Monday, May 9, 2011

Lesson 10 - A Heart That Prays Faithfully

What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows? - Proverbs 31:2

These words are from a mother, and they present two more passions as it outlines our job assignment as a mom.

First, we are on assignment from God to pray for our children.

A Passion for Prayer

The text scripture reveals a mother’s anxious care for her child’s good.

Son of my vows meaning she asked God for him in her prayer and dedicated him to God (like Samuel in 1 Samuel 1).

Son of my vows suggests that her child was the object of her daily vows and prayers.

This is a lovely image…a mother who thinks, loves, acts, speaks, and prays with a large and passionate heart!

Her passion doesn’t end in simply a verbal instruction to the child; she also speaks to God on behalf of the child.

We want to see our children embrace the Savior we love. We can’t force this to happen. We must turn to God and express this heartfelt desire to him.

If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: - Psalm 66:18

Be sure that your sins and shortcoming won’t keep God from hearing your requests. If I have favorable thoughts of iniquity, if I love it, indulge it, and allow myself in it, if I treat it as a friend and bid it welcome, make provision for it and am loath to part with it, God will not hear my prayer, will not accept it, nor be pleased with it, nor can I expect an answer of peace to it. Iniquity, regarded in the heart, will certainly spoil the comfort and success of prayer; for the sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord. Those that continue in love and association with sin have no interest either in the promise or in the Mediator, and therefore cannot expect to speed in prayer.

We must be committed to nurturing and maintaining a godly life because a soul – the soul of each child – is involved.

What is it that you desire for your child or children other than salvation? … Christian spouse, salvation for grandchildren, or something else?

Yes, But How?

How does a woman after God’s heart foster a love for and a commitment to praying for her children?

1. Learn from godly and praying mothers and grandmothers.

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. – 2 Timothy 2:15

2. Ask God for His insights for your children.

A Passion for Godly Training

Praying for our children is important; however, we must not stop there. We must also model a life dedicated to the Lord and train our children to follow His ways.

Our decision to take our children to church communicates to them – from birth on – the importance of worship and fellowship.

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. – Hebrews 10:25

Talk about church with eager anticipation all week long.

Start planning ahead. What can you do in preparation for Sunday morning to get your family off to church with more pleasure and less hassle?

 Talk eagerly about church all week. Let your children see you looking forward to going to church.
 Prepare clothes ahead of time.
 Be sure baths are taken and hair is washed the night before in preparation for Sunday.
 Start preparing Sunday breakfast and lunch.
 Early Saturday bedtime makes Sunday morning go more smoothly.

Take your children to church for maximum, not just minimal exposure to God’s people and their activities. Attend both church and church classes. This includes evening worship.

We are dedicated to getting our children to their school activities such as t-ball, baseball, football, band, and choir. How much more important is God than those activities in your life?

You and I will never know on this side of heaven all that our prayers accomplish on behalf of our children.

Truly, the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous mother avails much with God.

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. – James 5:16

It is God’s job to work in our children’s hearts, but it is our job to make God’s standards the standards of our own heart and then to walk by those standards.

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. – Hebrews 4:16


Read 1 Samuel 1:1-10 about the life of Hannah.

      What did her difficulties lead her to do in verse 10?

      In addition to pouring out her heart in prayer, what additional action did she take in verse 11?

Read verses 21-28. What was the additional step of faithfulness in Hannah’s life?

Read 1 Samuel 2:1-11

      What did Hannah do when she delivered her small son to Eli in verse 1?

      What were her opening words in verse 2?

Hannah’s example teaches us to pray in every event or difficulty we encounter. As Hannah’s lips reveal her heart in verses 1-10, note the content of Hannah’s impassioned prayer:

      God’s salvation
      God’s holiness
      God’s strength
      God’s knowledge
      God’s power
      God’s judgment

How do these scenes from Hannah’s life challenge you about your prayer life and how do they speak to you as a mother?

What level of commitment are you making and willing to make in these areas of godly training?

      Church attendance –
      Sunday school attendance –
      Church outings and camps –
      Youth groups and Bible studies –

What excuses do you tend to use for not getting your family to church?

Are you committed to getting your children to church so they can be exposed to the truth no matter what it costs? What would it cost you this week?

What can you say “no” to this week in order to

 spend more time in prayer for your children?
 See that your children get to church?

Prayer Journal: Relate one instance when you actively chose praying for your children as a priority over other activities. Then thank God for His grace to make that choice.

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