When the adorable brood of ducklings along our lakefront grew into waddling adults, I said to my 9 year old, “Oh no, how will we tell which one is the mama now?” “Oh Gran-D,” she replied. “That’s easy. She is the one who stands guard and eats last.”
Well, there you have it. Every mom can relate to that description!
The Apostle Paul’s first declaration in Colossians 1, “Do not cease to pray” (v. 9) is the most effective “stand guard” position we have as parents. Because we know that all Scripture is living, we also believe that praying Scripture is powerful and lives on as our children grow.
The Word of God is alive and powerful. Hebrews 4:12
But where do we start? How can we be effective? First, believe that earnest, focused prayer for your children is a valuable, important, non-negotiable use of your time; that your unseen efforts will produce genuine results in the grand narrative of your children’s lives.
Be consistent. Prayer is not like instant oatmeal; it’s not a “just add water” mix. The prayer you pray today for your child might not be answered until years later, but when you see the answer, you will smile when you remember you asked by faith, and you will rejoice in the God Who hears.
Are you ready for a grand adventure? If you take God at His word, then you are!
Let’s start this journey together:
- Pick your quiet spot. I have a friend who cleaned out a closet and committed to kneel as she prayed scriptures every day while her sons were in high school. She waited on the Lord as the brothers walked very different spiritual paths, but she rejoices to this day over the personal work of God in each of them. They have grown into amazing, godly husbands, fathers, and Bible teachers. No extra closet? Pick a spot under a tree, in the hall, at the kitchen table, or by your bed. There is no magic place!
- Schedule it on your calendar and make plans around that time, refusing to forfeit for any reason! If you need to make this time short, no worries. But some days you will want to linger, as the Lord meets you there in sweet fellowship.
- Keep a notebook nearby. For today you can use any note pad or paper, but pick up a journal or notebook especially for this journey and what will come after. Journaling asks and answers embolden us to keep trusting that the Lord really does want the best for our families. Often I pick up a well-worn journal and just sit and rejoice as I read. Some answers I never expected! And some came just as I hoped for.
TODAY: Start a page for your child, or each of your children. Quick – write 10 words that describe your child. In the quiet moments that follow, think deeply about the strengths, weaknesses, struggles, challenges, and temptations developing. Is he/she prone to negative thoughts or emotions? What positive emotions can you pray to be multiplied? Pray about each phrase or word you wrote.
LASTLY: Pray Proverbs 3:3-4 as you ask the Lord to give your children a spirit of kindness and to develop healthy relationships with peers and teachers.
“ Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation.”