Grab Hold & Don't Let Go

Today, I want to talk to you about praying - prophetically seeing, hearing and thinking what God is saying and doing in the life of your kids and household. It is important that we hear from God for our families and for our children through what the Bible says and through specific things God speaks regarding us or our family. Sometimes God reveals things to us and sometimes another person will speak things they’ve heard God say about us or our family. The thing to remember is that when God speaks, it will always be consistent with what the Bible says.

When we declare scripture or those things we believe God is saying directly to us, it not the understanding that is powerful, but it is the fact that it is spoken. Some things need to be declared. My wife and I have been declaring certain things over our son since he was still in the womb. You want to find the word of the Lord for your child and you want to speak those things over your child. The same is true for your family.

In Job 1:4-5, we see Job offering sacrifices on behalf of his children. This was an intercessory role. He prayed on their behalf, not because they did something wrong, but just in case they might have done something wrong. What an amazing posture. We should take this attitude as parents, not just to bring problems to God as they come up, but to be proactive and pray for them as they go through the process of life. We want to call out things that strengthen them for challenges ahead or events that are coming up. We want to be praying ahead of time rather than just reacting to situations and circumstances. Pray with your children every night. Pray over each of your children uniquely according to the gifts inside of them. Each one has gifts and qualities that God has given them for their life’s purpose. It is important that you are speaking into those areas and declaring God’s word over them.

When children come home with problems, help them find a purpose in those difficult times. Help them identify what they can learn from the situation. Use these moments to awaken hope and purpose for them. This is not necessarily prayer or prophecy, although this is always a good time to pray with them, but it is a good word in due season for encouragement. When you see things in your children, speak them. You see and you declare. Train them up in the way God has for them (Proverbs 22:6). We have got to learn to pay attention to the way they should go and then be there for them to support, encourage and direct when needed. Be careful that the words that we speak over them are constructive not destructive. Hard times will come and mistakes will be made, but these don’t define your child and they don’t define your family.

There are some things that we pray repeatedly because that’s the way children learn. We teach simple prayers to them and we repeat scripture, but we also need to encourage our children to hear from God themselves. Have them ask God if there’s anything that He wants them to do in their life that seems impossible. Help them see that God created them on purpose to do impossible things We also have the ability as parents to reverse words. We can openly and declaratively reject negative words that are spoken over our children. They are not identified by mistakes they’ve made. We know they’re not perfect. But we know God has great and wonderful things planned for them and this is what we hold to and declare over them. Give honor to qualities and efforts they make and brag on them.

Finally, find scriptures for your family and pray these words over them until they become yours, until they become true. Even when you’re children are adults, find, pray and declare scripture over them. Don’t stop praying when they graduate high school or college. Pray for them throughout their lives. Study and learn to hear from God for your family. Call out the gifting‘s and the personality traits for each of them. Take the things you see in them and pray them. We not only have to pray into the present but we have to pray into the future and declare what God is saying on behalf of our families.

Live Long & Prosper

Have you ever wondered, “How do I have a prosperous and long life?” Ephesians 6:2 gives us a key. Honor your mother and father and things will go well. Why honor? We honor because of the position. Parents may not necessarily deserve honor, but we are commanded to honor unconditionally, just because they hold the position of parent in our life. The position is designated for honor, so we have no excuse. So, how do we honor our parents through the course of our life?

As a child, we honor by obeying. We do what they ask and follow our parent’s instructions - willfully, cheerfully and immediately. I call this first-time obedience. God has ordained three authorities according to Scripture, home, church, and government. When we learn how to respond and relate to those in authority as a young person, it helps us throughout life. As a teenager, respect is valuable in showing honor. In Leviticus 19:3, God commands us to show great respect to our father and mother. It says nothing here about making an exception if they are flawed and imperfect. Forgive them for their imperfections, the good, the bad, and the ugly and treat them with respect. Another way is by listening to your parents. This proves your intelligence according to Proverbs 13:1. Foolish children do their own thing and go their own way. God gave you parents for a purpose, to help you become the person you were meant to be. Proverbs 6:20 says to obey your father’s commands is the path to life. But what if I am an adult? How do I show honor to my parents at this stage of life? Appreciate them. Appreciate your parents for their effort. They put up with you they whole time you were growing up. Appreciate them for their sacrifice. They went without things in order to raise you! Parenting is expensive. It's an unselfish decision to be a parent. Prov 23:25 says to give your father and mother joy. May she who gave you life be happy. Learn to value your parents and acknowledge that you understand that they've impacted you. Stay in touch with them. Call them and visit them. Provide for them as your roles are reversed.

God valued the honor of parents so much that he included it in His first, most basic and most important commandments, right up there with “don't murder” and “don’t commit adultery”. It's an important commandment with a promise for long life and prosperity. In fact, it is so important to honor your parents that even as Jesus was crucified and dying after a beating beyond imagination, He took time to make sure His own mother was cared for. He made seven statements while He was on the cross and one of them was to commission John to care for His mother Mary. Honor and care of His mother was that important. I Timothy 5:8 says that if anyone doesn't take care of his own relatives, especially his immediate family, that he has denied his Christian faith and he is worse than an unbeliever. We honor God when we honor our parents. Love is spelled t_i_m_e. Give your parents time. Show up. Call. Write. Text. Make time for them, to honor them and ultimately to honor God.

I know some are in a situation where parents were abusive or absent. What should you do if your parents hurt you? Face it and deal with it, so you can get on with your life. If you're carrying unfinished business, unforgiveness and hurt, you need to deal with it so those emotions don't surface and result in hurt of your own spouse and children, friends and family. Release the anger. Let it go and be healed. Forgive. Stop hiding. Stop blaming. Find a good counselor. Talk to your parents about how you feel if possible. Do the work necessary so you can move on with your life. Stop the cycle so it doesn't affect the generations that follow. Only God can heal you but it starts by facing the issues instead of pretending to be ok. Were you abandoned? Psalm 27:10 promises that the Lord Himself will take care of you. He never leaves you. You can turn to Him at any time. There is no indication in Scripture that we ever grow out of the command to honor our father and mother. And just as there is no end to the command, there is no expiration of the attached promise, that if you do this, it will go well with you. You will live long and prosper. Take God at His word and you will be blessed.