Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Prayer for My Children

My son often wants me to help “get him started going to sleep” by lying down with him. I usually take the opportunity to lie next to him and pray for his, and my baby daughter’s, future. This is my prayer for Ethan and Sarah Beth.

Most importantly, I pray that they will listen and respond to God’s call for repentance and trust in Jesus Christ. My personal belief is that the most important thing that a parent can give to their children is a solid spiritual foundation that will eventually point them towards receiving Christ as their personal Savior. Without safeguarding their souls, all else, health, education, possessions, is ultimately meaningless.

I pray that God will bless their lives and protect them. I pray that they will be happy and healthy and that God will send His angels to protect and watch over them. Growing children face many dangers, both internal and external. I pray that they will be protected from their own curiosity and lack of judgment as well as from more human dangers such as child predators and drug pushers.

I also pray that God will continue to watch over them as they grow up. I pray that He guides their choice of friends. I have realized that friends provide both positive and negative influences. The negative influences are much harder to resist. I pray that Ethan and Sarah will choose friends that will positively impact their lives.

I pray that as they grow, they develop the wisdom to avoid trouble. In cases where they make the wrong choices, I pray that the Lord will discipline them and call them back before they go too far and make choices that cannot be corrected.

I pray that both Ethan and Sarah will intelligent and successful. I pray that they realize that success in life most often comes from hard work and preparation. I pray that their work in school leads them to a career that is stable and financially, as well as emotionally, rewarding.

I pray that they are wise enough to realize that they should work to live and not live to work. I pray that they find a job that they enjoy, but realize that work is simply a means to an end and not an end in itself. Life is meant to be enjoyed. It is important to find a balance between the responsibilities of your job and the responsibilities to those you love.

I also pray that their success is moderated. Unbridled success can breed arrogance and greed. Failure can be valuable because it teaches. As their grandfather recently said, learning to cope when things don’t go your way is one of life’s most important lessons.
I pray that they learn from their failures and are not discouraged by them. I pray that they do not take their accomplishments and possessions for granted.

I pray that they learn both compassion and discernment. I hope that they do not look down on people who have less than they do. I hope that they will use their talents and possession to help these people when possible. I hope that they also learn that some people take advantage of this compassion. I hope that they learn to tell the difference.

I pray that God will pick out future spouses for both Ethan and Sarah. I pray that even now He is preparing Ethan’s wife and Sarah’s husband for their future lives together. I pray that He will give them a match that is literally made in Heaven and they will be as happy with their families as I am with mine. I pray that that one day, not too soon, after they are happily married, that I’ll have grandchildren to spoil.

I pray that when they grow up, they will still live in a country with the same freedoms and opportunities that citizens of the United States have enjoyed in the past. I pray that they will have the freedom to worship God and Jesus openly and without fear. I pray that they will want to worship openly and without fear.

I pray that they will enjoy freedom and speech and thought. I pray that they will still be free to buy a gun if they choose, but will not feel that they need to have one for protection. I pray that they will have the freedom to spend their money and time as they see fit and not have to work long hours to pay onerous taxes.

I pray that my fellow countrymen will not trade away their freedoms for the illusive security offered by government bureaucrats. Many today seem more than willing to make such a bargain. If Ethan and Sarah Beth grow up in a country that is not free, we will have only ourselves to blame. Once surrendered, freedom is hard to regain. As a founding American once said, “Those who would trade freedom for security deserve neither.”

My further prayer is that Ethan and Sarah will grow up in a world at peace. Even though the lights of freedom seem to be winking out around the world, I hope that the United States and other defenders of freedom will stand strong. Standing strong today will hopefully prevent Ethan and Sarah’s generation from having to face the same evils that are in the world today.

I pray that God will give me the wisdom and the strength to be the best parent that I can be. I also offer up a prayer of thanks that God would entrust me with such wonderful children as well as a fantastic (and beautiful) wife.

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