Train up a child the way he should go.
Parents have such a commanding responsibility in the way they raise their children. The current climate of inclusion and political correctness makes it difficult to teach what is godly and what is not. But ultimately, the responsibility of teaching belongs to the parents.
Train up a child in the way he should go,and when he is old he will not depart from it. (Prov 22:6)
The way he should go means that the child should understand his place in the kingdom. He needs to know that he will stand before God one day. (Thank you, Bill Johnson for that message.) He’s not going to learn that at school. He may not learn that at church or Sunday School. I didn’t when I was young.
Teach your children the reality of God. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, so the works that Jesus did, we can do too. Teach him to pray to move mountains. The faith of children is astounding.
If you became a believer after your children got old, it’s not too late to pray for them. A parent’s prayer is straight from the heart. Trust God and do not panic if your kids don’t know God. Praying for your kids is just like praying for anything else. You have to believe completely for what you ask for, then relax and trust. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. (Jam 5:16)
Give thanks and stay humble.
When do you think your prayers will be answered? What do you expect God to do for you? How will He do it? Can He do it? There is a fine line between expecting answers and just trusting. There is also a balance in expecting what we ask for and just looking at the One who gives.
It’s very easy to get caught up in the faith of receiving and lose track of the awesomeness of God. Keep your eyes on Him while you’re asking for what you need. It’s by His goodness, His kindness, His mercy that our prayers are answered. Be grateful. Stay humble before Him.
God loves us so much and we need to respond back to Him in love. If we are continually asking and not loving back, chances are our prayers won’t be answered. He’s looking for hearts of love to bless. Imagine your children always asking and never being thankful or grateful, or even acknowledging your presence. (Ok, that may be too close to home for some, but you get my point.)
God is good. He is wonderful and generous. He deserves our praise and gratitude. As much as you need prayers to be answered, spend more time loving Him. You’ll be amazed at how fast those prayers come home.
What do you want God to do?
What do you want God to do for you? I’ll stop and wait while you think about it. It’s a serious question that requires thought and a serious answer…. I’ll be honest and say that the things at the top of my list have been all for me. I want what will make me happy. I’m not completely selfish. It’s not far down the list that I want to bless other people in specific ways.
How we answer this question honestly has a lot to do with what God will actually do for us. I think the reason I haven’t seen some answered prayer is because my priorities were wrong. It’s taken a long time to realign them into the order that He agrees with. He won’t hesitate to bless what what is already on His heart.
You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. (Jam 4:3) I’ve been guilty of this and had to repent. I haven’t given up on what I was asking for, but I would rather have what God wants for me. I work to keep Him my priority. I know that when I want Him more than anything, everything else will fall into place.
What do you want God to do for you? Be honest. It matters.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Eph 6:12) This is serious stuff. The unseen world has far more power than the natural world, but we forget that. Then we wonder why we’ve been slammed with problems, financial stress, and sickness.
God promises to keep you completely safe.
The good news is that we have ALL authority in Christ. All we have to do is resist the devil and he has to leave. But the devil isn’t stupid. He knows how to twist truth. He knows how to insinuate himself into what is good and pervert it. He’s not always easy to recognize.
That’s why Jesus said to pray, deliver us from evil. We need God to watch out for us where we cannot. He’s got eyes and ears in places that we don’t. But God is waiting for you to ask Him for help.
The minute you turn to the Lord, He responds. Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler, and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge. (Psalms 91:3-4)
When you ask for protection, you literally pull those big wings down over you and you are snug as a bug in a rug. And very, very safe.
Lead us not into temptation.
Jesus gave us some very practical models to follow to keep us out of trouble. He said, Lead us not into temptation. (Mat 6:13) Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it! Keep me away from temptation and I won’t be lured into doing something I know I shouldn’t.
It’s like taking practical steps to stay healthy instead of trying to cure what is diseased. If we are guarded against attack, we won’t have to rebuild walls after they fall down. If you know you are weak in an area, then stay away from that area! Jesus said it was better to get rid of what you know you have problems with than hold onto it and go to hell.
That goes against our natural selfishness. But I don’t want to inconvenience myself! I don’t want to give up something that I know is probably bad for me. (Here’s where we start justifying to ourselves. We know every well it is bad for us.)
That attitude is a clear indication that we don’t have a true vision of God. If we really had the love of God radiating in our heart, we wouldn’t do anything that would grieve Him. True love will bless and not justify.
God is here to help us live righteously, because we can’t do it on our own. All we have to do is ask.
Can you think of people who you consider to be strong and powerful voices in the kingdom? Automatically, you think of one or two faces without working very hard. These are people you are affected by and respect. They need your help.
Pray for those who are leading in the kingdom.
Anyone who’s doing anything in the kingdom has a target on their back and is attracting attack from the enemy. The greater the ministry, the bigger the target, the bigger the attack. Is it any wonder that we see the big names fall after having amazing ministries? It’s because the enemy is working overtime to take them down.
Those people you just thought of need your prayer and support. They need to be surrounded by people who will lift them up and keep the enemy at bay. Pray protection over them. Pray for their energy and health. Pray for great wisdom and revelation. Bless them with an open heaven to receive everything that is theirs to receive.
Unless we have people helping us along the way, we are all subject to falling. We can do so much more as a connected family than if we are left to manage on our own. And don’t just pray once and feel done. Keep those people in regular prayer. They need you.
It’s a sad reality of humanity that we are inconsistent in our actions and desires. The reason we need each other is to help keep us on track. We forget that we have an enemy working against us and trying to pull us away all the time. We may start well, but without constant vigilance, we can stray from our goals without even being aware of it.
Your prayer time fills you with all what you need.
I notice that I’ve strayed off of my devotions to God when I start losing my patience. I startle myself because I want God to be honored in what I do, and losing my patience does not honor Him. When that happens, I know to backtrack and see where the trouble started. It usually comes from me being busy and cutting my prayer time down or missing it completely.
Oh how important that time with God is. I need His refreshing daily, like manna, or my spirit will grow cold. And it happens so fast! But all I have to do is repent humbly and ask His forgiveness. I feel His pleasure immediately, and I ask Him to release His goodness in me so I will bless and not hurt, like the prayer of Jabez.
Never miss your communion time with God. You’re not the only one who will notice if you don’t.