Big Prayers

5 Bible Verses to Pray for Your KidsBig Prayers lightstock_1859_small_steve_

If God has placed one of his children in your home or sphere of influence, he has done so for a purpose. They are an investment worth making.

As we’ve looked at the role of grace in our homes and relationships, I’ve pondered the ways I do OR don’t show grace to my family and others around me. More than anything, I’ve seen my personal need for God’s grace is ongoing.

Without a steady diet of God’s Word and prayer, we don’t stand a chance of loving and leading our families in grace-filled ways that point back to him. I can’t imagine that I’m the only one that struggles in prayer. Reality is that overstuffed schedules and life in general mean we usually pray very little.

The truth about prayer

We’re quick to pray in an emergency when sickness or hurts add up, but slow to simply spend time talking to God and enjoying his presence. Prayer is more than a list of needs or even a conversation. Prayer is an encounter. Through prayer we are invited to sit and enjoy the presence and glory of God. He meets us with his grace. Through Jesus, he welcomes us as his children.

I remember reading a quote by Tim Keller on prayer that really struck me. He wrote, “The only person who dares wake up a king at 3:00 AM for a glass of water is a child. We have that kind of access.” That must be why Paul wrote, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” Philippians 4:6.

Big prayers for our kids

When we pray for our kids we aren’t talking about our kids to someone who is impartial or incapable. No! We pray to the God who is infinitely wiser, more powerful, more committed, and more loving than we are.

Not only do we pray infrequently for our kids, but we pray too small for our kids. Too infrequent. Too small. We should pray BIG prayers, on a regular basis, for our kids.

As I grow, I’m seeing the importance of Scripture in my prayer life. Praying Scripture has a way of bringing my kid’s greatest needs into focus, but it also changes my own responses and priorities as I seek to guide them. They need grace as much as I do.

5 Bible verses to pray for your kids:
  1. That they would respond in faith to Jesus

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him, (John 3:16-17).

  1. That they would always grow in their devotion to Jesus

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen, (2 Peter 3:18).

  1. That their minds would be filled with good things

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such thing (Philippians 4:8).

  1. That they would never live in fear but always recognize God’s presence

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6).

  1. That God would someday provide a godly spouse for them

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14).

God has placed these young ones in our homes or in our spheres of influence. He is their greatest need. Let’s pray big prayers, every day, for our kids.

I can’t wait for this Sunday as we show the ways God’s grace guides a family. It will be a very special Sunday. Please make every effort to bring your entire family!

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20).

Deep Prayer – Small Groups

prayer requests_cbThe phrases “deep prayers” and “small groups” unfortunately rarely go together. It’s just not something you hear all that often. I spent several years working specifically with small groups; organizing, training, recruiting, and so forth. I love small groups. In a small group I’ve been a part of some great Bible studies, seen genuine community and served alongside friends. I can share some great stories. Regrettably, I don’t believe I’ve ever heard a single person speak at all about the dynamic prayer-life of their small group.

It’s just the way it happens. We finish a Bible study and the group leader asks for prayer requests. That’s what we’ve always done. Someone asks for prayers for a job concern. Someone else’s neighbor is dreadfully ill. Now don’t get me wrong, these are important. Scripture tells us to bring our cares, fears, and requests to God in prayer. That being said, when I read prayers in Scripture I am reminded prayer is more.

There isn’t anything easy about prayer. It’s something best learned through practice. Here are a couple thoughts that might help:

  • Be intentional. Deep prayer experiences simply will not happen accidentally. If we want our groups to grow in depth of prayer, we will have to lead differently. Rather, than simply ask for prayer requests, why not try something different?
  • Let your study guide the group’s prayer. Ask questions. What truths about God have been revealed? Praise him in prayer for these. Are there commands to be followed? Ask him for strength and opportunities to obey his Word. Are there sins that need confessed? Let the text provide the direction of the prayer.
  • Challenge each other. Let me give you an example: I can remember several times asking for prayers concerning my busy schedule. With compassion, my friends earnestly brought my request to God. Looking back, I can’t help but to wonder if a little inquisition might have been in order. What made my schedule so tight? Was I over-committing myself and my family? Perhaps a prayer for wisdom was more appropriate. In my case a little questioning might have added depth to the group, time for my family, and accuracy to our prayers.

These are just a few thoughts. Like I mentioned earlier, prayer isn’t necessarily easy. It’s something best learned through practice. And, we have to admit that old habits are difficult to break. With some intentionality our small groups can move into the deeper waters of prayer.