Thursday, March 31, 2011

Praying for the salvation of our children

How often do we truly pray for our children?  Everyday, once a week, or only when their sick or in a crisis.
It really bothers me that two of my three children aren't actively involved in church right now.  And all three of my step-children aren't in church.   And it makes me  wonder  how I can pray more effectively for them. 
Then last night in Bible Study our pastor asked "when was the last time we weeped for the lost?" 
An important part of our job is to keep the details of our child's life covered in prayer.  In doing this we learn to identify every concern, fear, and worry. 

"The effective and fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much."  James 5:16

The battle of our children's lives is won on our knees.  When we don't pray it's like sitting on the sidelines watching our children in a war zone getting shot at every angle.  When we pray, we're in the battle alongside them.
Satan can do alot of damage if we don't teach them God's way and God's word and help them to respect God's laws.

"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he won't depart from it."  Proverbs 22:6

I feel alot of times that I have failed my children in the way I raised them.  I didn't always attend church the way I should when Megan was young, up until Michael was born.  Then after the divorce I got away from the church again for awhile.  And I know I have definitely not prayed for them as much as I could.  We should start praying for them before they are born and continue to pray for them. 
The peer pressures, and temptations that they face today are mind boggling.   And they seem to begin at a younger and younger age.
I can't remember my children ever giving me a hard time about not wanting to attend church.   But Brianna is at the rebellious stage of everything right now.   They're only here every other weekend if that so it's hard to actually force her to go.  They live with their Mom and she doesn't attend church so it makes it harder for us.  But what do you do when they're 13 and refuse to get dressed.  Scott took her cell phone, and we password protected the computer while we were at church.  But her Mom pays the cell phone bill so we can't keep it from her except for when she's here with us.
I got so upset with her the last time she was here, I told her if she dies a sinner she will spend eternity in hell.  And all the times we have begged you to go to church will come back to your memory.  All the times you sat in church and tried to sleep you will be reminded of all the chances you had and didn't take them.
Possible the hardest part of praying for our children is waiting for our prayers to be answerd.  Sometimes the answers come quickly, but many times they do not.  When they don't we can become discouraged, or even angry at God.  Everything seems hopeless, and we want to give up.  Sometimes, in spite of all we've done for them and all our prayers for them, our children make poor choices and then reap the consequesnces.  Those times are hard for a parent to watch, no matter how old the child.  Instead of giving up, we have to be even more committed to prayer. 
We have to remember too, that our fight is not with our child.  It's with the devil.  He is out to steal, kill, and destroy.   He is your enemmy, not your child.

I realize that parenting a child in the way you would want me to is beyond my human abilities.  I need you to help me.  I need your strength and patience, along with a generous portion of your love flowing thorugh me.  Teach me how to love the way you love.  Help me to walk in righteousness and integrity before you.  Teach me Your ways, enable me to obey your commandments and do only what is pleasing in Your sight.  May the beauty of Your Spirit be so evident in me that I will be a Godly role model.  Give me the communication, teaching, and nurturing skills that I must have.   Help me to be the parent you want me to be and teach me how to pray and truly intercede for the life of my children.  In Jesus name I ask that you will increase my faith to believe for all the things You've put on my heart to pray for concerning my children.

Excerpts from The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian