In our family life, the thing that matters most is what I do continually, not what I do once in a while. Our children pick up on what is really important to us by seeing what happens on a regular basis. In growing up I always knew that prayer was a big thing with my dad because I would see him get down on his knees to pray often. It might be when something important was about to happen. But most of the time if there was a connection between him praying and what was happening around us, I didn’t see it or know about it. I remember on many occasions walking up on him in the woods around our home, on his knees talking to God like he was visiting with an old friend.
In Job 1:1-5 the Bible tells us of a good man of faith. Job had seven sons and three daughters. His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one of them on his day and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. “When the days of feasting had completed their cycle, Job would send and consecrate them, rising up early in the morning and offering burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, ‘Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.’ Thus Job did continually.” (Verse 5)
Later in this chapter, at the instigation Satan all of Job’s ten children were killed on one day. Those who heard him praying must have been moved by his love and devotion to his children. In the end of the book when Job had remained faithful to God in the middle of all kinds of trials, God blesses him powerfully. He gives him back twice as much of all the cattle, sheep, etc. But there is one thing he doesn’t give him twice as many as he had to begin with. He gave him ten more children, not twenty. Some have said that the reason God didn’t give him twenty more children was that in eternity he still had the ten children that were killed on the earth and to double them would be to give ten more. In death our children don’t pass out of existance. They go to be with God. They change realms of existance but don’t go out of existance.
The primary thing I want us to notice is Job’s care and offerings for his children just in case they have been guilty of some sin. Notice God said he did this continually. Do you continually pray for your children? Do you pray for them when you know they are wrong in what they are doing but know they are still in the mind set of making excuses for their failings?
A few days ago one of our granddaughters was visiting one of the older couples at church and she had lunch with them. When the man prayed for the food, she was highly moved by his prayer for all these people they knew that he was praying about. She said he mentioned many different people and then said “And Lord please bless all those people we normally pray for.” He left the strong impression on her that in their normal course of things they prayed for a whole lot more people by name than they were doing today with her in their midst.
One of the greatest joys in listening is to hear the words of another that demonstrate the attitude they have in their heart. Our heart is never more obvious than when we are talking to God in prayer. What is your prayer life like when it comes to your children? What we pray most often for the children is an indication of what is most important in our thinking about them. For example, when most of my prayers are for their safety in all different situations it may mean that I fear for their safety or they live dangerously, at least in my eyes. I’m placing them carefully into the hands of God who can protect them all the time.
It is interesting how often today in hearing parents in their prayers indicate a great deal of fear about the future with that child. People often request others to pray for their children and their safety. What do you pray on a regular basis for with regard to your children? I’ve noticed in the Bible that when people pray about their children it isn’t about their health, wealth or safety in life.
It would be far better if we prayed for God to use our children as he sees fit. He may use them to help others in things that we would never even consider being a part of ourselves. But we can pray that the Lord would bring them into lands of opportunity often where they can learn to depend on God and tell others what God has done for them. We can learn to lean on God knowing what is best for you all the time.
You could pray that God would allow those you love to make a difference in the life of one other person. Often that other person will be someone in the family or a close friend. Your own child may take a stand for what is right and turn the planning for some event into something very different than where they had planned to go. You certainly could pray that the dd cause you to be a powerful influence in their lives and those of others that they are around.
You could pray for God to lead them in every day life and bring them into opportunities to serve others. We live in a time of pressures and exerting all our power to accomplish something. When will we be strong enough for God to use us in helping those who are hurting?
Think about all the things you do in a normal days work. How many of those times would you face real opportunities to speak up for God and His word? How can we get ourself focused to the opportunities to serve to the degree we are faithful to God and to those around us who need our help? Here is a list of things it would be good for us to all to strive toward.
1. Pray for prosperity and health the way John did for Gaius.
2. Pray for open doors to talk to someone else about the Lord.
3. Pray for the leaders of our country and others around us that we might ll live for peace and build up one aonther.
4. Pray for boldness to present the truths of God’s word.
5. Pray that you might be able to speak the word of God as you ought to speak it.
6. Pray for an open doors and that God will give you the strenth and courage to move into and reach someone else for him.
7. Pray for what your children can be in the father’s kingdom. With all their talents and encouragement from you not to get involved to the highest.
8. Pray that your eyes will be opened so you can see the harvest that is white and ready to be gathered. Remember you don’t sow the year around. Sowing usually comes in when the soul is ready but there are stll lots of things that need to be done for the benefit of the kingdom.
9. Pray for a kind, gentle heart that can speak to others about God and his will without turning them off and away from him.
A parent on his knees will stand tall in the eyes of their child and in the eyes of the world around them.