And he [Jesus] said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment… (Matthew 22:37,38 ESV)
I have three adult married kids. None live nearby so we stay in touch through phone calls, emails, Facebook, and What’s App. I like knowing what’s happening in their lives so I can pray specifically, but sometimes they don’t tell me. How am I to know if they’re struggling with a relationship, or wrestling with exhaustion, or feeling dissatisfied with their work?
When they were young, I sometimes felt like a parrot repeating the same ol’ prayer: “God bless my kids and keep them safe.” Everything changed when I began using Scripture as the basis for my prayers. I soon realized the power in aligning my requests with God’s heart as revealed in His Word.
One of my favorites was Matthew 22:37,38. Jesus called it the first and greatest command, right? Therefore, I figured that loving God with every part of their heart, soul, and mind was the key to their success in spiritual terms. If this was true in their lives, then everything else—attitudes, beliefs, decisions, actions—would fall into place.
I still pray Matthew 22:37,38 for my kids. And now I pray it for my grandchildren too. I might not know the specifics of what stuff they’re dealing today, but no matter what, I want them to make wise decisions, demonstrate humility and practice generosity. I want them to live pure lives steeped in love and compassion. Loving the Lord with every part of who they are is the key to their doing so.
I bring this request to the Lord regularly. Unlike my generic, “Bless my kids and keep them safe,” the words are rich and packed with life-changing truth. I speak them often, but I don’t feel like a parrot repeating the same ol’ mantra. Instead, I feel like a warrior doing battle on my kids’ behalf, pushing aside lies that might otherwise mislead them to share the love due the Lord with a lesser god.
How about you? Do you have a prayer that you pray frequently for your loved ones?
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