30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 13

As parents to adult kids, we still want to ‘parent’ them. I realized how bad I want to wrap my boys up and protect them from the enemy, even with my own life. I hate how the world treats them, I hate how the enemy uses them. But I see with spiritual eyes, they do not. They see ‘bad luck’ or ‘God hates me’ rather than circumstances that seem to pick and choose when to be reckoned with. It is the enemy who seeks them, it is God who wants to give them rest.

The tongue seems to have a mind of it’s own. One could rule the world if they could tame the tongue:

“v8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. v9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. v10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.” James 3:8-10

The battlefield of the mind, the taming of the tongue needs to be dealt with every minute of every day. There is no other way to relearn how to live within polite society. Giving mercy gets mercy, giving grace gets grace. Mercy and grace are the greatest provision from God.

“v1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. v2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1-2 

Speaking with my oldest son yesterday about his current circumstances, I was met with a general kind of well-being from him. Rather than still being angry, he has accepted his lot and is working toward a better end rather than shadow boxing God.

There is Joy in the Lord, not a bunch of money and an easy life. I cannot state this emphatically enough: Jesus is the only answer to EVERY question, “Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength,” [Neh 8:10].

Pray that your adult kids will see their way is not working on the long term and will accept a Holy God rather than scraps from the world.

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 10

Have they come to the end of themselves? Have our kids gotten to the point they HAVE to look to the Lord? I wish I knew the answer to that. I HATE that my adult kids have not learned that their way isn’t working. It’s like watching a train wreck in slow motion.

I see why God made parents the Pastor of the household, I understand the succession of authority and the learning curve. Your home isn’t just where you live, it’s also your church. But just because I see it plainly doesn’t mean they do or will or even care. As parents we are their support system that teaches them to support themselves financially AND spiritually….but are they listening? I promise you…they listen. That’s why they battle us.

All that being said, adult kids have misunderstood the hierarchy of family and take it upon themselves to disband…to ‘quit’ being our children and part of the family God created. It is a hardship, it is heartbreaking, it is NOT of God. But my dear parents, we can never lose hope!

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Are you the Pastor of your home? Are you like me, your kids have grown and left and still maintain a worldly lifestyle? In my house, my husband and I are still the Pastors of this home, of this family. We will not relinquish our Godly authority to anyone. It is our desire to teach our kids to pastor their own home.

Dear parents, PRAY and diligently seek Him no matter what! Our kids need us whether they say so or not.

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 9

Did you know that we are living IN biblical times? It’s interesting to me that so many Christians don’t think that everything in the Bible is for today, especially our kids. They look at us like we’ve lost our minds because we live by the literal Bible. Quite honestly, that tells me that Christians are trading in their Bible reading for the opinions of self-professed theologians; looking upon what men and women discern rather than God is dangerous. There are no ‘programs’ or upstarts, just chapter and verse. I knew a woman once that refused to read a ‘study’ Bible because she wanted to let the Holy Spirit teach her. I couldn’t agree more. Once we allow ‘fallible man’ in, we have put ourselves in jeopardy.

Our adult kids are following another Jesus: “v13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. v14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. v15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works”, [2Cor 11:13-15]

Our adult kids seem to be in the fire most of the time; well, at least ours seems to be. There never seems to be any rest. Our most precious time spent is trying to sleep. As a Christian, I KNOW that there will be rest that one day but I sure would like to see some of that rest on this side of Heaven. When are children are restless, so are we.

“v22 Therefore, because the king’s command was urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. v23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

v24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?”

They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.”

v25 “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” Daniel 3:22-25

Even in the fiery furnace we have Jesus. The very next time you or your children are in the furnace, remember He is with you: “And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed“, [Deut 31:8].

If it weren’t for Him, I really don’t know what I’d do. I just wish I could get my kids to understand that. Looking TO Jesus rather than looking BACK at the worries will strengthen the weakest and bring hope.

Pray for you adult kids; pray for their ‘rest’ rather than opportunities.

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 8

Have we paid for what we have done in our sinful past? Is there a time when we won’t have to be ridiculed and criticized? When do we have to stop paying for the awful things we have done? The answer is: If your faith is in Christ alone, your eternity is in Heaven and your sin will never be remembered by anyone ever again. BUT while you are on this earth, you will suffer the responsibility and the repercussions of that act of sin, whatever it was.

No matter how saved I am, no matter how much I go to church, no matter how much I read my Bible and pray, I will always be known for who I WAS. This is the lesson we try to teach our children; they mess up, they will suffer the responsibility of it. Then the question is: Have you forgiven YOURSELF: “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more“, [Heb 8:12].

To understand mercy…to receive mercy, you have to GIVE mercy.

King David suffered the consequence of what he did with Bathsheba and Uriah, “v10 Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me“:

“v13 So David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. v14 However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.” v15 Then Nathan departed to his house.” 2Samuel 12:13-15

When our kids are forlorn with the consequences of sin, we have to gird them up with prayer and love. Because we have been shown mercy in our times of trouble, we have to show them mercy. With mercy comes grace, with grace comes peace and freedom. I am not intimidated with pointed fingers anymore because I am a child of God, not the world. When our kids get their mind back – much like Nebuchadnezzar – they will be restored:

“v34 And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever:

For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
And His kingdom is from generation to generation.
v35 All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing;
He does according to His will in the army of heaven
And among the inhabitants of the earth.
No one can restrain His hand
Or say to Him, “What have You done?”

v36 At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my honor and splendor returned to me. My counselors and nobles resorted to me, I was restored to my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added to me. v37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.” Daniel 4:34-37

Pray for you children and grandchildren today, pray for understanding and restoration.

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: DAY 7

My youngest and I took a ride in the car and I asked him, about five different ways, what are you going to do when you grow up? Crickets….but he did say that he will get a job. A job, I said…but school? College? A family someday? The long pause told me a resounding NO. He really has no plans at all. I can’t tell you how that hurts me as a his chosen mother.

I’ve been 16 before. I remember thinking that life is about to get ‘legal’ for me. Becoming 18 someday scared me to death because I lived in a house where the mindset was ‘getting by’ rather than planning a future. How I HATE seeing this has not changed even though I have begged all of my sons to think at least ONE step ahead rather than none.

While in prayer today, I remembered what God told the Prophet Jeremiah in the first chapter of his book; it spoke of how God CHOSE Jeremiah since before the very foundations of the world had shape:

“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5

Each and every child – born, unborn, yet to be born – are known by God with a specific purpose and path chosen by Him. If every one of us just heeded that one line of scripture, I believe we would all stand taller and bolder and PROSPER in Him regardless of the past! We are not an afterthought regardless of HOW we were born. The potential of our children is IMMEASURABLE.

BUT: I can’t make that horse drink. My sons, like most of the people in the world, are scraping by holding out for a miracle. But lately I don’t see even that anymore. People are so forlorn and without hope.

Have we become a society totally without hope? Seeing through the eyes of my youngest son, YES; get a job, live, then die…..next!

WITHOUT God we cannot fathom how important we are and the path He chose for us is in His ultimate plan! We are His workmanship:

v13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
v14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
v15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
v16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.” Psalm 139

Pray today that your children, adult or not, understand their importance in His plan. God has never made an imperfect person, ever.

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 6

And then, there is joy. It may be brief at times, but I’ll take it. It’s like watching your child take his first steps, speaking his first words – joy unspeakable. Their baby steps are milestones and we still have to look at these victories as the baby steps they are.

Do our children try the hand of God? Yes, since the day they were born:

“v5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
v6 Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,
And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.” Psalm 51:5-6

As I watch them grow up I see this pattern of good, then bad, then repentance, back to good; but it’s the backsliding they do that is so frustrating. Much like a baby Christian will fail, our children fail, too. Children look to us as God when they need to be looking up TO God. Our kids don’t feel accountability to us or God, then the job at hand is to get them TO God.

Our greatest ministry is to our family. Women need to get that. We raise our children to be better wives, husbands, parents, friends. Neglecting them for any reason gives them up to the devil himself. Children cannot raise themselves, parents cannot be absent. The family unit has crumbled, we’ve let the tail wag the dog, as parents we have failed them allowing any part of the world near them.

For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5 

But JOY! Yes, there is joy! Looking at one of my sons last night I see a young man in training. Through my natural eyes I see where I failed and need to get better. After all, he is my child, not an experiment or hobby. When he fails, I fail. But when I get one of those momentary glimpses of Glory, I see through my spiritual eyes and see a beautiful bit of workmanship only God can do.

I promise you, Joy does come in the morning…every morning. Thank you LORD for your loving kindness and forgiveness that I can start AGAIN every day.

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 5

Blessing comes with a great price. Addicts need to lose everything to come out clean.

v20 Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. v21 And he said:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked shall I return there.
The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

v22 In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong. [Job 1:20-22]

I have seen addiction up close and personal; family, children, ex-husband, etc. I’ve been to meetings that do nothing more than point fingers or manufactures excuses. I believe I’ve only seen one or two cases where a 12 step program actually worked on the long term, and PRAISE GOD for that. The Bible says, “As a dog returns to his own vomit, so a fool repeats his folly“, [Proverbs 26:11]. Without Jesus, we are doomed to repeat what has beset us. I call this SIN, not addiction. Actually, I don’t believe in ‘addiction’ the way most people do; I think it’s more ‘habitual sin’. More on that later.

When addicts come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, it all becomes clear. We have nothing when we are born, we have nothing when we die. The unsaved see that as a lamentation where followers of Christ see that as comfort. People put themselves through hell to NO avail. There is nothing we can take with us when we die but the knowledge that we will be in the arms of Jesus when we pass.

We are in need of nothing except Jesus. 

Job was a wealthy, Godly man; a man looked up to in the community of the day. And that community watched as he was stricken. God used this to teach the community of that day who God is and what truly is valuable. Every possession Job had was taken – but Job knew that everything in the present world is temporary and eternity is forever. Job chose to thank God for an eternity in the presence of God forever. There is no better possession or hope.

I pray today for one of our sons, one that has battled a war. He’s been clean for months and I pray that he will seek just the Lord rather than a ‘fix’. My spiritual eyes tell me that his battle is over but I never go without a quiver full of prayer for him.

v8 For You have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.
v9 I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living. [Psalm 116:8-9]

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 3

OBEDIENCE. Obedience is the one thing that we lack when it comes to the things of God. We forget how He never forgets us but we put Him to the back burner everyday. With obedience comes results. But have you noticed that your obedience to Him can be somewhat contentious? Your obedience to Him is yours alone, your petition is yours alone.

But…sometimes the ‘subject’ of our prayer, our children, really doesn’t want or care about our obedience to God:

v38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’
v
39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” [Matthew 5:38-39]

Isn’t it AMAZING how wrong parents are all the time? I don’t know a time in history that we’ve seen such DISobedience and disrespect of everyone and everything. Parents want their children to have love and respect, not disdain and irreverence.

Letting our kids determine our walk with the Lord or how we pray for them is like letting the tail wag the dog. My obedience to God is NONNEGOTIABLE.

My children aren’t my enemies, it just seems like it at times. My job as a parent to adult kids is to be motivated by prayer and not by their actions. We cannot possibly affect the body of Christ and take care of our own salvation if we allow our backslidden and unsaved adult kids to rule our spiritual lives.

Then, how many times am I going to turn the other cheek? As many as it takes.

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 2

Children ARE a heritage from the Lord. We are entrusted with this great and awesome responsibility to care for them up and teach them to be excellent parents, spouses, workers, friends, etc. I don’t know many parents that started out to intentionally hurt their kids, but because of sin and the nature of it, we are doomed to fail from time to time. As parents, we need to remember that is NOT how our kids see it.

I have fallen so short at times, regret washes over me and I cry MERCY. I’ve repented bazillions of times and I know I’m forgiven…but our children see failure rather than restoration. This is why it’s so hard to get through to them when they can’t get past the ‘past’.

Everyone wants to be loved unconditionally but is unwilling to give it back. God loved us so much that He GAVE us His only Son for OUR sin! While we are not God, our kids think we should be. And haven’t all of us tried to be like God for our children? Of course. My dad was horribly sinful, had terrible addictions, but I still looked at him like he was God, I loved him and trusted him so much regardless of his humanity.

Children, whether adult or not, feel some kind of worldly empowerment to criticize and even hate their parents.

A lot of us don’t have Christian children; we should be praying for that FIRST. But our unsaved kids look at us like we’re nuts because we use biblical principles rather than their nonsensical worldly psychologies.

Psychology can’t give you JOY unspeakable! 

v7 “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
v8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
v9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” [1Peter 1:7-9]

Our kids need Jesus, and if they already know the Lord but still have an unforgiving heart, remember that unforgiveness is like murder that will eat at the soul. You [or they] may believe that unforgiveness is warranted, but it is deception! We are to be peacemakers with our adult kids, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God,” [Matthew 5:9]

Continue with this Prayer Challenge this month, give it 30 Days to see real results of what PRAYER can do for us and our children!

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 1

[After being faced with a crisis with one of our sons a few years ago, I beseeched God and said, “I will pray twice a day and hope You will send someone to him that will witness to him about You so that he would be saved.” And I did exactly that; I prayed and prayed and prayed knowing I am the WORST when it comes to prayer. But I did it. And God answered my prayer; while He did a miracle for my son, he did not stick with it and eventually fell back into the lifestyle that seeks to take his life. GLORY BE TO GOD that He still has His hand on him, but there is much work to be done.]

These are the verses I rely upon for my son; it’s for anyone that has a ‘lost’ or backslidden loved one:

v28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
v29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
v
30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30]

YES! God will give us rest, He gave us His Son Jesus Christ! HOW AWESOME IS THAT? Even  scripture says so, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us,” [Romans 5:8].

Every backslidden soul needs the saints of God to pray and be in supplication. God gave us the authority to be healed and restored!

On this first day I prayed that God will keep harm from my son and that He would put another Godly man in his way to be a mentor to him. He still remarks on how this one preacher came and witnessed to him; he said this preacher was ‘real’ and seemed very interested in my son’s salvation. Jail ministry is so powerful, but it can also be put into the wrong hands and bring an agenda rather than a crucified Christ.

If you are in jail or prison ministry, PRAISE GOD…but be very wise in the Lord before you do so. Just as one preacher helped my son, another came along and seemed very haughty and disinterested. Being a stumbling block will not save the lost.

Remember to pray today.