All posts tagged prayer

Prayers to Grow in Parenting

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1. That I will be convicted of any personal hypocrisy lived out before my children, contradicting what I say by what I do, and when appropriate, admit my sin to my children (Matthew 7:3-5).

2. That my words, looks, and actions will clearly reflect to my children that my mate is loved, honored, and cherished (Proverbs 31:10-12; Ephesians 5:25, 28).

3. That I will recognize individual limitations, respect individual differences and have realistic expectations for each child (Colossians 3:21; Ephesians 6:4).

4. That I will never be too tired or angry or negligent to discipline my children wisely (Proverbs 29:17).

5. That I can be a peacemaker to diminish jealousy and irritations between my children and in so doing to encourage them to be peacemakers (Proverbs 17:14; Philippians 2:3; Matthew 5:9).

6. That I will not spoil my children with too many possessions nor too few demands and responsibilities (Psalms 37:16).

7. That I will be able to shield my children against premature association with: sexuality, sophistication in ideas and dress, and unnecessary knowledge of the world (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 17).

8. That I will resist the enticement of popularity for my children and be willing for our family to be different from the world’s standards (1 Samuel 16:7; Psalm 37).

9. That I will be generous in expressing appreciation and approval while holding back reminders about their past failures and mistakes (Psalms 78:38-39; Proverbs 25:11).

10. That I will know when to step in and take charge of a situation for my children and when to step back and let them learn for themselves (Proverbs 16:9).

11. That prayer will be my immediate response to family joys and crises alike (Ephesians 6:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18).

12. That I will daily remember my own need to be taught by God’s Word and filled with His Spirit so that I reflect teh joy of the Lord before my children (Psalm 16:11).

In my children’s future years of free choice, when they make willful or rebellious decisions, protect me from the taunts and accusations of Satan who wants to belittle and mock my efforts to be a Christian parent (Isaiah 50:7).

In Jesus Name,

Amen.

 

**I found a copy of this in my files, and I am not sure who to credit it to. Please let me know if you know where this came from.

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5 Reasons to Pray for Your Children

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Researcher, George Barna, conducted interviews with 10,000 men and women in their early twenties whose lives were transformed by faith. These young adults not only attended church, but they were maturing spiritually outside of the church as well, serving others, taking steps faith. Barna then interviewed their parents to complete the picture of how these young men and women were raised during their formative years. In his resulting book, Revolutionary Parenting, he reveals that the majority of these parents prayed daily for each one of their children.

Prayer is a key component of raising healthy, godly children.

I believe that there are several reasons for this.

1. Prayer is effective.

“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:16

Have you ever gone through a season of intense training of your children and thought, this just isn’t working? We can employ all of the human training we would like, but the only one who can impart lasting change is the Holy Spirit of God, and we must plead for him to work on behalf of our kids. Our children’s continued salvation is where there will be ongoing transformation (not just a one time act, but a continuing process), and we must put forth our energies in praying for this. Our training won’t be as effective for life change unless we couple it with prayer, because the Holy Spirit is the only one that can get to the heart. Prayer can do things that we cannot, because it calls upon an all powerful God. It can go places that you cannot reach. Even (and especially) as our children get older, we will have less and less control over the circumstances of their life, but when we pray we are in communion with the One who does have control. Isn’t it comforting to know that there is one that is much more wise and capable at work on behalf of our children? If we are praying, we don’t have to worry about not doing enough because the Lord is partnering with us, and can cover our parenting with grace.

“I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you stay joined to me, and I stay joined to you, then you will produce lots of fruit. But you cannot do anything without me.” John 15:5

2. Prayer brings peace.

A stressed out parent is not an effective parent. Anything done out of heightened emotion is on shaky ground, and clear decisions cannot be made. Worry, anxiety, and confusion are never more intense than during some of our parenting moments, and this is not from the Lord. Instead, we want to be parents that are clothed with strength and dignity as we lead our children.

“Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.” Philippians 4:6-8.

Starting out our day in prayer sets a tone of peace and calmness for the rest of the hours. Praying continually keeps that peace pervading everything we do.

3. Prayer gives wisdom.

So often as parents, we don’t know what to do, we feel confused, overwhelmed. We want to make good decisions on behalf of our children, but we aren’t quite sure what those are. Our first go-to should be the Lord. Go to the throne before you go to the phone, or email, or friend’s house. Ask him for wisdom, and then seek out the answer in his word.

“If any of you need wisdom, you should ask God, and it will be given to you. God is generous and won’t correct you for asking.” James 1:5

And, when you ask, can I encourage you to be quiet and listen for his instructions? He can reveal much about what is going on in the heart and mind of our children if we simply quiet ourselves before him.

“My soul, wait in silence for God only, for my hope is from him.” Psalm 62:5

4. Prayer gives perspective.

Each time we go to the Lord in prayer for our children, we are reminded of the fact that our children are only on loan to us from God. It is his will that we desire for their lives, not our own. It is the eternal things, not the temporal things that matter. This coming to him in prayer realigns priorities and expresses dependency upon God. Seeking him first settles the big things of the day, and all the others will fall into their rightful place.

“Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33

5. We are commanded to pray.

God is very clear about the fact that he wants us to pray for one another, and our children should be at the top of the list.

“Devote yourselves to prayer.” Colossians 4:2

“Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17

“Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you; but I will instruct you in the good and right way.” 1 Samuel 12:23

I don’t know what stage you are at in parenting, or what things you are facing today. But, I do know that we can approach a sovereign and all-powerful God to work on behalf of our families if we choose to submit to him in prayer. May your prayer life grow in depth, in breadth, in fervency, and in love as you serve your children in this powerful and unseen way.

A mama on her knees,

Here is a helpful prayer calendar to get you started: 31 Days of Prayer for Your Child

Here is the link to a recent talk I shared with a group of moms on this same subject (I begin speaking halfway through, but the whole thing is helpful): Grace Moments, The Power of Words

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How To Know If It’s God’s Voice

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The thought comes galavanting into your mind, seeking to take up residency there. Sometimes it is strong and persuasive, other times it is quiet and small. Sometimes it suggests outlandish things, while other times it seems quiet logical. Sometimes there are several thoughts at once, leading into confusion. Sometimes it is only a solitary word.

Our intruding thoughts can come from three different sources: God, ourself, and the enemy. How do we know which ones to heed? How do we make distinctions between the voices? How can we stop second guessing God’s voice for our own self-talk? How did I know that God was telling me to drink only water for the next few weeks as I stood there in the supermarket aisle?

To tell you the truth, I am still in the process of learning, but here is what I noted.

1. The instruction I heard was challenging. I was not seeking to give up my special drinks for any reason, this wouldn’t be something that I would choose for myself. In fact, it would take a small sacrifice on my part, a denying of myself which is the way of the Christian life. This would be something that I would need God’s help to do.

2. The instruction was clear. It was simple and to the point, void of confusion. Yes, I wasn’t sure of the why, but it was a strong word.

3. The instruction was personal. To many, drinking only water would not be a big deal. However, God personalized his requirement for my life, he obviously knows me all too well :).

4. The instruction did not contradict Scripture. If there was a hidden lie within the instruction, or if it asked me to do something in opposition to the written Word of God, it would obviously not be from him. There is freedom on this issue, and so I felt comfortable assuming it was God’s voice.

5. The instruction was repeated. When I wondered at his voice the first time, he was gracious to give me another clear word (during my time of prayer and Bible reading, which is another good indicator). Often, when a theme or request continues to surface, I believe that it is because God is trying to get my attention.

There are many other ways that we can verify if we have received a word from the Lord, but these are the ones in this instance that convinced me to obey. Besides this, if I was to err, I wanted to err on the side of obedience. It wouldn’t be wrong of me to drink only water if I had heard incorrectly, but it would be wrong of me to not obey, if what I heard was correct. Does that make sense?

In this case, I let the voice be the voice of God.

Since that word came, God has confirmed his word to me. He gives grace. He helps. He blesses. Sometimes we may never know the why of what he is asking, but therein lies the trust and faith that we are called to exercise as the people of God.

How do you recognize the voice of God in your life?

As an extra side note, when it comes to hearing God’s voice (especially on bigger issues), Priscilla Shirer has what she calls the “5 Ms of Correctly Hearing God” (Discerning the Voice of God, p. 33):

1. Look for the message of the Spirit. “Consciously turn your attention inward to see if what you are sensing carries the weight of God or if it is the unsure, unsnteady voice of your own conscience.”

2. Live in the mode of prayer. “Submit what you hear back to God in prayer.

3. Search out the model of Scripture. “Carefully consider the Scriptures. Does what you think you’re hearing in any way contradict the character of God or the Word of God?”

4. Submit to the ministry of Eli. “Seek the counsel of a wise, more mature believer who can discern God’s leading in his or her own life.”

5. Expect the mercy of confirmation. “Ask the Lord for confirmation.”

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