Monday, March 08, 2010

Gleanings from the Pastor's Perspective: Praying for our Children

The Pastor’s Perspective
Vol. 32 Num. 35
“Praying for our Children”
First Published: October 12, 1999

One of the things that was emphasized at the recent PCA Women in the Church Conference, held in Atlanta, Georgia and attended by many of our ladies, was praying for the covenant children of the Church. This is, of course, something that should be a priority for us all. One of our ruling elders often challenges us with the words: “if we don’t pray for our children, who will?” Indeed.

I’ve adapted some of the prayer suggestions given in the program of the PCA Women’s Conference, and I offer them to you hear as an incentive to and aid for specific intercessory prayer on behalf of our children. Here are a few, I’ll continue this list in future issues of the First Epistle.
1. Lord, we earnestly pray that all the parents and members of our church, who vowed in the sacrament of Baptism to be covenant parents and to assist parents in the Christian nurture of our covenant children, will faithfully tell the next generation of the Lord, in accordance with your Word. “Listen, O my people, to my instruction; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, Which we have heard and known, And our fathers have told us. We will not conceal them from their children, But tell to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, And His strength and His wondrous works that He has done.” (Psalm 78:1-4)
2. We ask O Lord, that by your grace, the parents of this congregation will teach our children God’s Word as the “language of faith” from their earliest days. “You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” (Deuteronomy 6:7)
3. We ask you, our heavenly Father, to move us and all the parents of the congregation to teach our children to depend upon the Lord only, to desire him as their ultimate reward, and to show our children that we know they are a blessing from the Lord. “Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, To retire late, To eat the bread of painful labors; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's youth.
How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They will not be ashamed When they speak with their enemies in the gate.” (Psalm 127)
4. We ask you, our gracious covenant God, in accordance with your covenant promises, that you will remove the sinful hearts of our children and create in them a new heart. “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, . . . and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.” (Ephesians 2:1-3) “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10) “For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” (Acts 2:39)
5. Sovereign God, turn the minds of our children toward your Word and away from captivity to the ideals and philosophies of this world. (Psalm 119; Colossians 2)
6. Blessed Savior God, grant that our children will put on the full armor of God, make them mighty in prayer, and protect them by your kind providence. (Ephesians 6)
7. Triune God, we ask that as each of our children grow into adolescence and young adulthood they would know that their church family loves them with a real, persevering love. (Hebrews 12:5-11)
8. We pray, Almighty King, that all our sons and daughters will obey your call to fulfill your Kingdom purposes. (2 Timothy 1:1-14)
Your friend,
Ligon Duncan

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