Sunday

Praying Eternity into Our Children

I pray every day for my children. My grandchildren, too. I suspect you do as well.

I pray for their health, safety, prosperity, and success. I ask God to fill their lives with good things and protect them from evil. When they travel, I ask God to carry them safely to and from their destination. When they struggle with health issues, I pray for healing and restoration. When they are tired, afraid, or discouraged, I petition the Lord to renew their strength, quiet their hearts, and restore their joy.

As they raise their children, I pray God will give them wisdom, patience, gentleness, and endurance. And patience. Yes, and patience. And did I mention patience?

More than anything else, though, I pray for one thing – the same thing the apostle Paul prayed for the church of the Thessalonians. This bold, fearless champion of the faith penned some of the sweetest words you’ll ever read from one person to another. Paul’s protective father heart shines through as he addresses his beloved Thessalonians.

Listen to how he describes his time with them:

“But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children. So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us” (1 Thess. 2:7-8).

Do you hear the love in his words? And how aptly he describes the parent heart that beats in our own chest. Not only have we given our children physical life and nurtured and cared for their bodies until they were able to care for themselves, we’ve also poured our spiritual lives into them.

Not just doing the minimum to raise their bodies to maturity, but emptying ourselves into their souls so that they might become willing receptacles for God’s gift of eternal life. We didn’t just preach the Gospel out of a sense of duty, we lived the Gospel, every day, in every way, hoping it would bear fruit in them.

“For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing?” Paul asks. What will matter more than anything else when we stand before Christ? “Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? For you are our glory and joy.”

“I don’t care how big the crowds have been at my speaking events,” Paul says. “It doesn’t matter how successful I’ve been in business, how much money I’ve made, or how well-thought of I’ve been in society, what would bring me the most joy is to stand beside you, my beloved children, in the presence of the Lord Jesus.”

Isn’t this our heart, too? More than anything else, we want to stand alongside our children in the presence of Jesus – none missing, united in Christ for all eternity. 

This is why Paul said, “For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people . . .” If it were possible, we’d willingly give our lives –not just our physical lives, but our eternal lives – for our children’s souls.

But we can’t, and so we water our prayers with tears and labor for their salvation. And when they are saved, we still do not rest until Christ is fully formed in them.

Father, guard our children from the dangers of the world, the flesh, and the devil. Don’t allow Satan to snatch the good seed of the Word from their lives. Help them discern between the shiny trinkets of the here and now and the gold and silver of eternity. Keep them from wasting their lives pursuing vain and empty success and instead inspire them to seek first your kingdom and your righteousness. Draw their hearts to you with cords of loving kindness so their every word, thought, and action brings you glory. Bless our family with a thousand generations who love you.



   





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4 comments:

  1. Oh yes, yes, yes!!!!! Praying, praying, praying. From one momma heart to another. Thank you. XXOO

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    1. And so we pray ... may god grant us our requests.

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  2. Praying for them without ceasing, as long as my heart beats.

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    1. Amen and Amen. Praying with you, Cindy.

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