Friday, 12 July 2013

Praying for our children...

My children are grown up and gone. I  miss them more than anything. Words cannot express the gaping hole left as children grow and leave, grow and leave - whether from babies to toddlers, from pre-school to big school, from.... every stage leaves a gap where Something Was.

Now the gap is physical. They are working far away. Too far.

So I felt somewhat masochistic when I read John Piper's blog on 'Seven Things to Pray for Your Children'. Now I have read it, I feel somewhat ashamed.
It was not about praying for good health, or a satisfying job, or a godly husband/wife.
All good things.
But no: praying effectively for our children includes praying for:

"1. That Jesus will call them and no one will hinder them from coming.
Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away. (Matthew 19:13–15)
2. That they will respond in faith to Jesus’s faithful, persistent call.
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
3. That they will experience sanctification through the transforming work of the Holy Spirit and will increasingly desire to fulfill the greatest commandments.
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)
4. That they will not be unequally yoked in intimate relationships, especially marriage.
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)
5. That their thoughts will be pure.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.(Philippians 4:8)
6. That their hearts will be stirred to give generously to the Lord’s work.
All the men and women, the people of Israel, whose heart moved them to bring anything for the work that the Lord had commanded by Moses to be done brought it as a freewill offering to the Lord. (Exodus 35:29)
7. That when the time is right, they will GO!
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)"
Wonderfully specific. And so I dare to pray these prayers also for myself, and for my 'spiritual children'. For those God has given me through friendship, through acquaintance, through colleague relationships.

God hears us when we pray.

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