As we approach the National Day of Prayer, my mind turns to 1 Timothy 2:1–2, which calls us to make intercessions for all people, for kings, and for all that are in authority. The object of these prayers is for a peaceable life in pursing godliness.
It is vital that we pray for our nation as a people and our leaders in particular. But the future of our nation rests in the hands of our children. Their choices to follow or reject the Lord will determine the direction of our nation.
Psalm 1 provides a gold mine for finding spiritual requests for our children. The psalmist describes the blessedness we desire for our children. So we can turn those descriptions into petitions.
Avoid Ungodly Counsel
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”
All around us, the ungodly are offering counsel to our children. In government schools and in the media, there are voices teaching, modeling, and suggesting ideas that are contrary to God. Some of these ideas are easy to spot, such as the atheists’ denial of God’s very existence. Some are more subtle but just as dangerous.
As parents, we have a tremendous opportunity to curate the influences in our homes. We should take the opportunity to teach our children to be discerning. But we need our Lord’s help. We need His help to see ungodly counsel ourselves. We need help in making it clear to our children. And most importantly, God must work a miracle in our children’s hearts. We’re all naturally bent toward evil. So when a child experiences distaste for ungodly advice, that’s a special work of God.
Father, would You keep my children’s feet away from the way of sinners? Would You give them understanding to see the counsel of ungodly influences? Would You shape their hearts to find these ideas distasteful?
Thank You for giving me an opportunity to shepherd my children through many influences that come into our home. Give me wisdom in keeping the thinking of scoffers out of our living room. Would you help in teaching my children to discern every imagination of man that is in disobedience to God?
Delight in God’s Law
“But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”
A blessed child not only turns away from evil but also has a heart that loves God’s Word. It brings so much joy that the child’s mind keeps turning to it. Of course, all Christians, believing children included, grow in their delight year after year.
In our homes, we can model meditation, teach our children to read their Bibles, and have family devotions. But Psalm 1:2 is speaking to the heart. Our children need the Lord to transform their hearts.
Father, your statues are right and rejoice the heart. Your words are sweeter than the sweetest dessert. Please draw out my children’s hearts toward Your Word. May my child find it so good and holy that that they trust it and value it. Cause it to grip their imagination so that their thoughts return to it again and again.
Prosper in God’s Way
“And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”
Children who meditate on God’s Word are like trees that sink their roots deep into reservoirs of water. They grow; they prosper—but not necessarily in material things. They prosper in producing spiritual fruit. When we think God’s thoughts all day long, those thoughts begin to counsel and govern us. They shape the way we view creation, our relationships, and our responsibilities. That counsel is what causes spiritual prospering. Wisdom is learning from God’s creation through the lens of God’s Word so we live well in God’s world.
As parents, we can urge our children to base their decision-making processes on God’s Word. As we explain our own thought processes in making decisions, we model viewing God’s Word as our counselor. When children ask us all of their why questions, we should respond in terms of biblical principles.
Father, Your commands are pure and they enlighten my eyes. They instruct in good paths. Would You cause my children to esteem all Your ways to be right? Would You help them to view Your words as so many counselors that will direct their steps? Would You cause each one to spiritually prosper as a tree, drawing up waters from a nearby river?
As we turn to pray for our nation and its leaders, let’s remember that our children are part of all the people we’re called to pray for. And their spiritual prosperity is integral to the future of our nation.