How do I pray for my sons? What do I pray for my sons?
I've heard this argument from married, childless folk - Why would I want to bring kids into this world? It's so messed up as it is, I wouldn't want my kids to grow up in this kind of world.
Ok, but here are my thoughts. One, I'm pretty sure that people are not more sinful now than they have been in the entire history of the world. In fact, during the writing of the New Testament, the Roman empire was at the peak of its sin-filled decadence. Nowadays a lot of people go to church and pretend to be religious and keep their vices for their secret life. Then, people went to their religious temple of choice and engaged in unabashed sex with the temple prostitutes. Nowadays people have abortions privately and secretly. Then, if a child wasn't wanted they openly went and left them on the rocks to die.
So what's my point? (Besides being inflammatory.) (Which is not my point.)
My point is that this argument falls pitifully short because in every generation, none more or less sinful than before, there have been brave, steadfast, godly men and women who have carried on the work of the Gospel and God's kingdom, being the tools that God used so that we today in our so-called enlightened era could have a copy of God's Word and worship openly and freely (in America at least). And many of those men and women had godly mothers and fathers who prayed unceasingly for them.
That's where you and I come in. So what are some things that I pray for my sons? I pray lots of things for them and some prayers are ones that I was inspired by as I heard of other parents praying similar things for their kids. (A good point for the importance of walking in community.) So here are just a few things that I pray for my sons whom I love more than life.
I pray that God would open the eyes of their hearts to understand who they are (sinners) and who God is (righteous and just and loving) and their need for him. I pray that God would draw them irresistibly to himself and that they would walk with him all the days of their lives.
I pray that God would give them the grace they need to live holy lives in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. I ask the Lord to give them steadfast hearts to walk the path of righteousness and truth. I ask the Lord to give them wisdom beyond their years and to always see the path and consequences that a decision will have.
I pray that they would be godly boys and then young men and then men and then old men. I pray that the Lord will give them honest hearts and hearts sensitive to discipline and instruction. I pray that God would give them the grace they need to turn from temptation and instead be courageous, pure men.
I pray that the Lord would make them change agents for his kingdom, accomplishing the plans and purposes and calling he has for them. I ask the Lord to give Matt and I wisdom to see their "bents" and to give us wisdom and insight as we raise them.
I pray continually that the Lord fills us with his lavish love for them, and that we would be a close family all of our days. I have prayed from the day that I found out Asher was a boy that he and Micah would be best friends all the days of their lives, that they would be like David and Jonathan. I ask the Lord to knit their hearts together in unity, to sharpen one another for godliness, to be mighty warriors for his kingdom.
I only fear this culture and its influences when I've taken my eyes off of Christ and the power that lives in Him, and consequently in us who have trusted in him alone for salvation. If we are not raising the next generation of godly change-agents, then who is?
I know that my God can give my sons the grace and the power they need to glorify him in the midst of a sin-filled world. And I look forward to being on the journey.