Praying the Scriptures for Your Childrenby Jodie Berndt
An inspiring guide for mothers on how to pray scripturally for their children, filled with encouraging true stories and handy resources to begin praying powerfully today.See more details below
An inspiring guide for mothers on how to pray scripturally for their children, filled with encouraging true stories and handy resources to begin praying powerfully today.
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- Zondervan Publishing
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- 1 MB
- Age Range:
- 18 Years
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Praying of the Scriptures for Your ChildrenDiscover How to Pray God's Will for Their Lives
By Jodie Berndt
ZondervanCopyright © 2001 Zondervan
All right reserved.
Chapter OnePraying for Your Child's Salvation
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." -Matthew 19:14
Julie grew up in a home where church attendance was sporadic and Jesus was never mentioned by name. It wasn't until high school that she found out who Christ really was. She became a Christian then, and, years later, when she married her high school sweetheart, she resolved that things would be different when they had their own family. They would introduce their kids to Jesus at an early age and bring them up to love and fear God. Secretly, though, Julie wondered whether she could do it. The Christian life had never been modeled for her as a child; how was she supposed to teach her children everything she had missed? What if she blew it? What if they didn't respond? What if they rejected the faith she held so dear?
Mollie had no such doubts. She and her husband strode confidently into parenthood, armed with principles gleaned from countless seminars, books, and personal devotions. They "cleansed" their home of anything that might be an obstacle to faith: out went secular books, movies, and music; in came Bible stories, family-oriented games and sports, and praise songs. Theirs was a close-knit, "model" Christian family in every way-until their oldest son met and fell in love with a Muslim girl in college. Where, Mollie wondered, had they gone wrong? Had they pushed their kids too hard? Would her son abandon his Christian convictions for this girl?
Barbara didn't become a Christian until four years after her divorce, at a time when her children were well into their teenage years. She had no illusions about her limitations; as a single mom it was all she could do to make ends meet, let alone offer her kids much in the way of emotional support or guidance. She assumed, as most of her friends did, that her kids would naturally experiment with things like sex, drugs, and alcohol-she just hoped that nobody would get pregnant. But when Barbara met Christ, she began to wonder, Was there hope for her kids? Or had the divorce, their financial struggles, and the total lack of any sort of Christian influence or instruction left them "too far gone" for God?
Julie, Mollie, and Barbara are not their real names, but these women are all friends of mine. Their questions are genuine. The good news for them (and for all of us) is that God is not bound by our human failings. No matter how many parenting mistakes we make, his grace is more than sufficient to cover them. The bad news is that no matter how many things we do right in terms of pointing our kids toward Christ, we cannot make them love the Lord. We cannot force them into faith or convince them that God's grace is real. As Jesus put it in John 6:44, "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him."
Does the fact that only God can draw people to himself mean that our job as mothers (or fathers) is simply to sit around and watch? Absolutely not. Experiencing God author Henry Blackaby says that seeing God at work is our invitation to adjust our lives and join him. As parents, we can "join God" in countless ways: We can expose our children to stories of God's faithfulness and protection; we can model the Christian life and introduce them to other believers; we can teach them, encourage them, sing to them, and love them. And most of all, we can pray for them.
The sooner we realize that it is not about what we do but about what God does, the sooner we will stop focusing on ourselves and our shortcomings, and begin focusing on God and his power. Likewise, the sooner we quit worrying about doing our part, the sooner we can start rejoicing in the fact that God is doing his part. And the sooner we recognize that God is at work, the sooner we can jump in and join him.
Prayer Principle ____________________________________
Salvation as the Starting Point
Before I started writing this book, I polled more than one hundred mothers to see what they wanted most for their children. My informal surveys, tucked into our family's Christmas cards and randomly distributed to friends and neighbors, listed everything from health and safety to academic success and strong family ties. I asked folks to check their top five desires or prayer requests, and I eventually used this feedback to shape the book's table of contents.
On the survey I also included an "other" category, where folks could comment on the topics or add their own thoughts. My friend Troy Lee shared this story of how God answered her prayers for her children:
Before each of my children was born I prayed that they would be first a Christian and second healthy. I prayed that as long as we would be allowed to enjoy our children on earth, it would be long enough for them to accept Christ as their Savior. In other words, please let them live to be saved-however old or however young.
This prayer has been answered for two of my children so far, but very significantly in Abner IV's life. You may know that he died at age seven and a half. Seven months prior to his unexpected death, Abner prayed with his father to accept Christ and was baptized the next week. God let him live long enough to be saved.
This is even more interesting as we found out exactly what Abner died of (it took nine weeks to determine). Endocardial fibroelastosis is very rare. We were told that Abner's case would be published in a medical journal because in the last forty years, only two other people in the world had ever lived past age one with this condition.
Excerpted from Praying of the Scriptures for Your Children by Jodie Berndt Copyright © 2001 by Zondervan. Excerpted by permission.
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