Over the years I've learned that each child has specific needs and, as a father who knows his children, I often pray for God to bless them in particular ways.
If I had but one prayer to make, however, there would only be three things I would ask God to grant all four of my children. In these, I am confident that they would find every good thing that life could offer.
1. A Hunger for Righteousness
Children can't always do the right thing. However, if God would put the desire to do so in their hearts, I'm sure that the pattern and rewards of righteous living would eventually be established in their lives. As Jesus says:
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
- Matthew 5:6
2. A Faithful Heart
Fidelity to the scriptures, to a spouse or one's duty, is becoming a rare quality these days. What joy to know that my children could be counted on to establish Christian homes and a strong church after I'm gone. They need to be reminded of Jesus' promises in Matthew 24:13.
But the one who remains faithful to the end will be saved.
3. The Ability to be Grateful
There's no guarantee of health or success in this life, but, I have learned that happiness is based on how grateful you are not how much you have accumulated. I know that Paul, Julia, Emilie and William will know how to be happy if they practice being grateful. As Paul said:
6Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
- Philippians 4:6-7
I'm not going to give up asking for good health and happy families for my adult children but if God answers this one prayer, the time on my knees will have been well spent.
- Which of the things mentioned do you think is most important for yourself or your child? Why?
- Create your own list of three things you would ask the Lord for you or your family. Why these?
- Why do you think some of your prayers are not answered? What changes may need to be made?