Praying the Scriptures has become a familiar means to align our prayers with the Word and will of God. If we were to “pray the parents of Scripture,” could we hear God’s heart for our families in a fresh way? Consider these examples.
“Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac . . . and offer him . . . for a burnt offering” (Genesis 22:2). Abraham’s obedience flowed from a deep understanding of who God is. He trusted God’s heart toward him and his son. In prayer we place our children on the altar, crying, “Father, not my will but thy will be done.” Surrendering them to God requires that we place our natural drive to fight for their interests on the altar as well. Can we trust the God who sees the end from the beginning with the outcomes He wants for our children?
The Widow and the Unjust Judge
“There was a judge in a certain city,” [Jesus] said, “who neither feared God nor cared about people. A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy’” (Luke 18:2–5, NLT). We are not told that the widow’s need involved a child, but as parents we are free to borrow her methods. The world gave her no chance, but she pursued and accepted nothing short of full deliverance. A praying parent is not wrong to cry out to be avenged of our adversary. I believe it is acceptable in God’s eyes for us to love our children and fight for them with every godly tool we have, leaving the outcome in God’s hands as we did when placing them on the altar.
The Syrophoenician Woman
A woman of Canaan cried unto him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord . . . my daughter is severely demon possessed. . . . But he answered and said, It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs. And she said, ‘Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.’ Then Jesus answered and said to her, ‘O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.’” (Matthew 15:22, 26–28).Let us press our way into the presence of Jesus, imploring Him to break the chains of influence the enemy has had in our children’s lives. Click To Tweet
Though the gospel would eventually be offered to “whosoever will,” it was not yet time for Jesus to minister to the Gentiles. This mother’s passionate worship—her willingness to receive insult and keep seeking a way—broke the barrier of dispensations to bring the relief she craved. The spirits of the evil one oppose our children daily. Being out of His will magnifies the effect of those darts and arrows. This mother must have faced many actions of her child she could not prevent or contain, but rather than reject the child as incorrigible, she recognized the actions for what they were and addressed their source. Let us press our way into the presence of Jesus, imploring Him to break the chains of influence the enemy has had in our children’s lives. We must have faith and keep on crying out.
The Widow with the Pot of Oil
“The widow . . . came to Elisha and cried out, ‘My husband who served you is dead, and you know how he has feared the Lord. But now a creditor has come, threatening to take my two sons as slaves’” (II Kings 4:1, NLT). These sons faced bondage to pay debts they had not made. We know their mother had sacrificed everything, as she told Elisha, “[I have] nothing at all, except a flask of olive oil” (verse 2).
She could have become bitter: “Elisha, how could you let this happen? I will never trust a man of God again.” Refusing to be offended, she chose to throw herself into the only hope she knew. Her cry to Elisha brought a miracle as the oil flowed into borrowed vessels. Its sale brought money to repay the debt and secure their future.
When all we have done appears to have been in vain, we risk the paralyzing bitterness of despair that would relive every hurtful memory. A fighting spirit acknowledges the danger and cries out for a word from God through the Elishas of our day. That word brings our miraculous deliverance.
Parents Who Wanted Jesus’ Touch
“Some parents brought their little children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them” (Luke 18:15, NLT). Those fathers and mothers sought the blessings of Jesus on their children. What tender prayers I pray as, in the Spirit, I lay my daughter in Jesus’ arms and ask that He put His hand on her and bless her. I seek no specific outcome in those moments, only, “Jesus, let her feel Your touch and hear Your voice of love.”
Resources and Links
A version of this article was originally published in Pentecostal Life.