Saturday, August 22, 2020

Prayers for our Children: Triplets of Trust


As many children return to school in these challenging times, let us be vigilant to pray for their health, protection, and safety. It reminded me of overall principles of praying for our children, as summarized in this post from the archives.
Advice in God’s Word about parenting occurs in patterns of three, reflecting not only His Triune nature but the family trio consisting of mother, father, and child. Scripture tells us to love, discipline, and teach our children about His Word, His nature, and our faith.

Just as Jesus prayed for every child of God, we should pray for our children to be kept in the Name of God, to be kept from evil, and to be sanctified through His truth (John 17:11,15,17). If we follow this and other Biblical wisdom about parenting, we can anticipate many blessings.

We see many examples in Scripture of fathers praying for their children. Abraham prayed that God would not abandon Ishmael even though he was conceived in opposition to God’s will (Genesis 17:18). In answer to that prayer, God promised to bless Ishmael, to make him the father of twelve princes, and to make him a great nation (v. 20).

Even better, God promised to bless Abraham’s wife Sarah, to give Abraham a son by her, and to make her a mother of nations (v. 16). These were conditional promises, so to show his honoring the covenant with God, Abraham obeyed by circumcising himself, Ishmael, and every male in his household (v. 23-27)

King David prayed that God would spare the life of his first child (2 Samuel 12:16), who was deathly ill and who had been born from David’s sins of lust for Bathsheba, wife of Uriah; adultery with Bathsheba; and murder of Uriah (2 Samuel 11:2-17). He begged God in prayer so intense that he fasted, went in (locked himself in his prayer closet; Matthew 6:6), and prayed all night prostrate upon the earth (2 Samuel 12:16). Paradoxically, when the child died, David cleansed himself, worshipped God, and ate. His cleansing consisted of washing, anointing himself, and changing his clothing (2 Samuel 12:20).

Although God had not answered David’s prayer as he had hoped, David resigned himself to God’s will, saying, “Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” (2 Samuel 12:23).This is an excellent illustration of God knowing what we need far better than we do (Matthew 6:8), so that we can have faith that He will answer the prayer in the best possible way (Romans 8:28).

God allowed David the supernatural understanding that the child was in Heaven where he would one day be reunited with him, for all who turn from their sins and place their faith in God alone are born again  to everlasting life (John 3:3-8, 16).

God dealt with David’s sin by chastising him through the death of his son, yet He responded to David’s prayer by giving him three blessings: faith in eternal life in which he would be united with his son, restored marital relations with Bathsheba, and the birth of a second son, Solomon (2 Samuel 12:24).

David had been a man of war, which prevented him from being the one to complete God’s temple. However, his son Solomon would be suited for this task because God promised him rest from all his enemies and peace and quietness for Israel throughout his lifetime. David prayed for his son Solomon to be a wise ruler over Israel, to serve God, and to build His temple in accordance with God’s will, keeping His commandments, testimonies, and statutes (1 Chronicles 22:8,9,12; 29:19).

But as a good father should, David put his money where his mouth was. In addition to prayer, he supported Solomon’s building of the temple by giving him an hundred thousand talents of gold, and a thousand thousand talents of silver; and of brass and iron without weight, He also gave him an abundant supply of timber, stone and skilled workmen for the project (v. 14, 15).

King David supported God’s will for Solomon’s life from his abundant riches. But even if we have only meager financial resources, our children will appreciate, remember and be blessed by our sacrificing to help pay for their education, development of their talents, missions trips, or other opportunities in accordance with God’s specific plan for their lives.

The Bible tells us God’s general will for every child, which is to be saved (2 Peter 3:9) by trusting in Christ's death, burial and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) as the only Way (John 14:6) to Heaven; to love God and love one another (Matthew 22:36-40); to keep His commandments (John 14:15), to pray (1 Thessalonians 5:17), to study and share His Word (2 Timothy 4:2), to witness (Matthew 28:19-20), to be faithful to church (Hebrews 10:25), to tithe (Malachi 3:8-10), etc.

We also need to pray that God’s specific will be fulfilled in our child’s life, calling on His promise to think of them with thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give us His desired outcome. If we call on Him, we will pray to Him, and He will listen to us. When we search for Him with all our heart, we shall seek Him and find Him (Jeremiah 29:11-13). It’s never too early to start praying or God’s will for our children’s higher education, career, and even for their future spouse.

As we pray for our children, we can have faith that God knows, protects and loves them even more than we do, understanding their every thought, word and deed. He knows where they have been and where they will go and guides them with His hand where they are. He knew them before they were even conceived, designed their unique being, and guided their development during gestation. He created every child to be marvelous, fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:1-16).

May we pray earnestly for our children as Jesus prayed for us!  May they grow in God’s grace as Jesus did, physically, mentally and spiritually, increasing in wisdom, stature, and in favor with God and man (Luke 2:52),

© 2014 Laurie Collett
Reposted from the archives
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Frank E. Blasi said...

Dear Laurie,
As you may be aware, we lost our three daughters to adoption, which means that we don't know where they live nor know their adopted surname. But it does not mean that we are no longer responsible for their welfare, especially on their eternal destiny.
Despite going through some trials which have even given my faith a hard knock, we still manage to pray for them and entrust them into God's care.
"We will go to them but they cannot come back to us" - unless they choose to do so whilst still alive. Perhaps either one of them might show us her offspring...
Wishful thinking, perhaps.
But we have nothing more to lose by praying for them during their lifelong absence, as Paul wrote, that our minds are fixed on Him in Heaven rather than things of the Earth.
An encouraging blog.
May God bless you and Richard.

Laurie Collett said...

Dear Frank,
I agree wholeheartedly that you can and should continue to pray for your daughters' welfare and especially for their salvation, and I admire your faithfulness to do it. I also believe that you will be rewarded richly for being a prayer warrior on their behalf, perhaps in this life but without question in the next.
Thank you as always for sharing your experience and insights. May God bless you and Alex,

Brenda said...

Hi Laurie, yes I agree that we should pray for our children. We have one son who has been brought up knowing the Lord. His wife and child are also believers. Although I went astray in my teens, what my loving father taught me came back into my mind convicting me and convincing me to be baptised, and I received the Holy Spirit, and coming up from the water speaking a language I never learned. That Word definately has a power to make us children of God. Thank you for sharing, and God bless you and Richard.

Donald Fishgrab said...

Great post, Laurie.

During this pandemic, politicians have tried to play God, rather than trusting him to care for people, Unfortunately, we sometimes do the same thing in our prayers for our children, asking him to protect them from every possible negative situation instead of trusting him to give them strength and guidance to deal with it. When David's son died, he didn't get upset, as you pointed out, but trusted God with the outcome. When we are trusting God, it changes our prayers. We are no longer concerned with getting what we want, but with God getting his way.

Laurie Collett said...

Amen, Brenda! Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Your son is blessed to have Godly parents. Praise the Lord for His salvation, no matter at what time in life, for His timing is always perfect.
Thanks as always for your lovely comment. God bless you, your family, and ministry,

Laurie Collett said...

Hi Donald,
Even Jesus prayed for His Father's will to be done, rather than trusting in His own desires. We would do well to follow His example. Sometimes our prayers are most effective when we have come to the end of ourselves and don't even know what outcome to pray for, but wholly rely on the will of God.
Thanks as always for your insightful comment, and God bless,