There’s nothing like finding the right tool to speed your work along or to make your work more effective. Whether it’s finding just the right knife for chopping up those vegetables for the salad, or employing the right software for tackling a technical challenge, the right tool can make all the difference. Sometimes that’s true when tackling a spiritual challenge as well, especially for something as important as remembering to faithfully pray for your kids.
Some years back Lauren and I came across a small tool that helped focus our times of prayer for our children. And now we are finding it useful in praying for our grandkids as well. Taken from “PRAY!” magazine, and now available at www.praymag.com, it’s “31 Biblical Virtues to Pray for Your Kids.” (It’s just one of a number of tools published by Navpress to encourage prayer that can be found at that website.) I love it’s solid grounding in Scripture and the simplicity of the reminder to pray one virtue for every day of the month for each of our kids.
The following is a sampling taken from the prayer guide with Scripture references provided, and the list can also easily be used as a reminder to pray for a neighborhood child, one in our AWANA ministry, or even adapted to pray for a spouse or a friend. Don’t rush through the list, but think about how your child’s need might be addressed by your prayer for their growth in any one of the virtues identified here.
1. Salvation. “Lord, let salvation spring up within my children, that they may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory” (Is. 45:8, 2 Tim.2:10).
2. Love for God’s Word. “May my children grow to find Your Word more precious than much pure gold and sweeter than honey from the comb” (Ps. 19:10).
3. Love. “Grant, Lord, that my children may learn to live a life of love, through the Spirit who dwells in them” (Gal. 5:25, Eph.5:2).
4. Purity. “Create in them a pure heart, O God, and let that purity of heart be shown in all their actions” (Ps. 51:10).
5. Generosity. “Grant that my children may be generous and willing to share, and so lay up treasure in a firm foundation for the coming age” (1 Tim. 6:18, 19).
6. Willingness and ability to work. “Teach my children, Lord to value work and to work at it with all their heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” (Col. 3:23).
7. Perseverance. “Lord, teach my children perseverance in all they do, and help them especially to run with perseverance the race marked out for them” (Heb. 12:1).
8. Gratitude. “Help my children to live lives that are always overflowing with thankfulness and always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 5:20, Col. 2:7).
9. Contentment. “Father, teach my children the secret of being content in any and every situation, through Him who gives them strength” (Phil. 4:12, 13).
10. A heart for missions. “Lord, please help my children to develop a desire to see Your glory declared among the nations, Your marvelous deeds among all peoples” (Ps. 96:3).
The prayer guide goes on to identify another 21 virtues to pray for our kids. It’s printed on a card, front and back, that easily fits into your Bible, can be kept in your car, or can be attached with a magnet to your refrigerator door. And I’ve ordered 50 copies to be made available in our sanctuary foyer.
May is the month when we observe a National Day of Prayer for the needs of our country, when we have a locally sponsored Monterey County Prayer Breakfast, and when we often give thanks on Mothers Day for the tremendous gift of a praying mother. Let me also encourage you to pick up this simple prayer tool for strengthening your commitment to stay constant in prayer for the up and coming generation of our children and grandchildren. The guide is a simple tool, but it helpfully directs our hearts to pray as we remember our kids throughout the day.
With you for our kids and the future of Christ’s Church, Pastor Dave