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Monday, August 27, 2012

Praying for your Children

After the birth of each of my children, and until now, I have prayed for them.  I've prayed for their health, their futures, and about their spiritual lives.  The older they get - the more I pray. (Not that it should have been that way.  I should have been praying about them that much the whole time.)

Recently one my boys was talking to me about his future.  He isn't yet sure what direction he wants to go in life regarding a future career.  He doesn't seem to remember saying a few years ago that he was going to be a goat rancher and live next door to us forever! :) 

Jacob is 14, so he's got time, but I could tell that the questions about his future was bugging him a little bit.  I told him I would pray specifically that God would direct him in the way he should go.  I told him that before that time, I really hadn't prayed about his future career - only about his future wife.  That shocked him!  He thought it was odd that I had prayed for his future mate, but not his future career.  I explained to him that I had prayed about his future, but not necessarily about the career part......just that he remains a faithful Christian, is a good leader and role model for his family, and that he is a giving, serving follower of God/Jesus. That is my prayer for him and his three siblings.

I pray about the spouses of each of my children because whoever they decide to marry can, and will, greatly influence their Christian walk.  The thought that they would marry someone that would draw them away from God, Jesus, and His church makes me very sad.  Sad because I know that marriage isn't always easy and when the values of both the husband and wife are different - it is even more difficult.  It would also affect my future grandchildren and they're spiritual lives and ultimately, their salvation.

I pray that my children's future mates draws them closer to God and more in the footsteps of Jesus. I pray that the person they marry is a strong Christian, themselves, with a strong, unswerving faith in God and reliance upon Jesus.  I pray that they believe that the Bible is the ONLY source of what is true and right.  I pray that they love the Lord's church - just as my own children do.  I pray that worshipping God/Jesus regularly and daily is important to them - and that they will desire to bring their children up "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord".  

I pray that my children and their future spouses put their relationship with God and with Jesus above all other relationships, followed by their relationship with their spouse and then followed with their relationship with their children.  I pray that they will love each other and trust each other and mature in their relationship.  I pray that they grow old together and live a life that is an example of Christian service and love to all who know them.

As my children get older, I pray harder and more often about their futures.  They'll be leaving the "nest" very soon and to be honest, I don't like it!  However, I'm excited about their futures.  I'm excited to see how God will work in their lives - in their careers, in their marriages, in their parenthood, and in their homes.  I'm excited to see them serve others and serve God on their own - without encouragement from us.  I know this is what we've raised them to do.....or are in the process of raising them to do.

You know what? Perhaps there is someone who is praying for that same thing for their children......?  Yes, I know there are many, many who are praying for these same things for their children.  And perhaps God will work in the lives of all of those prayed for children and bring them together as we all know He can!

Some parts of this process are a bit scary because they're out of my control.  I LIKE to be in control!  But, I'm not. Thankfully, I know who IS in control, and He will help me and help my children and the parents of other children who are praying these same kinds of prayers!  HE holds their futures!  HE holds their hand! And with that I am thankful and confident that all will be okay.  I know who holds tomorrow - and my children do, too.

This song is one of my favorites.  It's directed more towards sorrow, but still makes the point that God is holding our hand and that He is in control.

I Know Who Holds Tomorrow
Lyrics and Composer: Ira Forest Stanphill

I don't know about tomorrow; 
I just live from day to day. 
I don't borrow from its sunshine 
For its skies may turn to grey. 
I don't worry o'er the future, 
For I know what Jesus said. 
And today I'll walk beside Him, 
For He knows what is ahead. 

Many things about tomorrow 
I don't seem to understand 
But I know who holds tomorrow 
And I know who holds my hand. 

Every step is getting brighter 
As the golden stairs I climb; 
Every burden's getting lighter, 
Every cloud is silver-lined. 
There the sun is always shining,
There no tear will dim the eye;
At the ending of the rainbow
Where the mountains touch the sky.

Many things about tomorrow
I don't seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand.

I don't know about tomorrow;
It may bring me poverty.
But the one who feeds the sparrow,
Is the one who stands by me.
And the path that is my portion
May be through the flame or flood;
But His presence goes before me
And I'm covered with His blood.

Many things about tomorrow
I don't seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand.
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