February 17, 2011

Praying for My Children

A little over a year ago, I was challenged to find a Scripture verse that I could pray over each of my children. The lady that gave me this challenge told me to look for verses that matched my children's strengths and weaknesses and to choose a different verse for each of my children. She also encouraged me to find one for my mister. She ended our discussion by telling me to take my time choosing - she took three years!!!

Well, here I am, a little over a year of searching, and I'm still searching. It has been a hard search, but a good one. One that has helped me grow and find a lot of verses that I did not remember or had not thought of in a long time. I haven't chosen a verse for everyone yet, but one passage I do love to use in prayer for my entire family and myself is Ephesians 3:16-19 (the italics are mine).

Verse 16: That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory (his riches are limitless, by the way), to be strenghtened with might by his Spirit in the inner man (with the Holy Spirit's power, any change can be made and spiritual growth will be seen by all);
Verse 17: That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith (I pray my children will continue to grow in their faith even after salvation so that Jesus will be "comfortable" in his home - their heart); that ye, being rooted and grounded in love (I pray they will be self-giving, always looking for ways to serve God and others).
Verse 18: May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

Verse 19: And to KNOW THE LOVE OF CHRIST (I pray that the more my children give of themselves, the more they will know the love of Christ and love Him more for all He has done for them), that ye might be filled (up) with all the fulness of God.
That last part - that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God - is the greatest part of the entire passage. I am quoting from John MacArthur's Study Bible when I say that my prayer for my children is that they "be so spiritually strong, so compelled by divine love, that one (my children) is totally dominated by the Lord with nothing left of self."
Wow! What a prayer for myself, too! I am so thankful for the search this wise lady put me on. It has helped me find many passages of Scripture to memorize and live out in my daily life. Maybe this would be a challenge you could take on for your family or close friends. There is no greater gift we can give our children than that of prayer. Verse 16 reminds us that it is the Holy Spirit who must do the work in our children's lives. We need to train, discipline, teach and example the Word of God to them, but ultimately, it is the Holy Spirit who will lead them to make godly choices that will last. What better way to help that come about than by praying Scripture over our children?

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