Friday, February 1, 2013

How Parents Can Pray for Themselves

Hi friends! If it's cold where you are, I hope you are warm tonight! I wrote this for you a few hours ago but I wasn't home at the time and there was no Internet connection there.

Aren't you glad that we can always have a connection to God through Christ in prayer? The only thing that blocks us from getting the "wifi" signal so-to-speak is our own sin. We can confess and mean it, and we are connected once again with that checkmark by the signal!

Think of it! We can meet with the Creator of the Universe anywhere we are in prayer.

Just today I had a young friend who suddenly became hospitalized to have her baby one month early. I know others who love this young family and were praying throughout the day, as I did too, lifting her and her baby up to the Lord.

Later I ran into an aquaintance while running errands who shared with me that he had recently become engaged (he's 40s or 50s:-). I'm horrible at trying to do two things at once—I can barely walk and chew gum—but as he told me his good news, I silently threw up a prayer of joy to the Lord for His goodness.

Praying should be like breathing for Christians—our natural response to joys and trials!

I have no idea who wrote the list of prayers below for how parents can pray for themselves, but I can't tell you how many times I was confronted with  the very words I prayed for myself below.

Sometimes God later brings just a phrase to my head that came back to me by my reading the prayers back to the Lord in quiet time like, "willing for our family to be different," or "spoil my children with too few demands."

Our children are now 23, 21, 19, and 15 and I still keep this list in my 99¢ prayer folder with my Bible to make it easier for me to pray. I hope it will be a practical help for you as it has been for me.
  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 7:3-6)

That my words, looks, and actions will clearly reflect to my children that my mate* is loved, honored and cherished. (Proverbs 30:10-12; Ephesians 5:25,28)

    *If you are separated or divorced, honor that your former spouse is their parent and speak kindly and graciously of them. You might consider calling them your “former” spouse instead of “my ex” especially around your children’s ears, but good all the time. Doesn’t that sound more honoring in itself?

  3. That I will recognize individual limitations, respect individual differences and have realistic expectations for each child. (Colossians 3:21, Ephesians 6:24)

  4. That I will not 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. (Psalm 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. (Psalm 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 the joy of the Lord before my children. (Psalm 16:11)

    To know God and to point you children to Him is an awesome delight and privilege!

    Let's pray together right now!

    Oh, Lord may you have your way in our life! Thank you for your precious Word that shows us how to live. We know these prayers are in your will for us, and that you want us to know and do your will even more that we want to! Thank you for your Word! Lord, we know that the Christian life is not hard, it is impossible. We need You. We are faithless, but you are faithful! ALL OF OUR HOPE IS IN YOU! Amen

    Walk by Faith,

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