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Prayer Requests from Sutherland Springs

One week ago today a gunman walked into First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas and opened fire during the Sunday morning worship service. Twenty-six worshippers were killed. The other 20 in attendance were injured. In this community of just 400 people, everyone lost someone – a mother, father, sister, brother, daughter, son, or friend.

Is Prayer Enough?

Some have gone to Sutherland Springs in the wake of this tragedy to help. To feed, to counsel, to hug. Most of us have watched from a distance. Wondering what, if anything we can do. We can pray. But is it enough?

An MSNBC journalist asked Pastor Paul Buford the same question. Buford is the pastor of River Oaks Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, just down the road from the First Baptist Church. Buford’s church immediately became the ministry center for the families and law enforcement after the shooting. Buford’s answer was unequivocal. “Absolutely. We know prayer works. It brings comfort to the one praying and the ones being prayed for.”

The Apostle Paul also knew prayer works. In his second letter to the believers in Corinth, Paul asked them to continue to help him by their prayers (2 Corinthians 1:10-11). We can help Sutherland Springs with our prayers. Let us boldly approach God’s throne of grace on their behalf in the days and weeks ahead.

Specific Prayer Requests from Sutherland Springs

Sometimes we want to pray but aren’t sure how or what to pray. We can always pray “generically,” but I wanted to pray specifically. So, I contacted Martha Buford, the wife of the pastor at River Oaks Church in Sutherland Springs. I’ve known Paul and Martha for years and have ministered with them a couple of times in the past. Martha graciously shared some specific needs that are immediate and pressing. The following requests come straight from Martha:

Pray for today’s worship service at River Oaks Baptist Church – The sister church of First Baptist Sutherland Springs is holding services this morning, Sunday, November 12th, at 9:30 am. Please pray for each soul in attendance. There may be many there who don’t know Jesus. Pray for their hearts to be inclined towards Him. Pray for God’s name to be glorified. Pray for peace and comfort but also joy to be experienced as the community worships together. Pray for Paul Buford, the pastor of River Oaks, as he leads the service. Pray that God will give him boldness and wisdom as he proclaims God’s Word, and strength as he ministers. Paul is also grieving the loss of friends.

Pray for God to strike down the spirit of fear that threatens the community – Martha shared that the children of River Oaks are afraid to come to church today. Last Sunday morning, during the gunfire, River Oaks church went into lockdown mode. Just imagine how that event alone impacted the children in the nursery. The photo below is from the grounds of River Oaks Church earlier this week. They have been purposefully working with the children to ease their fear.

Volunteers playing with Sutherland Springs children. Used with permission.

Pray for the mourners as they attend funerals – Funeral services will be held every day this week. Remember, everyone in the community was either related to or knew everyone. They will all be attending service after service. Every day. Please pray for their emotional and physical strength and stamina. Pray for God’s unique comfort to hold them up. Pray for the privacy they need to mourn. Pray for all the details of each service to fall into place.

Pray for the family that lost 8 members – Everyone is devastated, but this family has also been decimated. One man lost his wife, five children, and his parents. Please pray for his emotional and spiritual healing.

God is Working in Sutherland Springs

One specific thing I have been praying is that God will be gloried and the Gospel proclaimed. As I wrote in an earlier post, God did not cause this tragedy, but His is working in it and through it. He is glorifying His name through His people in Sutherland Springs. If you’d like to know more, watch this video interview with Paul and Martha Buford.

Let’s keep praying. Our prayers do help. They do make a difference. Let us be faithful.

Let me know in the comments how you are praying for the community of Sutherland Springs. 

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4 Actions to Beat Anxiety

“Just don’t worry about it.”

How many times has someone said that to you when your circumstances truly warranted a little bit of anxiety? If you’re anything like me, you probably thought, “Yeah, right. Easier said than done.”

By the way, it was probably a man who said it. My engineer husband seems to be able to simply tell himself not to feel a certain way and then follow his own advice. Good for him, but unfortunately he expects me to possess the same testosterone-based super power.

anxiety worry

4 Actions to Reduce Anxiety

If you’re more like me and not able to turn off the worry quite so easily, hang in there. God’s Word gives us practical hope. Paul’s letter to the Christians in Philippi is heavy with talk of joy. It’s not because the Philippians were trouble-free; they were persecuted by enemies of the Gospel (Philippians 1:28-30). But Paul knew even in the midst of trouble, they could experience peace in Christ. One section of his letter in particular shows how they – and we – can overcome the worry in our lives.

4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.  Philippians 4:4-9

This passage highlights 4 specific actions we can take to reduce the worry and anxiety in our lives. Here they are:

  1. Choose Joy – We often face physical circumstances that would steal our joy. Thankfully, Christians can always find joy in our unchanging and eternal spiritual circumstances we have in Christ. (1 Peter 1:3-9)
  2. Practice Gratitude – The Bible repeatedly connects joy with a thankful attitude (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). God has always known what numerous contemporary studies have shown – gratitude increases feelings of wellbeing and happiness. So count your blessings!
  3. Talk to  God – Our heavenly Father invites us to bring all our troubles and concerns to Him. He cares about each one, no matter how small. He has the desire and the power to meet our needs. Tell Him and trust Him to provide (Matthew 6:25-34).
  4. Discipline Your Mind – What we think about will impact how we feel and how we act (Romans 12:2). We can choose what to think about. And what not to think about.

This may take some practice. You may have to apply and then re-apply. But God has promised results. When we…

choose joy, practice gratitude, talk to God, and discipline our thoughts…

His peace will overpower our anxiety. His peace will guard our hearts and minds. We may not understand how it works, but we can benefit from His miraculous provision!

Have you found these actions to be effective in your own life?

 

 

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23 Days of Thanksgiving

We have reason to thank God every moment of every day of every month. Really, every day should be “Thanksgiving.” But sometimes we simply forget. Or get too busy. Or we allow all our “asking” to push out gratitude.

Yet, giving thanks to God is both a command and a privilege. He commands us to praise Him. And thanksgiving ushers us into His presence.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. Psalm 100:4

Will you join me in purposefully thanking God during the days leading up to Thanksgiving? I have put together a 23-day guide to help prompt our daily thanksgiving from November 1st through Thanksgiving Day.

Use this guide to prompt specific reasons to thank God for what He provides and how He works in your life and the world. The day’s Scripture passage can be read before you pray or as part of your prayer. Pray quietly by yourself, with your family, or both!

The days, prayer prompts, and Scripture are listed below. But for portability, here’s an printable PDF version! 

I know there are many, many more things we can thank God for. Please feel free to add to this list by leaving it in the comments!

DAY

THANK GOD FOR…

SCRIPTURE TO PRAY

Nov 1 Physical life – your body, mind, and ability to relate to your creator. You were made in God’s image! Psalm 139:13-16
Nov 2 Salvation – Christ’s death & resurrection, God’s mercy, forgiveness, and grace Ephesians 2:1-10
Nov 3 Your spiritual gifts, skills, & life experiences 1 Corinthians 12:1-11
Nov 4 That God chooses to use you for His purposes Ephesians 2:8-10
Nov 5 God’s physical provision – home, food, clothing, job Matthew 6:25-34
Nov 6 Your intellect & creativity – the ability to think, respond, build, and plan Exodus 35:30-35; 36:1
Nov 7 Family – thank Him for specific people and the part they play in your life and in God’s purposes for you Genesis 2:21-24;

Psalm 68:6, 127:3-5

Nov 8 Friends – thank Him for specific people and the unique ways God uses them in your life Proverbs 17:17; 27:6,9
Nov 9 Laughter – Life is full of God’s good gifts to us. This is one! Proverbs 17:22
Nov 10 Spiritual protection – The Spirit within you is far greater than the enemy 1 John 4:2-4
Nov 11 God’s constant presence with you and the comfort, guidance, strength, and power His presence gives John 14:15-21
Nov 12 God’s creation with all its beauty and wonder Psalm 19:1-4
Nov 13 Provision from God’s earth – water, oxygen, light, energy, food Psalm 147:7-9
Nov 14 Your senses – the ability to hear, smell, see, and touch Proverbs 20:12
Nov 15 The Bible – God’s revelation of Himself to us! 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Nov 16 Prayer – the privilege of communicating with God Matthew 6:6-15
Nov 17 The church – you are a part of God’s family  Romans 12:4-8
Nov 18 Christian pastors, teachers, and ministers – be specific Ephesians 4:11-13
Nov 19 Your country – one way God chooses to protect His people Romans 13:1-7
Nov 20 Your trials & struggles – God uses them to shape you into the image of Jesus 1 Peter 1:6-7
Nov 21 Music, your voice, and the ability to praise God Psalm 149:1-5
Nov 22 The boundaries God established for us protecting us from the consequences of wandering away from His good will Deuteronomy 4:39-40
Nov 23 God’s unfailing love – even when we are not aware of it, God faithfully loves us and acts in love towards us Rom 5:6-8; Ps 63:4
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9 Benefits of Praise

praise GodOne of my favorite worship songs is “Ever Be.” The lyrics, written by Kalley Heiligenthal, reflect David’s commitment to continual praise more than three millennia ago:

I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. I will glory in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.  Psalm 34:1-3

God not only commands us to praise Him, He made us for that very purpose. We were created to worship the Creator. God made us for Himself (Colossians 3:16). He formed us for His glory (Isaiah 43:7). Our eternal purpose is to glorify and worship the Creator in relationship with Him. God hard-wired us to praise Him.

The psalmist David declared he would praise the LORD at all times, whether those times were good or bad. He cultivated a constant attitude of praise. David also urged the afflicted, the poor, the needy to join him in praising God. To rejoice in the Lord together.

What is “Praise?”

Praise is humble adoration of our Almighty God. It recognizes God’s exalted position and divine qualities. Praise voices sincere and deep gratitude for who God is and what He has done. As we praise Him, we submit ourselves to the One who is worthy and express devotion for the One whose love is unfailing.

Benefits of Praise

David’s call to praise is also for us today. Praise glorifies God, but it’s also good for us. (See Psalm 34:1-8).

  1. Praise refocuses our minds on God and connects our hearts with His.
  2. Praise fosters awareness of God’s presence with us.
  3. Praise push the worries of this life into the background.
  4. Praise reminds us of who God is and what He has done.
  5. Praise recalls God’s past provision, thus strengthening our hope in His future deliverance.
  6. Praise voices our dependence on God, relieving our fears.
  7. Praise helps develop an eternal perspective, paving the way for God’s peace.
  8. Praise opens our hearts to receive God’s joy.
  9. Praise fulfills the purpose for which we were created, bringing fulfillment.

As God’s people, we are obligated to praise Him. But this obligation is not a burden. Instead, praise ushers us into the presence of our Burden Bearer. No one who rejoices in God will ever be disappointed. He hears our praise. He is our Deliverer and our Savior.

When was the last time you purposefully praised God? God longs to bless you through regular times of worship, both individually and with other believers. Like David, will you commit to praise God in both good times and bad?

 

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I am Clueless

Have you ever been wronged by someone who had no idea she had done anything? It may have been hurtful words or inconsiderate actions. But she was completely clueless. It’s happened to me. And I know without a doubt that I’ve done it to others as well.

I read a Psalm recently during my quiet time that I’ve read dozens of times. However, this time God showed me something I had not really noticed before.

Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression. Ps 19:12-13

At first read, it’s easy to understand “hidden faults” as those things we do we don’t want others to know about. The things we do in the dark, hide from others. But the surrounding statements shed a bit of light. David realized that he was not capable of even recognizing all the ways he sinned against our high and lofty God.

Let’s read it again from the New Living Translation:

How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. Keep me from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin. Psalm 19:12-13, NLT

Sometimes I sin against God and don’t even realize it. My sinful heart keeps me from being able to recognize the depth of my transgression against our holy God. I’m clueless. My sin nature blinds me to my own sin.

The psalmist, David, asked God to forgive him for the sin he was not even aware he had committed. Then he asked God to protect him from yielding to blatant temptation. David longed to be blameless – innocent in thought, attitude, and deed. And not in just the things that people would notice. David wanted to be innocent in the eyes of his holy God. Wow!

God has brought me back to these verses several times in the last week. Do you think He’s trying to tell me something? Every time, my prayer has been David’s prayer:

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Ps 19:14 

Are you brave enough to ask God to reveal your hidden faults?

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How Humility In Your Time of Need Changes Everything

A big thank you to today’s guest Tricia Goyer! If you want to hear more about how Tricia walks out her faith in every day life – and how you can too! – check out her soon-to-be-released book “Walk It Out.

Walk it outThe other day I was cooking dinner when my six-year-old son rushed into the kitchen.

Beads of sweat slid down his red face. “I’m so hot. You never get me anything to drink.”

I stirred my spaghetti sauce with one hand as I turned to him. “Excuse me?”

His voice rose in a full, high-pitched whine. “You never give me anything to drink!” He waved his hands and dropped to the floor.

I took in a breath and then released it, telling myself to keep my voice steady, calm. “I’d be happy to get you a drink. I just need you to ask.”

He kicked his foot against the floor. “But I want a drink now!”

“I know you do.” I peered down at him. “And as soon as you ask the right way I’m happy to get some some ice cold water.”

And then my son stood, smiled up at me and asked so sweetly for a drink of water … NOT!

Instead, he whined and fussed more. Finally, I asked him to leave the kitchen.

You know what? He never did ask. In fact, he didn’t get anything to drink until fifteen minutes later when we were sitting down to dinner. He was so bent on complaining and whining—in feeding his discontent—he didn’t want to release his control in order to ask me for help. I would have gladly given him the drink he requested if only he asked in the right away.

Feeding Our Discontent

I wish I could say this is just a little kid issue, but I’ve been there myself. During my teen years I lived in that storm of discontent. I complained when things didn’t go my way. I worried. I fretted. I fought.

I even took matters into my own hands when I found myself facing an unplanned pregnancy at age 15. My own fears and worries led me to a choice I now regret—I had an abortion.

It wasn’t until years later, at age 17 when I was pregnant again, that things took a turn for the better. It’s then I humbled myself and turned to God. By this point I realized the whining, complaining, and acting out wasn’t getting me what I wanted or needed.

At six months along, I wrapped my arms around my growing stomach and prayed, “Lord, if you can do anything with my life, please do.”

God showed up big time. He not only gave me Himself (which is the best!), He has also led me on a journey where radical, and wonderful things, have happened. This has included marrying a wonderful Christian man, having two more kids, starting a crisis pregnancy center, mentoring teen moms, adopting seven more children, and writing over 70 books!

It Starts with Humility

God didn’t just offer me a cup of cool water when I asked. He opened the floodgates of blessing. But it took me humbling myself and seeking Jesus to meet my needs.

This reminds me of a Scripture I was reading just this morning, “I called on your name, LORD, from the depths of the pit. You heard my plea: ‘Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.’ You came near when I called you, and you said, ‘Do not fear.’ You, Lord, took up my case; you redeemed my life,” Lamentations 5:55-58.

Mumbling, complaining and griping are easy, but they rob us of having our greatest needs met. Yet when we humble ourselves and turn to God, things will change for the better.

When we call to the Lord, He hears us. When we turn to Him, He comes. When we call to Him, He reminds us that He is present and we have no reason to fear. When we place our needs in His court, Jesus redeems our life.

It took a lot to humble me as a teen—two unplanned pregnancies in fact. Yet I’m thankful that I learned back then that when I turn to God He will meet my needs. He will meet them in more wonderful ways than I ever expected.

You can read more about how God can show up radically in your life in the book Walk It Out: The Radical Result of Living God’s Word One Step at a Time (http://amzn.to/2wi1Cwi). If you pre-order Walk It Out before October 1, you’ll also receive 30 Days of Prayer as You Walk It Out FREE! Details here: http://www.triciagoyer.com/walk-it-out/

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Specific Prayers for Texas Flooding

Prayers

Photo courtesy of Karen Jordan

I’m glued to the news and weather, watching as flood waters ravage parts of Texas. I’m also texting with friends in the Houston area to confirm their safety. I can’t help today in any physical ways with the Texas flooding, but I can pray. And that’s a powerful tool.

Maybe you are also watching from a distance and want to pray specifically, but you aren’t sure how. I’ve been brainstorming specific ways we can pray for the current flooding in Houston, south Texas, and beyond. These specific needs/items can be lifted to God in the wake of a wide range of natural events and disasters. And, this list is a work in progress. Please add ideas for specific prayers in the comment section. Let’s keep praying!

Download a printable PDF list of the following list.

Ways to Pray in Wake of Natural Disasters

 Pray for People in the Flooded Areas

  • Protection of all life, including family pets
  • Safe transportation to safe areas
  • Dry, comfortable lodging, safe drinking water, and nutritious food
  • Quick reunion for any separated families
  • Long-term housing for those who have lost homes
  • Ability to communicate with extended family and friends

Pray for Rescue Efforts by First Responders/Emergency Personnel

  • Reliable cell and phone service so citizens can summon help
  • Good, reliable communication between agencies
  • Safety for police officers, firemen, and emergency medical personnel
  • Strength, stamina and wisdom as they respond to the overwhelming need
  • Additional manpower from outside the area to meet the need

Pray for Ongoing Relief Efforts

  • Plenty of volunteer teams and government groups to respond to the need
  • Physical strength and stamina for the disaster relief teams
  • Coordination of all volunteer efforts so there will be no gaps and all needs will be met
  • Enough resources – money, supplies, equipment, food, and water – to meet the needs
  • Protect the resources from theft, fraud, and accident

Pray for Physical Conditions

  • Protection from additional rain and tornadoes
  • Open passages for built up/backed up water to safely drain away
  • Plenty of sources for clean drinking water
  • Clear roadways for emergency personnel
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The What, Why, and How of Devotional Bible Reading

devotional bible reading

What is devotional Bible reading? Should we do it and if so, how do we do it?

Devotional Bible reading focuses on your personal relationship with God. The primary goal is not to gain biblical knowledge – though that will happen too. It’s not for the purpose of preparing to teach others – although you will become more prepared. The main purpose of devotional Bible reading is your “spiritual edification.” This time of devotion is for you to hear from God with the help of His Holy Spirit.

Why should I read the Bible devotionally?

“Spiritual edification” is a really churchy phrase, but it carries a lot of meaning. Here’s a quick rundown of the goals and benefits of reading our Bible to be “built up” spiritually:

  • To express our sincere devotion to God
  • To give God an opportunity to reveal His presence
  • To heighten our affection for God and build deeper intimacy
  • To find guidance, encouragement, wisdom, peace, and renewal
  • To align our thoughts, our will, our actions with God’s
  • To encourage continued spiritual growth

Ah! We want to encounter the living God through His living Word. And through that encounter, to allow God to continue to conform us to the image of Christ.

How do I read the Bible devotionally?

Since in-depth Bible study is very active, you may think devotional reading is more passive. But it is in fact, quite active. The devotional style combines reading, prayer, listening, and response. While the only must-have is your Bible, there are a few other tools that will benefit your devotional time:

  • Pen, highlighters, and or colored pencils
  • Wide-margin Bible, journaling Bible, notebook, or journal
  • Bible reading plan
  1. Read with intent – First, don’t read haphazardly. Don’t just open the Bible and drop your finger on a verse. Have a plan. For instance, use a Bible reading plan or work through a Bible book from beginning to end. Second, don’t just read the words. Pray before, during, and after. Expect to hear from God and actively listen for Him to speak to you through the Scripture and through the quiet prompting of His Spirit.
  2. Meditate on the passage – Meditation is not emptying your mind. It is deep thinking on spiritual truths. As you read, linger over verses that impact you. Allow God to apply these truths to your life. Use your journal to record insights and impressions. Or use colored pencils to creatively illustrate truths in the margins of your Bible or in a journal.
  3. Ask God questions and “listen” for His answers – Below are examples of questions you can use to interact with the Scriptures you read:
    • Does this passage present some truth that should change what you believe or the way you think about God?
    • Does this passage prompt you to praise God, thank God for something specific, or trust God in a situation?
    • Is there something in this passage you should pray for yourself or for someone else?
    • Does this passage bring to mind a sin you need to confess?
    • Is God using this passage to move you to a particular act of obedience or to make a decision?
  4. Respond to God’s leading – The Word of God has the power to search our minds and penetrate our hearts. God will use it as both a balm to our souls and a scalpel to our hearts (Hebrews 4:12-13). He knows exactly what we need. We need to respond. We may need to repent from a specific sin. We may need to step out to heal a relationship. We may need to change the way we think about a particular issue. Or we may need to simply sit in the comforting, healing presence of our Savior. However God leads, let us respond.

What has been your experience with devotional Bible reading? Any helps or tips?

A few other article you may find helpful:

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3 Attitudes I Need to Approach God’s Word

God's WordI do a lot of reading. In addition to God’s Word, I read novels, cookbooks, blogs, articles, non-fiction books and more. Some of this reading is for fun. Other reading is for instruction or information. Some I approach casually. Other with skepticism. Some things I read might instruct my behavior. Other things I dismiss as irrelevant or even wrong.

But the Bible is different from anything else we might read. Unlike everything else, it was not written by man, but directly inspired by God Himself. God’s words, God’s heart, given to us. How should we approach the Bible? What attitudes are vital to not only read God’s Word, but to really hear it, to be shaped by it?

I need an attitude adjustment

  1. Humility – Far too often I approach God’s Word with some level pride. Pride in thinking I already know this passage. Pride that I don’t need what He has to say. Oh, but pride is a great deceiver, keeping me from everything God has for me in His Word. Do I really want God to teach me? To use me for His purposes? Then I must humbly allow Him to correct, rebuke, and train me through His Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17). “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way” (Psalm 25:9).
  2. Submission – Some days I take God’s Word far too casually. I read it and hear His gentle whisper to “tell” or “do” or “go” or “stop.” And I consider obedience. The Bible is God’s authority for my life. It is living, actively penetrating the deepest parts of my heart, mind, and soul to judge my attitudes, thoughts, behaviors, and intentions. To make me more like Jesus. How dare I ever tell Him “no.”
  3. Anticipation – God’s Word is light and life and hope. It guides, delivers, and comforts. God’s laws are right and true and trustworthy. The Word of God gives wisdom and joy. I should run to read His Word each day, greatly anticipating the treasure I will find there. Sometimes I do, but not always.

God has reminded me today I need a little attitude adjustment. What about you? Do you approach God’s Word with humility, submission, and anticipation?

Lord God, adjust my attitude today. Forgive me of pride and foster a humble spirit within me. Help me submit to the authority of Your Word, so that I will live a life a full obedience to You. And grant me the joy of anticipation, always delighting in the discovery of Your Word. Amen.

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Praying for Our Children to Know Their Deepest Need

Today’s guest blogger is Teri Lynne Underwood, author of the new book “Praying for Girls.”

“Mom, I need a new binder for school.” “Mom, I really need some new foundation.” “Mom, I need you to sign this permission form.” “Mom, I need this shirt washed for tonight.”

“Mom, I need …”

For a while, I began to think my daughter thought my name was “Mom, I need.”  If you have children, you can probably relate.

Our kids understand need in a far different way that we do as parents. They make very little (if any) distinction between needing and wanting.

How can we teach our children to understand what they really need can’t be found at Target or on social media? How can we help them recognize their deepest need in life is Jesus?

Praying for our children

Two of my favorite people in Scripture are Mary and Martha. Most women tend to relate to one of these sisters more than the others. Me? Oh, I’m a Martha. No doubt about it. I want to solve the problems, do the work, and get the right answers.

But Mary knew something Martha didn’t — and it’s something I want to learn and live in myself. Mary knew what she really needed.

In the familiar story found in Luke 10, we read Jesus’ words to Martha, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42 ESV).

One thing is necessary.

Some translations say one thing is needed. Mary understood the good portion, the better choice — she recognized her deepest need wasn’t what she could do for Jesus but time spent with Jesus.

And, friend, that’s our deepest need too.

How do we help our daughters (and sons) understand this truth? How do we point them toward the reality that without a relationship with Jesus, nothing else really matters?

3 Ways to Help Our Children Recognize their Greatest Need

I don’t think there is a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. But the following specific can guide them toward this vital understanding:

  1. Tell – Let’s share our own faith journeys with our kids. When we tell them of our need for Jesus, and the way He has sustained us, we help them recognize their own need for Him.
  2. Point – When our children face trials and difficulties, let’s consistently point them back to Jesus as the source of peace and comfort. That will lay a foundation of faith for the rest of their lives.
  3. Pray – for them to know their need for Him and seek Him above all. Praying for our children is an investment in their spiritual growth. Let’s pray that they will recognize their need for Jesus and seek Him above all else. And this sort of prayer helps us remember, we as moms can never meet the deepest need in their lives — only Jesus can!

Praying for our children to know their deepest need is Jesus is one of most important ways we intercede for them.  And it is a prayer we can pray with confidence and boldness, knowing God’s desire is for them to know Him and walk with Him for their whole lives.

How do you encourage your children to recognize Jesus as their deepest need?

Praying for GirlsTeri Lynne Underwood is a pastor’s wife, ministry speaker, and Bible teacher. As the founder of www.PrayersforGirls.com, Teri Lynne is a cheerleader for girl moms and the author of Praying for Girls: Asking God for the Things They Need Most.

About Praying for Girls:

Instead of feeling overwhelmed by concerns for your daughter, enjoy the peace that comes when you pray targeted prayers for her straight from the Bible. No matter your girl’s age, pray confidently about struggles she may be facing now and in the years to come.

Covering five vital areas of a girl’s life–her identity, heart, mind, relationships, and purpose–this easy-to-use book is ideal for anyone who feels intimidated or uncertain about what to pray for the girl they love. Rounding out the book are conversation starters and fun activities to help you guide your daughter into becoming a godly woman.

 

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