Thursday, October 18, 2007

31 Biblical Virtues to Pray for Your Kids

Parked in our driveway, enjoying the peace accompanying a sleeping child, I was weeping & praying for the families of recently martyred Christians in Turkey. 3 year old Grace, still buckled in her safety seat, woke up and quickly asked, "Why are you crying, Mommy." I simply told her I was praying for other people who were hurting and asking God to hold heal them. Tenderly, Grace began to pray, asking Jesus to hold and heal.

What a moment for this mission's hearted mom.Even before her birth, I prayed for my daughter to have a heart for the harvest. If you are like, me you want God's very best for your child...every gift cultivated, wisdom in situations, protection and so much more. I've found a great tool to help me pray effectively for my daughter.

A praying parent himself, Bob Hostetler developed a parent's prayer program assists us in covering all the bases when it comes to covering our children in prayer. 31 Biblical Virtues to Pray for Your Kids pairs a character trait or fruit of the spirit with a scripture for every day of the month.Per Mr. Hostetler, feel free to duplicate it -- or improve upon it -- to help you pray specifically and purposefully for your children to experience and evidence:

1 Salvation
"Lord, let salvation spring up within my children, that they may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory," (Isaiah 45:8, 2 Timothy 2:10).

2 Growth in grace
"I pray that they may 'grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,' " (2 Peter 3:18).

3 Love
"Grant, Lord, that my children may learn to 'live a life of love,' through the Spirit who dwells in them," (Ephesians 5:2, Galatians 5:22).

4 Honesty and integrity
"May integrity and honesty be their virtue and their protection," (Psalm 25:21, NLT).

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 Thessalonians 5:6).

6 A love for God's Word
"May my children grow to find your Word 'more precious than gold, than much pure gold; [and] sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb,' " (Psalm 19:10).

7 Justice
"God, help my children to love justice as you do and to 'act justly' in all they do," (Psalm 11:7, Micah 6:8).

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

9 Respect (for self, others, authority)
"Father, grant that my children may 'show proper respect to everyone,' as your Word commands," (1 Peter 2:17a).

10 Strong, 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,' " (Ephesians 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," (Proverbs 3:3).

12 Courage
"May my children always 'Be strong and courageous' in their character and in their actions," (Deuteronomy 31:6).

13 Purity
" 'Create in [them] a pure heart, O God,' and let their purity of heart be shown in their actions," (Psalms 51:10).

14 Kindness
"Lord, may my children 'always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else,' " (1 Thessalonians 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 Timothy 6:18-19).

16 Peace, peaceability
"Father, let my children 'make every effort to do what leads to peace,' " (Romans 14:19).

17 Joy
"May my children be filled 'with the joy given by the Holy Spirit,' " (1 Thessalonians 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],' " (Hebrews 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," (Colossians 3:12).

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

22 Contentment
"Father, teach my children 'the secret of being content in any and every situation. …through him who gives [them] strength,' " (Philippians 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, Hebrews 11:1-40).

24 A servant heart
"God, please help my children develop servant hearts, that they may serve wholeheartedly, 'as to the Lord, and not to men,' " (Ephesians 6:7, KJV).

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

26 The willingness and ability to work hard
"Teach my children, Lord, to value work and to work hard at everything they do, 'as working for the Lord, not for men,' " (Colossians 3:23).

27 A passion for God
"Lord, please instill in my children a soul that 'followeth hard after thee,' a heart that clings passionately to you," (Psalm 63:8, KJV).

28 Self-discipline
"Father, I pray that my children may develop self-discipline, that they may acquire 'a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair,' " (Proverbs 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 and requests," (Ephesians 6:18).

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

31 A heart for missions
"Lord, please help my children to develop a heart for missions, a desire to see your glory declared among the nations, your marvelous deeds among all peoples," (Psalms 96:3).

"I believe this simple prayer program will not only change how we pray, but also how our children pray…and, by God's grace, how they live as well." Bob Hostetler

Bob Hostetler's books include the award-winning Don't Check Your Brains at the Door (coauthored with Josh McDowell) and They Call Me A.W.O.L. He lives near Oxford, Ohio, with his wife, Robin, and two children. You can purchase his 31 Biblical Virtues to Pray for Your Kids prayer cards and other prayer tools at NavPress. Check it out!

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