I am LOVING the new prayer guide I’ve been using: Setting Their Hope in God: Biblical Intercession for Your Children by Andrew Case. It makes prayer SO EASY and SO PURPOSEFUL! It is rich with Scripture…and encouraged my own heart as I praise the Sovereign Preserver of my family! This is a continuation of some EXCELLENT, thought-provoking and convicting excerpts from the preface of that book:
Do not consider only your children’s salvation but pray also for your children’s welfare because:
- You may then expect, as a result of your prayers, that the power of God will counteract in some measure the evil you have done them. Even the best of parents sometimes do their children harm. This may be as a result of an undue severity in discipline, partiality or injustice, but equally by misguided tenderness and lack of conscientiousness in exercising authority. Unceasing prayer will enable you to avoid these sins. Thoughtful love for them and an earnest desire for their real good would replace mere fondness, and you would be led to avoid the extremes of harshness and hurtful indulgence.
- There will be critical periods in their lives when, without your incessant prayers, they may be left to act most unwisely, if not disastrously. Pray for them in the momentous decisions concerning matters such as their future career and possible marriage. Do not put off praying over these because they might be in the distant future. Consider, you may not be alive when they face these decisions!!
- It will lead you to a better understanding of them. Fervent prayer, continuously offered for them, in which their special wants, as far as you know them, are spread before God, will be sure to lead to a greater watchfulness over them. It will lead to closer study of their character and to more exact understanding of their traits and wants. You should know what motives most easily influence them and what temptations are most likely to lead them into wrongdoing. You should be familiar with their sorrows and circumstances, knowing intimately each one’s character. If you are praying for them you will be compelled to note these things.
- It will increase your holy desires for them. If we cannot pray, even for strangers, without learning to love them, surely the more we commend our children to God, the stronger will our love for their souls become. This steady increase of holy desires in your heart, with reference to your children, will prove an unspeakable blessing both to them and to you.
- No other means will be so effectual in enabling you to overcome the difficulty you experience in talking with them on religious subjects. Out of the abundance of your heart your mouth will speak. We are often too reserved when it comes to speaking of spiritual matters with our children, despite the scriptural command (Deut 6:7). Nothing is so suited to remove this as earnest, persistent prayer, in which your child’s needs are spread before God and specific requests are offered on its behalf.
- You will thereby secure for them God’s aid in the efforts they may make to yield to you in obedience. God requires of children submission to the parent’s will and implicit obedience. Children need more than mere human assistance, even though that assistance may come from wise and affectionate parents. They can no more perform their duties as children without such help from God, than you, without such help, can perform your parental duties. You are solemnly bound to think of the dependence of your children on God’s help, and earnestly to pray that that help may be given them in their endeavors to honor an obey you.
- Other parents, seeing your example, may be led to imitate you. Others may be challenged by your diligence and my be inspired to be more zealous in their parental duties.
- They will often, should they continue in the world, have their times of need when the power of God alone can avail to help them. disappointments, sickness, losses, cares, in short, adversity in various forms, will be sure to overtake them sooner or later, and well will it be for them if you have anticipated these times of need by much prayer offered on their behalf. There will be times of temptation when they will be in fearful danger. The evil one will seek to lay snares for them and at such times earthly friends will be of no help….
Let us resolve that we will give ourselves more intently to the work of interceding for our children. Whether or not we pray for our offspring will decide what our future descendants are to be, and what kind of influence they will exert. Surely our fervent prayers for God’s blessing on our children would be offered without ceasing were we able to fully comprehend the far-reaching results of such prayers!
I hope this series has demonstrated the fact that prayer is as visionary as it gets. And I sincerely hope that many more children will be prayed for, more often, and more purposefully, because of these exhortations!