I guess there are two more posts in my “Praying For Your Children” series due to the fact that I received Setting Their Hope in God: Biblical Intercession for Your Children by Andrew Case in the mail yesterday, and, after using for my morning prayer, I’m so excited to recommend it!
There is a condensed version of William Scribner’s 1873 work entitled, An Appeal to Parents to Pray Continually for the Welfare and Salvation of Their Children in the preface of the book which has been edited by Phil Roberts and Andrew Case. I’d like to include an excerpt of it here and an excerpt in one final post in hopes that it will encourage you to PRAY…and also to recommend that this book be a great starting place if you are still feeling overwhelmed by the idea of adding fervent prayer to your daily routine.
You should pray for your children’s conversion because:
- Their salvation is so great a prize that it is worth all the pains which your prayer to secure it for them may cost you. The fact that their souls are precious beyond all thought, that the loss of their souls would be inconceivably dreadful, that eternal life would be an infinite gain to them, and that your prayers may be instrumental in saving them, should stir you up to offer constant requests on their behalf.
- Few will pray for them if you do not. Though we are commanded to intercede for all men (I Tim 2:1), few engage in this duty as they should. When it is done, those who are prayed for are often those who are considered important in the church’s or the world’s estimation.
- No one else can pray for them as you do. The genuine love you have for your children, the tenderness you feel for them, and your knowledge of their makeup, needs and problems, qualify you to please with God on their behalf with an urgency and earnestness which can take no refusal. When God wants to convince us of His willingness to hear prayer, He bases His argument on His parental love: “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:13)
- Your omitting to do so will be perilous to them and to you. God notes our attempts to fulfill our parental obligations. It is not to unfaithful, prayerless parents that His exceeding great and precious promises are addressed: “But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep His covenant and remember to do His commandments” (Ps 103:17-18). Your children are surrounded by evil influences and they are fallen creatures. They need to be protected by the power of God, and no less do they need to be inwardly restrained, enlightened, controlled, purified, and guided by the Holy Spirit.
- You will then find it easier to perform other parental duties, which God has ordained as a means to their salvation. God commended Abraham for being one who would fulfill his parental duties (Gen 18:19): “For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what He has promised him.” God’s will for you as a parent is clear: “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise” (Deut 6:6-7). It is a great work, and nothing can sustain you under the burden like praying for your children, believingly, earnestly, and perseveringly. In giving attention to instruction and discipline, do not neglect prayer! Some blessings seldom come except in answer to heartfelt prayer. One of these is the early conversion of our children.
- Prayer alone can call into exercise that divine power on their behalf, which is absolutely necessary in order that the prayers which you may employ for their salvation may not be used in vain. Only God’s mighty power can effect the great change necessary, raising them from a state of spiritual death. Your child is absolutely dependent upon the influence of God’s all powerful Spirit. Though you persevere in the use of means, without the Spirit it will be in vain. Nothing but believing prayer can secure His power to effect the change.
- By their salvation, granted in answer to your prayers, your Savior will be glorified. Not merely the salvation of your children, but the glory of your dear Savior in their salvation, should impel you to pray for them. This motive should be stronger than any other which can influence you to seek their salvation.