God’s Word reminds us:
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
~ John 15:5
“apart from me you can do nothing” is a continual reminder that I am utterly dependent on the Lord to do anything. There are many things I can do without dependence on Christ, but the reality is I have achieved “nothing” in God’s sight.
This is so true in the raising of our children.
Our children are a gift from the Lord, a heritage, a reward (Psalm 127:3), and they are ever so precious to the Lord and us. Caring for our children is an immeasurable responsibility, but one as believers, we are not left alone in or to fend for ourselves. We can cry out to the One who created all things and is the only One who can redeem them.
We are helplessly dependent on the Lord. As much as we might think we can, the reality is we can't parent on our own. As parents, we can't change the hearts of our children. Only the Lord can change their hearts.
This truth should continually bring us to our knees in prayer, but we often find ourselves thinking we can do this on our own. As a parent of now-adult children, I can share that these are the more difficult years of life as the decisions and the difficulties they face are much more challenging than when they were young.
“It didn’t take me long to realize that I did my best parenting by prayer. I began to speak less to the kids and more to God. It was actually quite relaxing.” ~ Paul Miller, A Praying Life
God does a much better job of being God than I do.God does a much better job of being God than I do.
Children are fully dependent on parents for everything. As we get older, we become more and more independent. We need to be reminded to go back to living as dependent children. Living as a dependent child to the Lord in the everyday moments of life is the best example we can give to our children.
The prayer below is from Setting Their Hope In God: Biblical Intercession for Your Children page 193
Let my precious children rejoice in the Word, through whom all things were made. May they seek life only in Him.
Praise be to Your name for causing them to receive Him and believe on His name, for giving them the right to become Your children. Open their eyes to the glory of the Word, the glory of Your only Son, full of grace and truth. From His fullness let them receive grace upon grace–the grace and truth that come through Jesus Christ. Help them to do what is true and come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been carried out in You.
Help them not to judge by appearances, but instead to judge with right judgment. And when they thirst, let them go to Christ and drink. Let them follow closely after Him always, so that they will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. Make them abide in His Word as true disciples so that they may know the truth and be set free by it (John 1 & 8).”
“I have so much business I cannot get on without spending three hours daily in prayer.” ~Martin Luther
“What makes a heart upright and what makes prayers pleasing to God is a felt awareness of our tremendous need for mercy.” ~John Piper
“Prayer is bringing your helplessness to Jesus.” ~ Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life“Prayer is bringing your helplessness to Jesus.”
Scripture & Resources:
A Praying Life: Connecting With God in a Distracting World by Paul Miller
Praying the Bible by Donald S. Whitney
Prayers of an Excellent Wife: Intercession for Him by Andrew Case
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