of Joshua we see that God told Joshua three different times to “Be strong and courageous”, and three different times God reminded Joshua that He would be with him, and that He would never leave him or forsake him.  And that is just in the first chapter.  Now why would God have to tell him so many times?  I think it is because Joshua was an ordinary man, called to an extraordinary job by his extraordinary God.  And because he was ordinary, just like me and you, he waxed and waned between great seasons of faith, courage and confidence, and fear, doubt, and discouragement.

Our children have been called by God to an extraordinary purpose.  The quickest way for the enemy of our souls to sidetrack those purposes is with fear and discouragement.  We must guide our children to the truth that only God will never forsake them.  Only God will be with them wherever they go.   I will let my children down.  I will not be able to be with them all the time.  In fact, it would not be healthy if they never gained independence from me.  But as they grow more independent from us as parents, they should grow more dependent on the only One who can really be there for them in every way they need.

Remember, courage is not the absence of fear, but it is the ability to press on despite the fear.  And true courage comes from the Source of all good things…God.