“THE POWER OF PRAYING PARENTS”
1 Thess. 5:17
CWBC – 7/29/18
INTRO – How many of you struggle w/ scripture memory? Well, here is one you can memorize today: 1 Thessalonians 5:17 – “Pray without ceasing.”
If there is any verse that characterizes a parent’s prayer life in regards to their children, it ought to be this one. Many of you can probably testify that this pretty much sums up the way you pray for your kids, or at least it feels like it you’re praying w/out ceasing!
When God gives you a son or a daughter, He gives you the awesome responsibility & assignment to bring that child up in the “nurture & admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4).
I love this prayer that Ann Voscamp wrote entitled, “A Prayer for Sons”:
Lord, let there still be a few good men.
Sure, in the end, there’s a small chance we’d like no rings through nostrils or studs through tongues or ivory plugs through earlobes, but the only mattering part is that he’s pierced by Your love, marked by grace, run through with mercy and one untiring sense of humor. A world tilted as wild as this one needs a little bit more of that.
May he always know True North.
And the way to the laundry basket and the stove and wide open big sky.
Please, Lord, please — only a minimal number of broken bones and emergency rooms?
But always a heart bit tender and broken so Your love and light can leak out. May the good lines in the books and the movies always make him liquid a bit, the way poetry can water the hard and forgotten places.
When there are guys trying to score, may he remember that real men win by going last and putting others first.
May he be one of the real men who are dead to all ladders, who always go lower, to the least and the lonely and the lost. Everyday.
May he love babies toes and old ladies and loud laughing and unlikely underdogs and Jesus.
Make him one of the Real Men braving the Truth — Because if Christ is The Truth — then where there is Truth, there is Christ, and why ever be afraid of the Truth?
Make him one of those Real Men who knows how to simply say sorry, how to serve without applause, and how to give grace — because Grace isn’t some soft, ethereal notion. Grace is a verb, it’s a noun, it’s a thing, it’s concrete, it’s like air. Just try living without it.
Make him one of the Real Men fighting injustice — because he knows the peace of Christ.
Make him one of the Real Men taking peer pressure – because it only makes him stronger in Christ.
Make him one of the Real Man taking responsibility for his body. Responsible men — are response-able. Make this his job. A woman has her’s. Have him focus on his. Real Men don’t focus responsibility on the women staying “pure” because none of us are pure but focus on the men not pressuring — because no one tries to crush a diamond.
Let Christ captivate him and not the glossy magazine covers of the Walmart checkout. Because Real Men don’t objectify alluring women. Real Men edify all women.
Make him one of the few men saturated by the Book, who doesn’t care whether that’s cool or not, because the absolute bottom line is: Unless a man looks to Jesus, a man doesn’t know how to treat a woman.
May he never stop looking to Jesus.
May he feel what he feels, may he wear his heart be on his sleeve, may his life plant a million seeds of happiness before he’s planted.
And may his face always be willing to face the wind, may his knees always be willing to bend, and may every one of his steep inclines, incline him more toward You.
This world needs to more than a few good men to tilt and lean a lot more wildly like that.
In the name of the Son who will never leave our sons…
EXPLANATION: We may not be a talented writer like Ann Voscamp, but we must be a person of prayer, & if you have kids, a parent of prayer. So what does it mean to “pray without ceasing?” If we are commanded to do this, how do we do it?
Obviously, does not mean to be in a constant prayer posture of head bowed, eyes closed, hands clasped.
The command to “pray without ceasing” shouldn’t intimidate us – it should motivate us. It should motivate us to deepen our dependence on God in every area of our lives, specifically in our family’s life as we conclude this series on “Fighting for Your Family.”
Praying without ceasing means that all throughout our day – EVERY DAY – our hearts are to be in tune w/ the Spirit of God at work in our lives, so that when we being to entertain thoughts of anger, bitterness, lust, worry, anxiety, pride, or anything else that does not honor God, we will quickly turn to the Lord in prayer. It means that we will live our lives w/ a God-consciousness & God- awareness that He is actively involved in every area of our lives at all times. It means that we will walk w/ the Lord so closely that we will know when He prompts us to pray for someone when He brings their name to our minds. Praying without ceasing is the normal practice of prayer in the life of a Spirit-filled Christ-follower. And if you are a parent, it certainly should be your normal practice of prayer for your children.
“If you learn to pray without ceasing, you will find the sweetest, most intimate communion that a human can experience. You will be surprised at its refreshment and joy. Amazed at its consistency. Stunned that it is so personal. Awed by how perfectly God knows what you need.” (Bill Elliff)
APPLICATION: You don’t need to be a perfect parent. But you do need to be a praying parent. Look at this verse – say it out loud with me – “PRAY WITHOUT CEASING.”
The Activity – “Pray” – There are a lot of things that you can pray about for your kids. You’ve got some specific things going on right now that you’re praying about. Here are 3 things that EVERY parent should pray for their kids:
- For a Personal relationship w/ Jesus (salvation)
- For a Passion for the Lord (His Word & His work)
- For Protection from the enemy’s attacks
The Frequency – “without ceasing.”
- Always pray & never give up – Luke 18:1
- Keep on asking. Keep on seeking. Keep on knocking – Matthew 7:7-8
- It’s obvious that Jesus Himself practiced having regular, consistent times of prayer to His Father.
- Mark 1:35 – early in the morning
- Luke 6:12 – prayed all night
- Matthew 14:23 – after heavy time of ministry (feeding the 5,000)
- Matthew 19:13 – prayed for the little children
- Matthew 11 – when his friend, Lazarus, had died
- Matthew 26 – in the Garden of Gethsemane
- “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” – James 5:16
- “Cry” –
- Psalm 30:2 – “O Lord my God, I cried out to You, and You healed me.”
- Psalm 34:17 – “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.”
- “Plea” – Psalm 86:6 – “Lord, hear my prayer; listen to my plea for mercy.”
- “Plead” – Psalm 30:8 – “To you, O Lord, I cry, and to the Lord I plead for mercy.”
- “…keep on praying” – Ephesians 6:18
- “…be faithful in prayer” – Romans 12:12
- “…devote yourselves to prayer” – Colossians 4:2
CONCLUSION: So, now it’s time to put it into practice. It’s time for us to pray for our kids. If you aren’t a parent, then pray for any kids who are in your life – nieces, nephews, friends’ kids.
PRAYING WITHOUT CEASING STARTS TODAY!
- Your commitment to be a faithful person of prayer starts today!
- Your commitment to be a powerful parent of prayer starts today!