15 April 2013

Encountering Jesus ~ Meeting Jesus Changes Parenting Priorities - The Capernaum Nobleman (II)

As a part of this Encountering Jesus series, I looked at the story of the Capernaum nobleman last week. One additional aspect of that biblical account really touched my heart...
     After the two days he left for Galilee. (Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country.) When he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him. They had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, for they also had been there.
     Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death. 
     “Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.”
     The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” 
     “Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.” 
     The man took Jesus at his word and departed. While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, “Yesterday, at one in the afternoon, the fever left him.” 
      Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and his whole household believe. 
     This was the second sign Jesus performed after coming from Judea to Galilee. (John 4.43-54)

That one other thing that the Lord so impressed upon my heart was the father's dedication and engagement in the life of his child. I pray daily that God continually grows Tim and I to be more and more "those parents."

Most parents will tell you that they love their children and would do just about anything for them and their welfare - but what lengths will I go to to simply talk to Jesus about them, to plead with Him about their welfare, physical, emotional, social, spiritual...???

This story always convicts me...

I need to make it even more of a priority is to truly pray for my children, to spend time before the throne of grace truly interceding on their behalf.

Do I pray? Of course! 

Could I pray more consistently, persistently, passionately, determinedly, fervently and with clearer focus? Definitely! Prayer according to the will of God is an investment into the lives of our children (or the children who the Lord has placed into our lives) with eternal dividends. 

Several years ago, just before Nadia was born, I attended a baby shower where I was given a bookmark titled: "16 Things to Pray for Your Children." I've carried that bookmark around in my Bible ever since - trying to frequently pray through that list for each individual child. I decided to translate that list and share it with the ladies at Bible Study in our Haro Banda church. They loved it! It was a totally new idea to many of them that they could rightfully pray for something outside the immediate physical needs of their children. The ladies who could read asked me to make bookmarks for them to carry around in their Bibles. They also committed to pray for their own children as well as to pray for the youth and children who attend the church or who they have the potential to influence in their homes and neighborhoods.

No, it is not an exclusive list - there are so many more things that could be added... but it is a good start and it is a good reminder for me, today.

16 Things to Pray for Your Children     
  1. Their salvation.
  2. Their mate.
  3. That they would fall in love with God's Word.
  4. That God would keep them from evil.
  5. That they would have a conscience void of offense before God and man.
  6. That character would be more valuable to them than credentials.
  7. That they would stand up for what is right even if it means standing alone.
  8. That they would be kept from the love of money.
  9. That they would be kept morally pure.
  10. That they would have the heart of a servant.
  11. That eternity would burn in their hearts.
  12. That sin would always be distasteful to them and that they would not be broken easily over sin.
  13. That they would love each other.
  14. That they would trust God with their parents and not allow rebellion to set in.
  15. Regardless the hardship, that they may never become bitter against God.
  16. That our boys would be glad to be boys, and our girls glad to be girls.

("16 Things..." bookmark was made by Tom Harmon and Faithful Men of Michigan.)

-edited post from the archives;
original post

this week's gratitude list

(#'s 3723 - 3751)

finalizing an important sale

figuring out places to stay as we travel across the States in June/July

friends offering to try and help as we take our road trip

remembering how thankful I am for electricity... not having it tends to do that

remembering to pray for my friends and neighbors who live all day, every day, here in this heat without the benefit of electricity

ever diminishing to-do list

recording is finished for Tim's last movie post-dub

family discussions about finding shoes for this gang for hiking around Scotland

little girl haircuts

"teenage" kitties that endlessly entertain

getting an updated prescription for glasses

sorting, decluttering, giving away, selling... and more sorting

little girl becoming a better reader every day

finishing a book that confronts, challenges and convicts

young adult fiction that makes teens and their parents think

Nadia creating a so totally delish chocolate and peanut butter pudding pie

lego and Thomas the Tank Train kingdoms

really long skype chat with a really good friend

reading Chameleons are Cool with Elsie Mae - it is such a fun, informative book that I love every single time

little girls with sharp fingernails that scratch backs

chicken on a bed of rice and smothered in sautéed onions and garlic and salsa

the joy in giving gifts

this question:  "Has our patriotic spirit caused us not to reach the world?" AMEN!!!

"...that no matter where we are, the presence of God and the Spirit of God are there..."

listening to one of my kiddos say: "God has so much control in our lives... you know, I'm really not worried about anything."

sisters helping sisters grow up

brothers helping brothers grow up

dorm students coming over for the weekend again... soon!

the privilege of praying for some amazing young men and women

Ten most recent posts in this series: 

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