30 Days of Prayer: Their Hope and Future

Day 15: Their Hope and Future

Lord, may these children know that Your plans are to prosper them and not to harm them, to give them a hope and a future.  May they seek you with all their hearts. Jeremiah 29:11-13         

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.  

We have prayed for the future of our children from the time we first held them.  In fact, I began praying for my birth children when they were still being formed in me.  And I began praying for my adopted children from the time I first laid eyes on their photos.  It is never too early to pray for the future of your children.  When I say future, I mean future far away and near future.  Pray for God to bring them the friends that He has selected for them.  Pray for the teachers He chooses for them to have.  Pray for their future spouses when they are still babies.  Pray for their passions in work and hobbies and talents.  Pray that their purposes in life will be revealed without too much floundering or aimless wandering.  Pray most of all that they themselves would trust the Lord to guide them to the good future, full of hope and prosperity, that He has planned for them.  (Just a note:  prosperity means flourishing and thriving.  It can mean wealth, but God’s view of wealth is very different than ours.  If we are blessed with wealth, we are blessed so that we may be a blessing to others.  Sure, I hope my kids are able to make a good living, but more importantly, I want them to flourish and thrive and have the wealth of joy.)

This is a great verse to memorize for yourself, as well as help your children memorize.  They need to know that God has good plans and purposes for them, and they will find these plans and purposes when they seek Him with all their hearts.  May we be certain of this truth in our own hearts and minds.  May we savor this truth and may it lead us to peace and trust.


30 Days of Prayer: May They Know Truth

Day 14:  May They Know Truth 

Lord, may these children walk in truth and be led by the Holy Spirit, who will guide them into all truth. May truth invade every area of their lives and may they recognize the counterfeit plans of the enemy.  May they wisely use truth as a means of discovering who they are and what direction they should go.  May they boldly speak truth, however may their words be seasoned with love.  As they speak truth in love, may they become great leaders of those around them, leading in what is true, good, and right, while at the same time maintain a humble heart, loving others and wholeheartedly following You.   John 16:13; 3 John 4, Ephesians 4:15  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

In our world today, truth is a hard thing to maintain.  Our society tends to stress that each person can define their own brand of truth.  This is a sad and unstable approach, and it is not truth at all.  Let’s invite our children to explore truth found in the Bible.  Let’s pray that they will be hungry for truth and will be able to easily discern truth through the power of the Holy Spirit.

And yet, truth should be lived out with love and humility.  If truth has made our hearts haughty and mean, we drive people away from the truth we want them to see.  And we can do that to our own children as well.  Ask the Lord how you can hold out truth to the children around you in a way that is inviting and appealing, while at the same time uncompromising.  This is tricky and can only be achieved by the power of the Holy Spirit.

I tend to be one who would love to shield my children from the harshness of this fallen world.  But we cannot shield them forever and if we do, we will not equip them properly to handle the world.  I wholeheartedly advocate monitoring what our children see and hear and plant in their minds.  However, when they are older I have let them learn to discern truth for themselves with my guidance.  For example, if they tell me a scenario that happened at school, rather than lecture, I may say, “What is wrong with that situation?”  Or when they are older, if there is a show on television which is not necessarily bad, but still has messages that I do not want them to accept at face value, I will allow them to watch it, but require that they look for 5 ways that the subject matter goes against what we know to be true, good, and right.  Please don’t take that as an endorsement to let your children watch too much or unhealthy programs, but even the cleanest, best of the lot still may send mixed messages, and we must teach our children to be strong in discernment.

Mostly importantly, you cannot guide your children to truth if you don’t understand truth yourself.  Pray for the Lord to open your eyes and understand truth.  Seek truth and wisdom and they will richly reward you.  Spend time each day in the Word of God and in prayer, and if you do, the Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth.

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

John 8:32

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30 Days of Prayer: Honoring Father and Mother

Day 13:  Honoring Father and Mother

Lord, may these children obey their parents and teachers in the Lord, for this is right.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

                                                                                                                Colossians 3:20

I have often told my children that this is my favorite Bible verse!  Of course, I am kidding—sort of.  I do want them to obey. Obeying is a part of being a Christian.  We must obey God, we must obey the laws of the land, we must “render to Caesar what is Caesar’s”, and yes, we must obey our parents.  Honoring our father and mother, even when we are grown, is vital—so vital that it is included in the Ten Commandments and is the only commandment with a promise attached to it.

Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you.                                                                                                                   Deuteronomy 5:16

In Genesis 5:1, Moses summoned all of Israel for these commandments.  We tend to use this one to teach children to obey, but we must not forget that honoring our parents is a lifelong commandment.

But us parents have a bit of responsibility, too.  We must not nag and control so much that we push them away into rebellion.  One of the best parenting tips I could give you is this: Rules without relationship lead to rebellion.

Ephesians 6:4 says:

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

I must confess that I have, at times, exasperated my children.  I have had to apologize on numerous occasions.  And thankfully, my kids are quick to forgive.  I think we tend to exasperate and nag and over-parent when we make an idol of their good behavior—when we make it about us, not about them.  But these verses clearly point to Lord, not the parent.  We should instruct them to please God above all—even above us.

Today, if you are blessed to have parents still living on this earth, find a way to honor them.  We are never too old to honor our parents in the Lord, for this is right.

 


30 Days of Prayer: Generous Hearts

Day 12: Generous Hearts

Lord, give each of these children a generous heart, for we know that You love a cheerful giver.  May their hearts be focused on all the abundant heavenly treasures that have eternal value, not in the passing earthly treasures of this world.                  2 Corinthians 9:7

                                                               In Jesus’ Name,  Amen

Our society today constantly sends the message that we need more, more, and more.  We need better, bigger, newest, latest.  I am very guilty of buying into the lie of more and better for me, me, and me.

And that is the same society that shouts these false messages to our children.  If I fall prey to this, and I know better, how much more easily will our children fall prey to this “More for Me” mentality?

The only way to counteract this constant message is to give.  We must model for our children a generous heart.  They should see us be generous with our treasures, our talents, and our time.  If we value heaven over earth, they will learn to do the same.  If we hold loosely to our earthly treasures, they too will hold loosely to theirs.  Let’s pray for generosity to be imbedded into our personalities and the personalities of our children.

In addition to praying for your children to have a generous heart, ask the Lord what you can do with your children to model that.  Is there a needy family you could help?  A neighbor for whom you could bake cookies?  Is there someone to whom you could offer food, clothes, or toys?  Let’s not wait until next Christmas to show our children what it means to be generous.


30 Days of Prayer: Teach Them To Pray

Day 11:  Teach Them To Pray

Lord, teach these children to pray.  May they learn that they should not worry about anything but instead pray about everything.  May they tell You their needs and not forget to thank You for Your answers.  And may they experience Your peace which passes all understanding.   Matthew 6: 5-13; Philippians 4:6-7

                                                                   In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

I have a very beautiful memory that makes me smile every time I think of it.  When my 28-year-old daughter, Katie, started school she and I both were very nervous.  The first day I walked her to the classroom, helped her find her desk and put away her supplies, and then quickly walked toward the door to leave, knowing that neither she nor I would fare very well if I didn’t leave.  As I walked through the door, I looked back one last time and she was looking straight at me.  I mouthed, “It’s okay,” and she folded her little 5-year-old hands and mouthed, “Pray for me.”  I nodded yes and walked quickly away, trying to make it to the car before I cried.

Even today, I treasure that memory for two reasons.  First of all, at that young of an age, she knew to pray and secondly, she knew she could ask me to pray.  Those two nuggets of truth have not left her to this day.   I have made ALOT of mistakes in my years of parenting.  I think it is a gift when the Lord gives us a memory like that one.

I think the best way for our children to learn to pray, and to understand the importance of praying about everything, is to see and hear us pray about everything. The Bible says that Jesus taught His disciples to pray—so we should teach this to our children or grandchildren.  They learn best by watching us. Maybe this is intimidating to adults as well, but what better way to learn to pray aloud—we don’t have to be embarrassed in front of children!

Maybe today you are worried about something.  Pray about it.  Tell God your needs and don’t forget to thank Him for his answers.  He will answer.  And that truth will provide the peace that passes all understanding.  That is my prayer for you.  Peace.