Friday, June 26, 2015
Virtues to Pray for Your Children
1. Salvation — "Lord, let salvation spring up within my children, that they may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory." (Isa. 45:8; 2 Tim. 2:10)
2. Growth in Grace — "I pray that my children may grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." (2 Pet. 3:18)
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. Honesty and Integrity — "May integrity and honesty be their virtue and their protection." (Ps. 25:21)
5. Self-Control — "Father, help my children not to be like many others around them, but let them be alert and self-controlled in all they do."
(1 Thess. 5:6)
6. 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)
7. Justice — "God, help my children to love justice as You do and act justly in all they do." (Ps. 11:7; Mic. 6:8)
8. Mercy — "May my children always be merciful, just as their Father is merciful." (Luke 6:36)
9. Respect (for self, others, and authority) — "Father, grant that my children may show proper respect to everyone, as Your Word commands." (1 Pet. 2:17)
10. Biblical Self-Esteem — "Help my children develop a strong self-esteem that is rooted in the realization that they are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus." (Eph. 2:10)
11. Faithfulness — "Let love and faithfulness never leave my children, but bind these twin virtues around their necks and write them on the tablet of their hearts." (Prov. 3:3)
12. Courage — "May my children always be strong and courageous in their character and in their actions." (Deut. 31:6)
13. Purity — "Create in them a pure heart, O God, and let that purity of heart be shown in their actions." (Ps. 51:10)
14. Kindness — "Lord, may my children always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else." (1 Thess. 5:15)
15. Generosity — "Grant that my children may be generous and willing to share, and so lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age." (1 Tim. 6:18-19)
16. Peace-Loving — "Father, let my children make every effort to do what leads to peace." (Rom. 14:19)
17. Joy — "May my children be filled with the joy given by the Holy Spirit." (1 Thes. 1:6)
18. 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)
19. Humility — "God, please cultivate in my children the ability to show true humility toward all." (Titus 3:2)
20. Compassion — "Lord, please clothe my children with the virtue of compassion." (Col. 3:12)
21. Responsibility — "Grant that my children may learn responsibility, for each one should carry his own load." (Gal. 6:5)
22. 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)
23. Faith — "I pray that faith will find root and grow in my children's hearts, that by faith they may gain what has been promised to them." (Luke 17:5-6; Heb. 11:1-40)
24. A Servant's Heart — "God, please help my children develop servant's hearts, that they may serve wholeheartedly, as if they were serving the Lord, not men." (Eph. 6:7)
25. Hope — "May the God of hope grant that my children may overflow with hope and hopefulness by the power of the Holy Spirit." (Rom. 15:13)
26. 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 and not for men." (Col. 3:23)
27. Passion for God — "Lord, please instill in my children a soul that 'followeth hard after thee,' one that clings passionately to You." (Ps. 63:8)
28. Self-Discipline — "Father, I pray that my children may acquire a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair." (Prov. 1:3)
29. Prayerfulness — "Grant, Lord, that my children's lives may be marked by prayerfulness, that they may learn to pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers." (1 Thess. 5:17)
30. 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)
31. 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 the peoples." (Ps. 96:3)
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Teach Your Children to Pray
When it comes to teaching children about prayer, I get excited, because if they can grasp this simple truth early enough in life, they will most likely grow up enjoying a fulfilling relationship with God and a satisfying prayer life. Think about it, most kids will talk openly and honestly about almost anything. This is how we can teach them to pray -- openly, honestly, about anything that's on their mind.
As a mother and grandmother, I think kids just need to understand the simplicity of prayer. It's asking God for what we need and believing He will do the best thing for us. It's talking to Him about people we care about, asking Him to help them. Prayer is asking God how to handle a problem we have and doing what He puts in our heart to do. They need to know they can tell God anything at all because He loves them no matter what. They need to realize they can talk to God like they would talk to their very best friend.
So much of the time, kids are taught the way to pray and not simply to do it. They may learn to kneel, to bow their heads, or fold their hands. They might learn certain words to say or to recite a special Bible verse. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with any of that. But, while I believe it is very important to teach our children to pray, I think maybe we need to toss out the "rule book" and teach them to do what they do naturally and talk to God.
Teach them they can kneel or stand to pray. They can say loud or quiet prayers, or they can say long or short prayers. They learn that they can pray any way, anywhere, anytime.
I believe this is so important for children to understand. They can talk to God any way -- just be themselves with God. They can talk to Him anywhere -- at church as well as home or even on the playground. And they can talk to God anytime -- because He loves them and He is never ever too busy for them.
And you know something that's really amazing? The way we teach our kids to pray is exactly the same way we can pray! In Mark 10:14 (NIV), Jesus told His disciples, "Let the little children come to me ... for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."
You might be wondering, such as who? Well, I believe adults can learn a lot from some of the characteristics of children when it comes to prayer. Children have strong faith; they trust easily -- especially their parents. We can trust our heavenly Father like that. Children are transparent -- they just "keep it real." In the same way, we can talk to God without all the "thees" and "thous." And children are resilient -- they will fight, forgive and play again tomorrow. Our "fight of faith" may be a little more complicated, but we can make it with God's help.
The main thing we need to understand is (and don't underestimate a child's ability to grasp this), it's not the length or the eloquence or the posture of our prayer that matters to God. It's the sincerity of our heart. He doesn't expect us all to pray the same way -- He just wants to communicate and fellowship with us.
So, throw out the rule book and simply teach them to talk to God -- any way, anywhere, anytime about anything.