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Beyond Sunday

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Archive for March 2013

Blessing Your Child

My children are 6 and 8 years old, and they are bundles of creative energy.  For a long time, we have had the same bed time routine (alone time, read a book and the Bible, vitamins, pray, sing, lights out.)  In fact you may have experienced this — my youngest is queen at milking every extra minute out of her bedtime.   Don’t get me wrong, my oldest does try to stretch it, but her approach is more direct.  However, Madison will ask any random question knowing that I always feel compelled to answer, and she will keep going with follow up questions until I cut her off.  The longest she has ever stretched me has been 35 minutes, not my best performance.

This has also been the time when both of them have asked the most questions about God about which we never stop until they are done.  As parents, we are the primary spiritual leaders in our children’s lives, and it is important for us to create an atmosphere in our homes where they feel comfortable coming to us with any question about anything at any time.  We need to be prepared both in season and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2).

One way that we create that space is by praying with them every night and trying to always end with a blessing.  The blessing can be done in many ways, but the more intentional you are about it, the more powerful it will be.  Since my children are already tucked in, we hold hands as we pray, “God, I pray that You would bless Rachel, that Rachel will know how crazy You are for her, that she will know Your voice when You are talking to her, and that when she hears You that she would listen and obey because she loves You, amen.”  I also try to say something about what we read that night; for example, if we read about the 10 lepers, I would add something about having a thankful heart for all that He has done for her.

You can also encourage your children to hold out their hands, palms up, as a symbolic posture of receiving—expecting to hear and receive from God. You can put your hands on your child’s head … or kneel and look him in the eye as you bless him. This time of blessing provides another great opportunity to integrate your use of the Bible into the worship experience, reinforcing to the children that these words come straight from the Word, God’s Word.

A blessing can be a prayer of commission, a portion of Scripture, encouragement and guidance. A blessing can be offered in order to ask God’s Spirit to overflow from the child’s life in such a way that blesses others, while it can also be prayed over a child for the purpose of declaring God’s protection, joy, or wisdom.

Article by Jeff Neeley

(Portions taken from Tru curriculum)

Stand in the gap and pray! (Cont.)

Continued from February 26, 2013

I’ve often used written prayers to give me ideas on what to pray for my children.  Stormie Omartian has some good books on praying for your children.  The chapters deal with different character traits and issues and it gives great insights on what and how to pray effective prayers.  I’ve prayed with a group of moms for years and we’ve used a prayer book to help us focus on an attribute to pray for our kids.  There is a so much power in praying with other parents who can support you and give you insights that you overlooked.  I would encourage you to find some parents from church or school to meet with weekly to lift your children before the Lord and stand as a strong, united front against the enemy.

There may come a time in your child’s life when they choose not to follow the Lord.  God has given everyone the free will to choose Him or not.  You can’t force your child to follow the Lord, but no one can stop you from praying for them to have their hearts turned toward the Lord and open to receiving true life from Him. By praying you can help them to hear from God so He can lead them to do what He wants.  Pray like the life of your child depends on it, but then also rest in knowing that the God who loves them most already has the victory.  Worry and fear only discourage you and waste precious time that would be more effectively spent in prayer.

I love the verse, “the prayer of a righteous man (or woman) is powerful and effective” (James 5:16) and I’ve found this to be true so many times in the lives of my kids.  I may not say the most elegant words, but God knows the intentions of my heart and delights in answering my prayers.   I can take heart that with God, the victory is certain and my prayers made a difference in the lives of my kids.

Article by Dawn Belknap

Resources:

  • The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian
  • Biblical Virtues to pray for your kids bookmark by Bob Hostetler

Praying for your kids

  1. Find one or more people to pray weekly with you for your children.
  2. Pray as a couple
  3. Turn off the radio in your car and use the time to connect to God in prayer
  4. Fast from something and use the time spent on that activity to pray.
  5. Use bedtime as a time to pray your desires for your children in their presence.