I’m a note-taker and a scribbler, so the pages of my favorite Bible are highlighted in yellow, underlined in pencil, and inscribed with various colors of pen, but my favorite and most meaningful markings are four sets of initials lightly penciled beside select verses. These are my four sons’ initials, and they draw my eyes toward words of prayer from the mouths of Old Testament kings and prophets. They bring to mind prayer requests from the pens of New Testament apostles. They are reminders that there can be more to my prayer life than my own tired words rolling mechanically from my lips.
From the time my eldest son was born, I have “collected” Scriptural prayers for my boys, and as I have been reading in the book of II Thessalonians, I have encountered four prayers from the heart of the Apostle Paul in Corinth on behalf of his spiritual children in far-away Thessalonica. Now with my “baby” at age thirteen, my oldest married and a dad, and the middle guys busier than ever, I find that my prayers, like Paul’s, need to come from a place of longing to see them, but, at the same time, trusting the sovereign protection of their Heavenly Father. Because my prayers (like me) tend to be weighted down with anxiety and a bit short-sighted, I love to soar with the wings of these scriptural prayers for my boys:
- II Thessalonians 1:11, 12 – “Therefore, we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
What a privilege to bring glory to the God of the universe! In the midst of all our conversations about vocation and college plans, it has been our desire to communicate to our sons the truth that their walk (v. 11) will allow God to be put on display in their lives (v. 12), and this is the highest calling!
- II Thessalonians 2:16, 17 – Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.
Just today I received an e-mail from one of my sons saying that he had injured his back and was in pain. He’s in college and perfectly capable of tending to the problem with heat and ice and a visit to the doctor, but mama bear would love nothing more than to go and give comfort herself. It is reassuring to me that no matter what may be going on in the lives of my boys, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself is available to them by His grace. His encouragement and strength will establish their lives on a firm foundation.
- 3. II Thessalonians 3:5 – Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.
So much waiting in this life!
So many opportunities to trust!
My teens and twenties were characterized by impetuous decisions and selfish impatience, so my prayer is that my boys would be spared this hard path and, instead, put their minutes and days into the hands of a loving God.
- II Thessalonians 3:16 – Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way.
Already, there have been hard days for my boys – opportunities for them to trust God for peace. We have prayed in the hospital waiting room with our son as his wife suffered through a frighteningly prolonged labor and delivery. We have walked the days of “no” with college applications and job interviews that had disappointing outcomes, auditions and recitals that did not go as planned, and injuries that jettisoned a sports season. God is teaching us, as a family, that gratitude is the key to peace, especially if it’s going to be “peace always in every way.”
Praying Scripture for my boys helps me to keep my prayers in the will of God.
Praying Scripture eases the words of worry that trace their way through my brain, transforming them into words of prayer.
Praying God’s Words for my children moves my motivations away from my own will and into a place where I accept His good plan for my children.
When words fail me, when I don’t trust my own heart, and because, ultimately, I want God’s best for my children –- even when I’m not sure what this is — I’m thankful for the words of a Heavenly Father who loves my boys even more than I do.
Michele Morin: I am wife to a patient husband, Mum to four young men and a daughter-in-love, and, now, Gram to one adorable grandboy. My days are spent homeschooling, reading piles of books, and, in the summer, tending our beautiful (but messy) garden and canning the vegetables. I love to teach the Bible, and am privileged to gather weekly around a table with the women of my church and to blog about the grace I am receiving, and the lessons from God’s Word that I am trusting.