Monday, October 1, 2012

31 Day Prayer Challenge

I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had absolutely no other place to go. -- Abraham Lincoln

My days have gone a little something like this:  wake up entirely too early, cook, clean, teach,  work, bandage boo-boos, referee, translate for the 2 year old, play hide and seek, feed a baby, cook, clean, hug, teach, talk, read….work, work, work, work…cook, clean, play games, chauffer, kiss, hug, say a prayer and turn out the light, work, clean, work, collapse.  Rinse, then repeat.

Once the house is settled,  I celebrate the silence by tiptoeing into my own special corner with my Bible, sometimes a book, my journal, and a list of things I need to discuss with God ; )  Lately, this time in my corner has been spent requesting strength, wisdom, and grace for me and my family.  Before I collapse at the end of the night, I try to be faithful in praying for my husband and my kids, but sometimes it feels rehearsed.  Sometimes it feels like I’m always frustrated about these little treasures that I am so thankful to have.  And to be honest, sometimes I feel like I’ve said it all.   

I am definitely in a season of work.  It’s a season when I am glad I’ve hidden some truth in my heart because if I hadn’t, I would have it with me throughout my day.  It’s a season of standing on the truth even when I am too tired to stand.  But in this season, I desire to be an intentional parent.  We all want to provide great experiences for our children.  To teach them what they need to know.  To give them way to express themselves and have fun.  To have and be everything that God intended for them to have and be. 

I want to challenge myself and others to be purposeful prayers for our children.  Bob Hostetler has a great list of 31 Biblical virtues to pray for our children.  I’ve had this list haphazardly taped to our desk area, and have overlooked it time and time again.  Occasionally, I’d look at it and say a quick “Lord, please give them self-control!” prayer.  But I have never committed to taking a whole month to be intentional in what to pray for our little gifts. 

Would you like to join me?  October just happens to have 31 days and it just happens to be the first of the month!  What a great time to start!  I think it would be so powerful if we all tried to dedicate one month to purposefully pray for our children, small and big! I would love to share with you your burden for your children as well.  I hope to stay in this vein for the month.  Here’s the list:

31 Biblical Virtues to Pray for Your Children
1. Salvation—"Lord, let salvation spring up within my children, that they may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory." (Isa. 45:8; 2 Tim. 2:10)

2. Growth in Grace—"I pray that my children may grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." (2 Pet. 3:18)

3. Love—"Grant, Lord, that my children may learn to live a life of love, through the Spirit who dwells in them." (Gal. 5:25; Eph. 5:2)

4. Honesty and Integrity—"May integrity and honesty be their virtue
and their protection." (
Ps. 25:21)

5. Self-Control—"Father, help my children not to be like many others around them, but let them be alert and self-controlled in all they do."
1 Thess. 5:6)

6. Love for God's Word—"May my children grow to find Your Word more precious than much pure gold and sweeter than honey from the comb." (Ps. 19:10)

7. Justice—"God, help my children to love justice as You do and act justly in all they do." (Ps. 11:7; Mic. 6:8)

8. Mercy—"May my children always be merciful, just as their Father is merciful." (Luke 6:36)

9. Respect (for self, others, and authority)—"Father, grant that my children may show proper respect to everyone, as Your Word commands." (1 Pet. 2:17)

10. Biblical Self-Esteem—"Help my children develop a strong self-esteem that is rooted in the realization that they are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus." (Eph. 2:10)

11. Faithfulness—"Let love and faithfulness never leave my children, but bind these twin virtues around their necks and write them on the tablet of their hearts." (Prov. 3:3)

12. Courage—"May my children always be strong and courageous in their character and in their actions." (Deut. 31:6)

13. Purity—"Create in them a pure heart, O God, and let that purity of heart be shown in their actions." (Ps. 51:10)

14. Kindness—"Lord, may my children always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else." (1 Thes. 5:15)

15. Generosity—"Grant that my children may be generous and willing to share, and so lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age." (1 Tim. 6:18-19)

16. Peace-Loving—"Father, let my children make every effort to do what leads to peace." (Rom. 14:19)

17. Joy—"May my children be filled with the joy given by the Holy Spirit." (1 Thes. 1:6)

18. Perseverance—"Lord, teach my children perseverance in all they do, and help them especially to run with perseverance the race marked out for them." (Heb. 12:1)

19. Humility—"God, please cultivate in my children the ability to show true humility toward all." (Titus 3:2)

20. Compassion—"Lord, please clothe my children with the virtue of compassion." (Col. 3:12)

21. Responsibility—"Grant that my children may learn responsibility, for each one should carry his own load." (Gal. 6:5)

22. Contentment—"Father, teach my children the secret of being content in any and every situation, through Him who gives them strength." (Phil. 4:12-13)

23. Faith—"I pray that faith will find root and grow in my children's hearts, that by faith they may gain what has been promised to them." (Luke 17:5-6; Heb. 11:1-40)

24. A Servant's Heart—"God, please help my children develop servant's hearts, that they may serve wholeheartedly, as if they were serving the Lord, not men." (Eph. 6:7)

25. Hope—"May the God of hope grant that my children may overflow with hope and hopefulness by the power of the Holy Spirit." (Rom. 15:13)

26. Willingness and Ability to Work—"Teach my children, Lord, to value work and to work at it with all their heart, as working for the Lord and not for men." (Col. 3:23)

27. Passion for God—"Lord, please instill in my children a soul that 'followeth hard after thee,' one that clings passionately to You." (Ps. 63:8)

28. Self-Discipline—"Father, I pray that my children may acquire a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair." (Prov. 1:3)

29. Prayerfulness—"Grant, Lord, that my children's lives may be marked by prayerfulness, that they may learn to pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers." (1 Thess. 5:17)

30. Gratitude—"Help my children to live lives that are always overflowing with thankfulness and always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Eph. 5:20; Col. 2:7)

31. A Heart for Missions—"Lord, please help my children to develop a desire to see Your glory declared among the nations, Your marvelous deeds among the peoples." (Ps. 96:3)


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