Tuesday, January 24, 2017

How to cast away your cares

Dear Lord,

Today has been really stressful. I'm reminded on Peter's advice to the church in 1 Peter 5:7:

"Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you."

I'm looking up the meanings in this verse, and with your help, I want to really "cast my anxiety on you." I'm not being critical, but this sounds way easier than it it.

Here's what I found out (which you already know):

The idea of "cast," which is epiriptō in Greek, means  "to throw out, throw on, throw down." In other words, chuck it! Heave it far from you. Lord, I think you're serious about this casting thing.

Then Peter uses 2 different words for "care" in this little verse: merimna, melei.

The first (a noun) means "anxiety; distraction, cares, anxiety pertaining to earthly things"; the second (a verb) means "to care about, have regard for."

So here's my prayer--my deep soul-hungering prayer that is desperate to feel peace:

Lord God, I don't want to carry this anymore! I'm heaving all my stress, worry, earthly distractions, and fears far from me--over the cliff, into on-coming traffic, out to sea. Whatever the metaphor. I don't want them. 

I can live without anxiety. I can. So why do I hang on to worry instead of flinging it far from me? I don't need to worry because you care so much about me. You have my life figured out. 
You have regard for me; it matters to you what happens to me. 

Of course it does. That's why you died for me. That's why you placed me in a beautiful world. That's why you want me to pray. 

You love me.

How can I worry? I will praise your name. Lord, I worship and exalt you!
What can man do to me?

In Jesus' name, Amen.

image by Rostislav Kralik

Friday, January 13, 2017

Specific things to pray over your children

Dear God, who is the perfect Father,

I pray your presence over my children today.
Please send your Spirit to guide, direct, encourage, prompt, and convict them,
so they will lean into the Spirit's voice and follow it,
even if they aren't aware that it's really You.

Give wisdom and courage to the one who's interviewing for a job.
Give resolve and determination to the one who's in school.
Give patience and vision to the one who's planning out his life.

Encourage integrity and purity in the one who's dating.
Comfort the one who's discouraged and dismayed.
Spark imagination in the one who's feeling uncreative and unproductive.
Bring healing to the one who's heartbroken.
Reveal mission to the one who's longing to serve.

Stir compassion in the one who's inattentive to suffering,
generosity to the selfish,
stability to the insecure,
joy to the saddened.

And above all, lavish Your love on them, as You always do.
But help them to feel it!
May each child be overwhelmed with the reality of Your abundant love,
so overwhelmed that it changes them!
Transform them into the image of Christ,
who loved others with infinite love.

And while You accomplish all these transformations,
help me to get out of the way
and let You have Your will with my children--
because they are Yours.

Yours alone.
Thank you for blessing me with them for a short time.
May I live worthy of the calling!

image by Amy Robinson

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Spiritual warfare over the rebellious child

Sometimes, we notice our children slipping away from active faith.
Or we notice stagnant lives, and we stress about them taking a spiritual nose-dive.
Or perhaps they are actively pursuing God, yet we worry about outside influences.
And then there are those frightening times when they just don't care about God at all;
perhaps they are making dangerous and sinful choices.
And we can't stop it.


Here's a prayer of spiritual warfare to pray over your wayward child:

Dear Father in Heaven,

You understand a parent's heart. You know that even though I trust You, it's so hard to leave my child completely in Your hands. I'm worried, even angry about the evil influences that push against ________. Please place Your hands around _________ and guide him/her into Your presence. Give him/her a thirst for You and a dissatisfaction for the pleasures of this world. Place people in _________'s path to influence and encourage him/her toward the heart of God. I ask for the Holy Spirit to convict, persuade, and strengthen __________. In Jesus' name, I pray the Holy Spirit's power over the enemy and his forces of evil that daily assault my child. I pray against the enemy's deceitful promises; I pray against the pleasure of evil--may sin taste bitter to my child. Lord, let his/her harmful friends and dangerous actions frighten __________; lead __________ to run toward You for protection, power, and purpose. Help __________ to find his/her identity in You alone, and not in the lies of the enemy of Christ. I claim victory in my child's life because of Christ's sacrifice on the Cross and His powerful resurrection! In Jesus' holy and mighty name, I pray for __________ to return to blessings of a life lived wholly for God. May ________ walk worthy of Your calling, may __________ please You. May __________ conform no longer to the world but be transformed in his/her mind. Lead him/her into your good and perfect will. I give him/her into Your hands to transform him/her through Your power. 

In Jesus' precious name,

(Read Romans 12, Colossians 1, and Ephesians 6 for more)

image by George Hodan