Three Brothers and a Prayer for our Children

Read through the Bible in 2 Years: Psalm 15, Genesis 9:18-10:32

"O LORD, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill? 
He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart; 
who does not slander with his tongue and does no evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend; 
in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but who honors those who fear the LORD; 
who swears to his own hurt and does not change; 
who does not put out his money at interest and does not take a bribe against the innocent. 
He who does these things shall never be moved." - Psalm 15:1-5 ESV
"And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father and told his two brothers outside. Then Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned backward, and they did not see their father’s nakedness." - Genesis 9:22-23 ESV

Earlier this week we read about two brothers: Cain and Abel. Today we read about three brothers: Shem, Ham, and Japheth, from whom every man and woman alive today are descended.

Three sons born of the same mom and dad. Three sons of righteous Noah. Three sons who saw the world destroyed in a worldwide flood. Three sons who survived in an ark built by their faithful father who heard from God and obeyed.

Yet, one son became a snitch who dishonored his dad while the other two sons chose humility and honor.

Why?

Why do some of our children walk blamelessly, doing right and speaking truth while others slander and do evil?

Why do some honor those who fear the Lord while others honor the vile and wicked?

I wish I had an answer but I don’t. What I do know, though, is that God is good and all-knowing and all-powerful. He has a plan and purpose through it all and He is working behind the scenes in His perfect timing and wisdom to accomplish good.

Like A.W. Tozer wrote in his classic book, Knowledge of the Holy, “All God’s acts are done in perfect wisdom, first for His own glory, and then for the highest good of the greatest number for the longest time. And all His acts are as pure as they are wise, and as good as they are wise and pure. Not only could His acts not be better done: a better way to do them could not be imagined.”

If you struggle with this, too, I suggest you read Romans 9 which addresses some of this issue.

Let’s pray together.

Heavenly Father,

We know that You alone are always good, always wise, and always in charge. We lay our questions and struggles at Your feet. We choose to trust You in things that we don’t understand.

We also choose to lay our children at Your feet, trusting You to work for their good. Please, Father, save our children from their own selfish pride and sinfulness. Open their eyes to see You and to see their need for salvation.

We pray that You will make us godly examples for our children. Keep us from drunkenness. Help us to be sober-minded and self-controlled. We want to be filled with Your Holy Spirit, walking by faith and living pure and holy lives.

Please protect our children from pride and jealousy and strife. Guide them to the truth that You bless the meek and humble. Remind them that love covers a multitude of sins.

In the Name of our Merciful and Wise Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.

Being Fruitful and Multiplying

Read through the Bible in 2 years: Psalm 14, Genesis 8:1-9:17

"The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." 
They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good.
The LORD looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God.
They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one."
- Psalm 14:1-3
"And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth." - Genesis 9:1

Despite God’s recognition that the “intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth,” God commanded Noah and his sons to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. In fact, God repeated this command a second time. (Genesis 8:21, 9:1, 7)

Note that this command was directed at the men in the family, not the women. Women can’t have babies on their own. We need willing husbands in order to bear children. Both husbands and wives should be willing vessels for the blessings that the Lord wants to send to us.

Sisters, let’s not be like fools who think, say, or live like there is no God. Rather, let us receive with open hands, homes, and wombs the children that the Lord desires for us. As Christians, we should recognize the incredible gift that every child is, whether by adoption or conception.

We must also be fruitful and multiply the kingdom of God by training up our children in the way they should go. As mothers, we can be powerful disciple makers, bringing our children to the throne of God morning, noon, and night. Don’t underestimate the incredible impact of a humble, praying mother.

As my years of child bearing have ended, and this new season of grandmothering has begun, I pray that I’ll continue to live a fruitful, multiplying life – encouraging and serving my children as parents, teaching my grandchildren the ways of the Lord, and making disciples in my everyday life.

How can you lead a fruitful, multiplying life? I’d love to hear your comments.

Let’s pray together.

Heavenly Father,

You are a good Father who loves to give good gifts to Your children. Thank you for the precious gift it is to be a mother.

I pray that you would bless each of my children with children in Your perfect timing.

For those who are single, I pray that they will use this time to glorify You with their minds and lives, making the most of these days.

For those who are married and anxiously praying for a child, I pray that You will help them to wait well. I ask You, Lord, to give them children – by conception or adoption – fill their homes with the next generation of disciples of Christ.

For those who are married and in the thick of motherhood, I pray they will learn to cast all their cares on You, fully trusting that You care for them. I pray that You would make them fruitful and multiply and to receive each gift that you have ordained for them. I pray their husbands would desire the gift of children and be faithful servant leaders.

For those empty nesters and grandmothers, I pray they will use their time well, living reverent lives, teaching and serving well the younger women. Make them prayer warriors and arm-lifters and godly examples for those who are following in their footsteps.

In the wonderful name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

Finding Favor and Success in the Sight of God and Man

Read through the Bible in 2 years: Proverbs 3:1-8; Genesis 6-7

"But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.... Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God." Genesis 6:8, 9b
"Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; 
Bind them around your neck; 
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."
Proverbs 3:3-6

Like Abel found favor with God because of his faith, so did Noah. Noah walked with God, therefore he lived a righteous life. Noah had reverent fear of the Lord, therefore he obeyed God and was saved. Like Hebrews 11:7 says, “By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.”

None of us can live a righteous life on our own. It is only in trusting the Lord that we are able to follow Him.

Think of how Noah must have felt to be told by God to build a boat in the middle of a desert. Think of how he must have faced ridicule. Peter refers to Noah as a “herald of righteousness.” (2 Peter 2:5). Imagine the animosity he must have faced, maybe even from his own family. Don’t forget what we just read about Cain and Abel – Cain hated Abel because Abel’s deeds were righteous (1 John 3:12).

As you read through Genesis, try to remember that these are real people living real lives among real communities not much unlike our own. Yet, we have two things they didn’t have — the Holy Spirit and God’s living, written word in our hands. I pray that the life of Noah will be an example for us of living a righteous life in the midst of a very unrighteous world.

Will you pray with me?

Heavenly Father,

I pray that we would bind steadfast love and faithfulness around our necks and write them on the tablet of our hearts. I pray that we would trust You, Lord, with all of our hearts, leaning not on our own understanding. Help us to acknowledge You in all our ways. Let us not be wise in our own eyes, but rather let us live in reverent fear of the living God, refusing to give way to cowardice and fear of man.

I pray that You will strengthen our husbands that they will walk by faith and not by sight all the days of their lives. Make my husband like Noah who walked with You, Lord, that he might be righteous and blameless. Give him strength to live for You and not for himself. Guard his heart from the fear of man.

I pray, also, for our children. Lord, our children are growing up in the midst of a very wicked generation. I pray that they will shine brightly for You, bringing You glory with their every word and deed. I pray that they will not forget what we have taught them – and that we would be faithful to teach them from their youngest age.

I pray that You would lengthen our days and the days of our children, that we might accomplish all the works that You have given us to do. Add years to our lives, not that we might spend them in wicked, vain pursuits, but that we might bring You more glory and honor and praise.

In the precious name of Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.

Learning from the Lives of Cain and Abel

Read through the Bible in 2 years: Genesis 4-5

We don’t really know exactly why God accepted Abel’s offering, but not Cain’s, but I think Hebrews 11:4 gives us some insight.

"By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks." - Hebrews 11:4 ESV

Oftentimes, we want to do what seems right to us, rather than doing what God has said. We think, “What’s wrong with eating the fruit of that tree? It looks fine to me.” Or we think, “Why can’t I give God this fruit, I am a farmer after all?”

Yet, faith trusts God. Faith trusts that what God has said is right. Faith believes that God is good and all-knowing and that all His ways are right.

And like Hebrews 11:6 (explaining more about Abel and other men and women of faith) says,

"Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek him." - Hebrews 11:6

Who are we seeking? Whose reward do we desire? Who are we trying to please? Are we pursuing our own pleasure and comfort or are we pursuing the Lord?

It’s like the words of Christ that we read in John – “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there will My servant be also. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.” – John 12:25-26 ESV

We must not expect that when you’re living for the Lord that the world will love you. In fact, Abel’s life is an example for us. Like John wrote in 1 John 3:12-13 ESV — “We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.”

Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is greater than I can bear." - Genesis 4:13 ESV

Were you taken aback when you read this? I was. When I first read this, I thought, “No, Cain, your punishment is much too light. You killed your brother. You deserve to be killed.” (In fact, Genesis 9:6 says just that.)

But as I’ve pondered it more, I see the foreshadowing of Christ bearing our sins, from the largest to the smallest. Cain deserved death for his sin, and though I’ve never murdered anyone physically, I deserve death for my sins, too. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23 ESV

Yet I couldn’t bear the punishment for my sins any more than Cain or anyone else could.

But Christ bore our punishment in our place, that we can be justly forgiven by a just judge.

"[Jesus] committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed." 1 Peter 2:22-24 ESV

Let’s pray.

Heavenly Father,

We come to You with hearts of thanksgiving for Your grace that You have lavished on us. We confess the hateful thoughts that we have had in our hearts toward men and women created in your image. We confess that we have often been jealous of others – The relationships they have, the talents they have, the possessions they have, even the faith they have. We confess we have often gone our own way rather than trusting Your character and Your Word.

We thank You for Jesus Christ the only perfect sin substitute, the Lamb of God who was slain for the sins of the world, including me.

We humbly ask You to forgive us and cleanse us through the blood of Christ that was shed for us.

Please, Heavenly Father, give us the strength and wisdom that we need to live like Christ – not repaying wrong with wrong, not repaying reviling with reviling, but overcoming evil with good. Help us to entrust ourselves to You, the only one who judges justly. We pray that our lights would shine brightly – even when the world is yelling at us to turn our lights out. May we shine brightly for You.

In the holy and merciful name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

The Gift of Being Created to be a Helper

Read through the Bible in 2 Years: Genesis 1-2

I like to read Genesis one and two together because I see Genesis chapter two as an expansion of the account of the creation of man in chapter 1. There’s so much in these two chapters that I read both of them together, two days in a row.

Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 

Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him.

So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.

Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." - Genesis 2:18-24 ESV

God saw that it was not good for Adam to be alone, so He wanted to give Adam a helper who was fit for him. Not just any helper would do. He didn’t just need the strength of an ox or the beauty of a peacock or the loyalty of a dog. No, Adam needed a suitable helper, designed especially for man, and so God gave him a woman.

Being a helper is a gift to both the man and the woman. The man needs the woman … And the woman has been given a very important job.

In God’s perfect timing, I’m writing this as I’m visiting my parents hundreds of miles away from my husband. I can assure you, my husband misses me. Yes, he misses me cooking and cleaning for him. Yes, he misses me making his morning coffee. Whether he misses them or not, he needs my little reminders and extra set of hands. But I think he especially misses my company, having to talk to and share life with.

And this is a great blessing! It is good to be needed and missed.

We need to be so careful to not allow our children to take our husband’s place. Children are made from the seed of their father, not from his rib … or yours. Children are created to leave their parents, but husbands and wives are created to become one flesh until they are parted by death.

Sisters, don’t leave your husband in the dust while you’re attending to your babies. Those babies are going to grow up and move away, but your husband will be by your side for the rest of his life. He needs you and you need to be needed. Make sure you keep your children and your husband in their rightful places in your hearts, minds, and lives.

I speak from personal experience – this is hard, but it can be done. Here are a few ideas I’ve learned (and am still learning) over my 28 years of marriage.

  • Schedule regular dates with your husband to keep those flames of friendship burning.
  • Look for something small that you can do to serve your husband every day – make him a cup of coffee or write him a little note or send him a text over lunch.
  • Express to your husband (and others) how grateful you are for him. Let them know how much they mean to you and how much you value them.
  • Keep a careful watch over your thought life. Complaining thoughts turn into complaining attitudes and complaining words. Nothing works more powerfully against your marriage than having a complaining Spirit. When those thoughts (true though they might be) come into your mind, grab hold of them and replace them with the truths of hope and grace found at the foot of the cross.
  • Make praying for your husband a priority. Ask God to bless him and guide him. Check out this video to a wonderful prayer for your husband – from his head to his feet.

Let’s pray now.

Heavenly Father,

Thank You so much for the gift that my husband is. Thank You for making me his helper. Thank You for making him such that he needed me. And thank You for making me fit for him.

Help me to recognize the blessing it is to be needed. I pray that I would make my husband a priority in my life. Help me to do him good and not harm all the days of his life. Help me to submit myself willingly and cheerfully to him, and to trust You, Lord, in the process.

Father, help me not to grow weary of doing good and to trust that in due season I will reap harvest if I do not lose heart.

I pray that You would bless my husband with every spiritual blessing according to the riches of Your glory in Christ Jesus. I pray that You would take care of him physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Give him the strength and wisdom that he needs to lead our family. And give him the humility that he needs to turn to You in his weakness.

In the good and gracious name of Jesus I pray.

Amen.

When Your Children are Walking in Truth

Read through the Bible in 2 Years: 2 John and 3 John

Once again John doesn’t sign his own name, but this time, he’s simply “the elder.” What a sweet title to give himself.

Once again John talks about TRUTH and LOVE – twin pillars on which the gospel rests. Jesus is the truth. The truth abides in the elect and will be with us forever (2 John 2). God’s grace, mercy, and peace will be with us in truth and love. (2 John 3).

"I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we were commanded by the Father." - 2 John 1:4 ESV
"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." - 3 John 1:4 ESV

John rejoiced greatly at the good news that the elder woman’s children were walking in the truth and that his own children were walking in the truth. What greater joy is there? Whether it’s the children I’ve raised in my own house, or children I’ve discipled in the faith, or grown women I’ve walked with and helped them grow, what JOY it is to watch them walk in truth!

Who are you discipling? Who are your children in the faith? Who are you watching grow and walk in truth?

Everyone should have someone who they can pour into. You don’t have to wait until you’re an elder like John. Learn a little, teach a little. The walk is always nicer when you have someone to share it with. You’ll be amazed at how much it blesses YOU, how much JOY you receive, when you’re teaching someone else. How can I help you?

Will you pray with me?

Heavenly Father,

We pray that You will use us to equip the body for the work of ministry. Help us to work together with arms linked as one to grow Your church. Help us to be disciple makers, scattering seeds where we go and helping those little seedlings grow into mighty trees of righteousness that bear much fruit.

We pray for those who are young in their faith and that those elders will come alongside them to encourage them and minister to them. We pray for those who are elders in the faith to not lose heart or quit the fight. Help them to finish the race well, pouring out the last drop of their lives in the service of their king.

We pray for the children that are still in our homes. Lord, strengthen us to strengthen them. Draw them into a living relationship with You that they will walk in truth and love to the glory of Your name.

In the Name of Jesus we pray,

Amen.

True Love

Read Through the Bible in 2 Years: 1 John 3:1 – 5:20

I love reading 1 John just after reading the book of John. I can imagine “the disciple whom Jesus loved” writing this letter – a letter focused on the inseparable themes of truth and love, a letter that is not addressed to any specific person or church and that John did not personally sign his name to. Sounds like John, right? For more on this read my post about John 21.

Did you notice that I reread 1 John 3? I have found that it’s easy for me to forget the context of what is written, so it’s helpful to read the previous chapter, so I can better understand what’s being said. Do you ever do that, too?

John wanted his readers to BELIEVE in Jesus, the Christ, the One who took on flesh and conquered death for us – the ones whom He loved.

John wanted his readers to have CONFIDENCE in God’s love toward us, His children, so that we would be unafraid for that kind of perfect love casts out all fear.

Thank about what you just read in the book of John. Think about all that John had experienced first hand. John had seen Jesus walk on water with his own eyes. John had been an eyewitness to Jesus healing the sick and feeding the 5,000 with a few fish and loaves of bread.

John had heard Jesus teach with his own ears. John heard Jesus teach on the importance of forgiveness and mercy and John had heard Jesus condemn the fake faith of the Pharisees. And John had heard Jesus say, “A new commandment I give to you that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” (John 13:35)

"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." - 1 John 4:7-11 ESV

Remember that John is a man with a nature like ours. He isn’t the God-man Jesus Christ. Yes, John had been given a special calling as an apostle. Yes, he had the unique gift of being inspired to write the scriptures. But John battled his flesh just like we do. Think about how hard it must have been for John to love impetuous Peter and former tax collector Matthew.

True love is sacrifice. True love is best expressed in loving the hard-to-love. So next time you’re struggling to love that irritating person at church or that aggravating coworker or disobedient child, remember the truth that God loved us while we were his enemies. This is love.

Let’s pray together,

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for Your love. Thank You for sending Your only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to live here on earth and to die in my place.

I pray that I will have complete confidence in Your love for me. You have made Your love evident, visible, manifest in sending Your own Son. Help me to love others with the love that You first showed to me.

In the Name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

A Prayer for God’s Dearly Loved Children

Read through the Bible in 2 years: 1 John 2:18 – 1 John 4:6

"I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth." - 1 John 2:21 ESV
"But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge.... But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him." - 1 John 2:20, 27 ESV
"See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are." 1 John 3:1a ESV
"He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God." John 1:11-12 ESV
"No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God." 1 John 3:9 ESV

Heavenly Father,

Please fill us and lead us by Your Holy Spirit, that we would know and live by the truth. Help us to discern truth from lies. Help us to turn to You when we need wisdom and knowledge, and to trust that You truly do abide in us.

You have made us Your children, by our faith in Your Son, Jesus Christ. We have been born anew and Your seed abides in us. Let us test our faith to see if we are truly in You. If we are not in You, please show that to us. But, Father, if we are Yours, then help us to be conformed into Your likeness. Let us not love merely in words or talk, but let us love in deed and truth.

Help us to live holy and godly lives in this present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. Keep us from bitterness, wrath, anger, malice, and envy. Give us clean hands and pure hearts to the Glory of Your Name.

In the matchless name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Of Light and Darkness, Love and Hate

Read through the Bible in 2 years: Psalm 12; Proverbs 2:16-22; 1 John 2:7-17

"Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes." - 1 John 2:9-11 ESV

What is love? What is hate? Love is an emotion but it’s also an action. Love is wanting GOOD for someone while HATE wants harm for them.

Reading Psalm 12 and Proverbs 2 along with this passage, I thought of how much lying and adultery are really signs of hate … while honesty and integrity are marks of love. One might say that they love someone while their lips are speaking lies. One might say that they love someone while leading someone astray. But true love desires for the other person’s health, holiness, and well-being.

"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world." - 1 John 2:15-16 ESV

At its very essence, the love of the world and the things of the world boil down to love of self, love of comfort, safety, and pleasure. My love of the world is nothing like God’s John 3:16 love – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” My love of the world looks a lot more like loving my own pleasure. The truth is that I love me some ME.

And when my eyes are full of loving me, there’s no room left to love my Heavenly Father or my neighbor. To truly love my Heavenly Father, I have to put His glory and His commands over my own fleeting pleasures. To truly love my neighbor, I have to put their well-being over my own, and that takes Holy Spirit power and strength! I can never do that in my own flesh.

Won’t you pray with me?

Heavenly Father,

We want Your glory and majesty to fill the earth. Make us Your vessels. We want to walk in the light as You are in the light. We want to love our neighbor as ourselves. We want to love others as Christ loved us.

But, Father, we can’t do it on our own.

Please forgive us for how far and how often we have gone astray. We have loved the world and the things in the world, instead of loving You and loving our neighbor. We have loved ourselves and hated our brothers.

We repent of our sins. We turn to You, knowing that You are our only hope in life and death. Thank You for the forgiveness and grace available to us through the blood of Christ. Thank You for Your power and guidance available to us through the Holy Spirit.

We need You every hour. We cry out to You and ask for Your help and we know that You hear us.

Thank You! Thank you! Thank you! By the perfect righteousness of Christ we come to You.

Amen

Prayer for a Child at College

Read through the Bible in 2 years: John 17

How amazing it is to hear Jesus pray to His Holy, Righteous Father. Surely if He needed to pray, so do I! To read Jesus praying for His disciples, praying for the Father to protect them, encourages me to pray for those that I disciple, especially my children.

"I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one." - John 17:15 ESV

Today my third-born child begins her second semester of college. I guess that’s why John 17:15 really jumped out at me. She has been homeschooled her whole life. Except for two years at a neighborhood church preschool and the occasional tutorial class, she has grown up under my watchcare. I have done my best to shelter her from the evil one, but I know that whether home or away, we all need the Lord to protect us from the schemes of the evil one.

Ultimately, the safest place any of us can be is in the Father’s will – whether that’s in your mama’s house or on the streets of Memphis, Tennessee or in a community college classroom.

Let’s pray together for our children.

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for the precious gift that it is to be a mother and the precious gift that this specific child is to me. Thank You for all the ways that I see Jesus in her. Thank You for her meek and gentle spirit which reminds me to be meek and gentle.

I pray that You will be glorified in her today. So many people never crack open a Bible or step foot in a church, so I pray that they will see You in her. Make her a city on a hill that points people to You. Make her an imitator of God as Your beloved child, walking in love as Christ loved her and gave Himself up for her. (Ephesians 5:1-2)

Protect her from the schemes and temptations of the evil one, so that Your light can shine brightly out of her like a million-watt lightbulb. Remind her of the Word that has been poured into her over the years she has spent in my home. Help her to hear your voice whispering – or shouting – in her head, “This is the way; walk in it.” Send Your Holy Spirit to be her counselor and guide, showing her which way to go and which way not to go. Send Your Holy Spirit to be her comforter and advocate, so that she will not give way to fear, but will remember, “I am a child of the Lord of heaven’s armies. What can man do to me?”

When she is tempted to hide her light under a bushel, convict her. Remind her that she belongs to You and that You are her ever-present help in time of need. Help her to call out to You and to trust You when she feels afraid or discouraged or lonesome. Help her to remember that You are always with her, and that You have promised to never leave her or forsake her.

In the good and righteous name of Jesus we pray,

Amen