Monday, December 18, 2017

Praying for your Children

Day 1
“I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Mark 10:15 [NIV]

The gospel is simple: Jesus died to redeem lost people and he rose from the dead to save them. That message is so simple that even children can understand it. In fact, Jesus tells us that we must become like a child. God is a loving father who wants a relationship with his children. That relationship is possible through Jesus Christ. Think for a minute about a child in your life. It maybe your own child, or it might be a child you see at church or in your neighborhood. That child - and all children - need to know the saving love of Jesus Christ.

Praying the Scripture:
"Lord Jesus, I pray the message of the gospel would be heard and understood by ___________ today. I pray for clarity and understanding of the message and that ___________ come to know you. Thank you, Lord, for your offer of salvation and that everyone who follows you can rest in your forgiveness. I pray this in your precious name. Amen"
Day 2
“You hide them in the shelter of your presence, safe from those who conspire against them. You shelter them in your presence, far from accusing tongues.” —Psalm 31:20 NLT

I believe it is one of our sacred duties as adults, and especially as parents, to protect the children in our lives. They are weak, vulnerable, and impressionable and God has given us the responsibility of guarding them. Unfortunately, I have witnessed too many instances of when that duty to protect has been neglected or betrayed. The physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual damage that occurs when this happens can be catastrophic. It is no wonder that Jesus taught his disciples to pray, “Deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:13 NKJV). Let’s recommit ourselves to standing as guardians and protectors of children—and for the times we cannot physically be with them, let us commend them in prayer to the one who is their fortress and defender. Pray for his perfect protection of the children in your life!

Praying the Scripture:
“Father, I pray Psalm 31:20 now for ________. I ask that you would hide him/her in the shelter of your presence. God, please keep every child safe from those who would conspire against them. Help me to do my part in keeping them safe—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Give me the strength to be their guardian, defender, and shepherd—as I imitate you in those roles. I pray this in your son’s holy name. Amen.”

Day 3
“And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” —Philippians 4:19 NKJV

There is an abundant storehouse of riches found in Jesus Christ. And yet how often do we live like spiritual paupers because we don’t take advantage of those treasures? As James 4:2 says, we do not have because we do not ask. God is a loving father who supplies our needs and gives us good gifts when we ask for them. Let us pray that he would meet the needs—at every level—of the priceless children in our lives. Let’s also pray that we can play a part in his gracious provision to them—as earthly representatives of their heavenly father.
Praying the Scripture:
“Heavenly father, I pray Philippians 4:19 for ________. I pray that you would supply the need of him/her and for every child [physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual] according to your riches in Jesus. Lord, you own the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10 NKJV) and there is nothing too hard for you (Jeremiah 32:17 NKJV). “Everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened (Luke 11:10 NKJV), so we ask, seek, and knock on behalf of our young ones. Give them the things they need, and use me to be an agent for you. Supply my needs as I supply theirs, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Day 4: Wisdom
“Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasure." Proverbs 2:24 NLT

The Bible says that we should be pursuing wisdom like valuable treasure. How much more do the children in our lives, whose understanding is so limited, need this wisdom?
So many verses in the Proverbs tell us to not only seek wisdom, but to impart it to our children. Where does wisdom begin? With a fear of the Lord—a healthy reverence and awe of God.
As we follow him and receive more wisdom each day, let’s be sure to pass that wisdom onto the children in our lives. Take time to teach them. Show them by example. Be patient with them as they learn. And realize that you are representing
God as you do these things.

Praying the Scripture:
“Lord Jesus, I pray Proverbs 2:2–4

Right now for ________. I pray that he/she would tune
his/her ears to your wisdom. And as I pray for children to have understanding, I pray also for myself, that you would open my eyes to the desperation of so many children in the world who wonder if anyone loves them. 
As you open my eyes to the needs of children, I pray you wouldalso motivate me to act for these children.
Please give us the wisdom we need to make good choices and bring glory to you. In your good name I pray these things. Amen

Day 5
“Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others.” —1 Timothy 6:18 NLT
We serve a generous God. Not only has he made a way to save us from our sins, he has given us abundant life here on earth and the promise of eternity with him. Are we deserving of these things? Absolutely not. It's his love that gives us mercy and grace every day. When we are generous, we are imitating our heavenly father. How much more should we instill this virtue in the lives of those children we know and care about. Let’s teach our children to be liberal with their time, their money, their service, and their forgiveness.

Praying the Scripture:
“Lord, I pray 1 Timothy 6:18 for ________ today. I pray he/she would use their money to do good for the benefit of many people. Lord, more than being rich in possessions or wealth, I ask that you would make us rich in good works (Ephesians 2:10). I ask that you would make us generous to those in need, and always ready to share with others. I pray these things for myself as well, Lord, that ________ can mirror my actions, as my heart mirrors yours. Freely we have received; help us to freely give (Matthew 10:8), just as your son so freely gave his life as a ransom for us (Mark 10:45). It’s in his name I pray. Amen.”
Day 6
“Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. . . Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden . . .” —Hebrews 13:17 NIV

In a world that says, “It’s cool to be a rebel. Do your own thing. Swim upstream. Follow your heart. Fight the establishment. You are the captain of your own ship,” Jesus says, “If you love me, you will obey what I command” (John 14:15 NIV). Our pride keeps us from submitting to God and to those who are in authority over us. But contrary to our line of reasoning, the truth is that there is freedom in obedience. As we align our will to God’s and allow him to have his way, we find that there is a joy and a peace that is unexplainable. How do we teach this to the children in our lives? By modeling it. As they see us submit to God and to our leaders, they will undoubtedly see the blessing that comes from God’s order of doing things.

Praying the Scripture:
“Dear Jesus, I would like to pray Hebrews 13:17 right now for ________. I pray that he/she would obey leaders, including parents/grandparents/foster parents/stepparents, teachers, coaches, and anyone else you have placed over him/her. Help us to submit to authority so that our work would be a joy and not a burden. Help me to model obedience and to demonstrate my love for you by doing what you want me to do. In your name I pray. Amen.”