Once every three months, I have the privilege to meet with my Prayer Partners. These are folks in my church who have committed specifically to praying for me and our church on a regular basis. Each Sunday morning, several of them meet with me before our services to pray for that day.
This morning was our quarterly prayer breakfast where the entire group attends. We make it a practice to focus more on the prayer than the breakfast, but it is a great time of fellowship and encouragement.
Before we prayed, I shared some thoughts about “praying for our children.” Not just our physical children, but the youth and children of our church. Many do not come from homes that seek to glorify God, and are in need of “surrogate” spiritual parents.
Job was so concerned about his children that he offered sacrifices on their behalf. He said, “It may be that my sons have sinned.” He understood the potential dangers that they faced. Our church youth and children face dangers as well.
1) The Danger of Religious Familiarity – Knowing the role so well that they are able to act it out perfectly while having nothing on the inside. A Biblical example of this is the sons of Eli. They were so well versed in the functions of the temple that they were serving as priests, yet God judged them, their father, their family, and their nation because of their wickedness.
2) The Danger of Social Corruption – A society that not only tolerates iniquity, but promotes it, is a dangerous environment for “church” kids. There is more access, understanding, and encouragement of sin today than at any time in recent history. Biblical Example: Lot’s daughters.
3) The Danger of Foolish Behavior – Let’s face it. We all do stupid things, and kids are no exception. I’m sure we all did plenty of foolish things when we were young! We should pray that God protect them from their own foolishness (wouldn’t be a bad idea to make the same request for ourselves!). Even the wisest man in the Bible had a fool for a son. Rehoboam was the recipient of the teaching of Proverbs, yet the first thing he did as king was the most foolish.
4) The Danger of Persuasive Friends – Whether it’s a boyfriend persuading a girl, or vice versa, this is an age old problem. Good kids do things they would never otherwise have done, if they had not been talked into it by their “friends”. From sex to drugs to crime, “bad company corrupts good manners.” David’s son provides a perfect scriptural example. “Amnon had a friend” who persuaded him to do what his conscience and teaching told him was wrong. The result was the loss of his life.
5) The Danger of Sinful Flesh – Beyond all the outward influences to do wrong, every person ever born has a sinful nature. Parents say, “But I trust my child.” You can trust them to be human. Put anyone in the right situation at the right time and they will act accordingly. Only one person ever withstood all temptation, and His name wasn’t yours or mine.
Besides praying against these dangers, what can we pray for?
1. Pray for them to have a genuine spiritual relationship.
2. Pray for them to have Godly wisdom in their actions, words, and relationships.
3. Pray for them to grow spiritually into true mature disciples of Jesus Christ.
4. Pray for God to reveal ways that you can be a spiritual parent to disciple the children and youth God has placed around you.
These should be the prayer burden of every adult believer, not just those who have children of their own. “It may be” that they will fall into these traps. Let’s make sure that if it happens, it was in spite of what we did, not because of it.