[reprinted from March 16, 2011]
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, that your faith is proclaimed throughout the whole world. For God is my witness, whom I serve in my spirit in the Good News of his Son, how unceasingly I make mention of you always in my prayers,… Romans 1:8-9 (WEB)
Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (WEB)
Do you pray for your children? Your grandchildren? The child you saw at the store today that was disciplined by a tired, over-worked mom? The children on the bus in front of you? The children of Japan, Haiti, Libya, Ethiopia and the Sudan, Turkey and Afghanistan?
Most of those children I will never know by name. But God does. I may not know their specific, daily needs (even my children and grandchildren as they live so far away). But God does. The daily routines of many Third World children are beyond my imagination and comprehension. But God knows their going out and their coming in, when they lie down and when they are afraid.
My husband, Henry, has a truth that he shares when he teaches about prayer:
God answers our prayers better than we pray them.
God invites me in on His relationship with His children. When I see a bus on the road, I can speak a blessing:
Father, bless each one of the children on that bus. Let them embrace the fun of learning something new today. Bless them with wisdom and understanding. Bless them with friends that will encourage them to be a better person. Bless their families with a spirit of unity, compassion, and desire for Your presence in their lives.
When I watch CNN tell me about what is happening on the other side of the world, I can lift those children up out of the darkness of fear.
Father, I asked that You be a tangible presence in the lives of the children of _________. By whatever name they now recognize You, may You be revealed to them in Spirit and Truth. May they know that they are not alone, nor are they helpless. May the children of _________ see You in visions and dreams. I claim the promises that You said that children shall lead (Isaiah 11:6) and their importance in Your Kingdom (Matthew 18:1-3).
When a missionary friend contacts me, I can pray.
Jesus, bless Your messengers who carry Your Good News, not just to the adults, but to the children. Bless the children with joy as they learn about You. Bless them with Your peace and wrap them up in Your extravagant love.
I can pray any time, any where. I can pray aloud, in whispers, or in my spirit and heart where only You and I can hear. Prayer has no cost in my life as it is time with God multiplied more than I have words to describe the number! God takes my tiny hope for a child and converts it into His Hope
O my people, listen to my instructions.
Open your ears to what I am saying, for I will speak to you in a parable.
I will teach you hidden lessons from our pastâ€”
stories we have heard and known, stories our ancestors handed down to us.
We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation
about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders.
For he issued his laws to Jacob; he gave his instructions to Israel.
He commanded our ancestors to teach them to their children,
so the next generation might know themâ€” even the children not yet bornâ€”
and they in turn will teach their own children.
So each generation should set its hope anew on God,
not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands.
Then they will not be like their ancestorsâ€”
stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful, refusing to give their hearts to God. Â Psalm 78:1-8 (NLT)