Monday, June 13, 2011

Practical Prayer Helps

Today’s post is part of a devotion that I presented at our church’s Mother-Daughter Tea on Saturday. 

Who is praying for your children?  Instead of owning this responsibility yourself, many rely on others, like a Sunday school teacher, Children’s Minister, or perhaps Great Grandma who has prayed for every family member by name since 1942.  Whether kids are small or grown, we moms have the responsibility and the honor of praying for them.  This is true even if for those who have never prayed for their children before.  

Scripture tells us to pray without ceasing.  This sounds very overwhelming, but if you pray a little more today than you did yesterday, you are on the right track. 

If you are just developing your prayer life, you may start by identifying a point of worry and asking the Lord to carry the burden for you.  For example:  “Father, in the name of Jesus, please protect Taylor as she drives today.”  Instead of worrying, I offered a simple prayer and laid my concern at His feet.

When we look at the examples of prayer in the Bible, they are hard hitting, specific, and most often, short.  We do not need to fill hours of time with flowery words to the Lord.  Simply speak from your heart – that is all He desires.  He not only knows our hearts, but He knows our needs before we ask.  Asking for exactly what we desire gives us the honor of watching to see how the Lord answers.  It is amazing to see His answers, but we have to pay attention!

When we pray His Word back to Him, we know that we are asking things that are His will.  This sounds tricky, but it is actually easier than thinking of what to say on our own.  It’s like a spiritual, permissible cheat sheet.  Simply insert the name of someone that you love right into a scripture passage.  For example, Psalm 85:7 says:  “Show us your unfailing love, O LORD, and grant us your salvation. (NASB)” Turning that into a prayer looks like this:   “Lord, I ask that you would show Joan your unfailing love, and grant Joan your salvation.”   

I just prayed for my Mom’s salvation without having to struggle with words.  I used God’s Words and prayed them right back to Him.

One last example, and this time I will pray generationally using what Jesus called the Greatest Commandment.  From Matthew 22: “Lord, I pray today that Chris and Taylor would love the Lord their God with all of their heart, mind, and soul and that they would love their neighbors as themselves.  I also ask this upon their future spouses, and upon their future children and grandchildren.  May each person who joins our family love you fully and glorify you by loving their neighbors as themselves.”

It is never too early to pray for the future family of our children.  Psalm 78:6 speaks of influencing future generations, even the children yet to be born.  I encourage you to begin today and watch how the Lord will touch your kids through your efforts.   

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