Stand in the gap and pray!
Nothing brings out the Mama Bear reaction in me as quickly as when I feel my kids are being attacked. It makes me bear my teeth and claws and feel ready to jump into action to protect my kids. It’s easy to want to defend them against bullies and seen forces, but in reality my kids are being attacked by an unseen enemy whose desire is to kill, steal, and destroy them. I've often chalked up hard times to “bad luck” or “stages of life,” not even thinking that evil forces could be at the heart of my child’s struggles. It wasn't until both of my kids were struggling in their teen years that I learned to stand in the gap and pray in the power and authority of Jesus’ name for them. God makes His power available to us. Ephesians one says, “I pray you will begin to understand the incredible greatness of His power for us who believe in Him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead.” God gives us that power to speak in the name of Jesus and His power “is far above any ruler or authority,” including Satan. We can speak victory over our children. I often pray that if the struggle my children are facing is coming from Satan, that God would be their defender and I command Satan to leave in the name and authority of Jesus living in me. When we use the name of Jesus, Satan has to obey! In my early days of prayer I would pray for very specific things for my children, usually with regards to some circumstance they were facing. Now I’ve learned to pray more for what they will learn through that circumstance and how God will build their character. For example, instead of praying that they will pass a test, I pray that they will learn the value of hard work and preparation and be rewarded for their efforts. In effect, I feel this is praying not for MY will to be done but rather for God’s will to be done in their character and spiritual formation.
Praying scripture is a perfect way to pray God’s will for your kids. Find verses and insert your child’s name. Here’s how I would pray Proverbs 3:3-4 for my daughter, “May Brenna wear kindness and loyalty around her neck and never let them get away from her. Write them deep within her heart. Then she will have a good reputation and find favor with both God and man.” I might then pray further about her reputation or other things God would want to write within her heart. Continue to claim God’s promises for your children and even memorize the verses so you can pray them at any time. God’s Word is powerful!
When your children are facing a strong challenge, God encourages us to fast and pray. Somehow when we are at our weakest, it releases God’s power to be even stronger. Choose a time frame to fast from food or something else that consumes your time, and use that time to be intentional to pray for your child. I usually get past the point of being hungry and tired and get to a new heighten awareness of God’s presence where He gives me a deeper understanding and more focused prayer. Fasting is a powerful weapon God gives us that is largely unused by Christians today; but I can testify that it works! You may need to continue to bring the same requests to the Lord until He either changes the situation or changes your child’s heart. Luke 11:9-10 says, “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And the door is opened to everyone who knocks.”
Come back next week, for the second installment and some great resource material.
From Dawn Belknap