COP-09 - How to Pray for Those We Love Part 2 - Praying for Integrity in Their Personal Lives

150503PM Prayer for Our Families-2.docx

Learning How To Pray

Through Life For Those you Love

Job 1:5

 

 

 

 

The Book of Job is perhaps the oldest book in the world. It is also perhaps the clearest view into the spirit world, the spiritual side of parenting and the cosmic proportion of conflicts we face as we parent and lead as dads. Look at Job 1:5:

 

Job 1:5 So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings [according to] the number of them all. For Job said, "It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." Thus Job did regularly. (NKJV)

 

Notice this section is called "given to prayer". That term is well defined in the NT. Look with me for a moment at Acts 6:4.

 

How to Cultivate Intercessory Praying

In just eight words, the disciples summed up everything Jesus taught them about prayer, priorities, and in just seven more words, the basis for the entire ministry of the Gospel.

For anyone who is involved in ministry, this is our priority and starting place. The Lord tells us what should be the first place we go each day in ministry. For all of us, the true source of power for lasting ministry is defined here.

Please read Acts 6:4. With a heart to hear from God, please do something that will drill this verse down deep into your heart. Right where you are, look down and slowly, deliberately and softly read this verse, emphasizing each word.

Acts 6:4 (NKJV) but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word."

 

What was the most important lesson, drawn from 3 1/2 years with Christ? The necessity of clinging to a daily lifestyle of prayer and the Word.

First, the grammar of this word. This verb used speaks of what the action of prayer that God desires looks like. Proskartereo is a future, active, indicative meaning, "from now on we will not stop doing this".

Second, the meaning of this word. This word was chosen by the Spirit (used 10x in the New Testament) and means: "to stick, adhere, persevere in constant readiness". I like to think of this as super-glue. Jesus taught them to stick to these two things: prayer and the ministry of the Word.

Third, the priority. Prayer comes first. We stick to the habit of praying first, before all else, and we persevere, glued to prayer, given to prayer, constantly seeking God's power.

Can we learn something about how to allow the Spirit to empower our prayers for our families from Job's life? Yes, some powerful habits he had. There are five distinct elements of Job's parenting habits. You may want to even note these in your Bibles.   

 

1. Intercessory Prayers Follow the Lives of Our Families

Job prayerfully followed the daily life of his children. Note the words, "when the days of feasting".

Job 1:5 So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings [according to] the number of them all. For Job said, "It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." Thus Job did regularly. (NKJV)

He knew what was going on in his children's lives.

He knew their cycle of house visits, parties, gatherings, and so on.

He was in touch on a daily basis with where they were and where they were headed.

He followed his children around in his heart because he had a godly concern and love for them.

ARE YOU FOLLOWING YOUR CHILDRENS LIVES?

 

Tips to Get Started

You and I will never pray effectively for those who are not regularly on our hearts.

Do you jot notes on areas to remember to pray for in their lives?

Do you have a list of their challenges that you ask them about, that you pray for, and that you check with them about?

Start praying for someone regularly; and ask them about some areas they would like prayer for in their lives. The most frequent response from them is amazement. Most people can't believe we remember and care. So, make the choice today to prayerfully track with the lives of those you love in consistent prayer. Secondly:

 

 

2. Intercessory Prayers for Sanctification in Our families

Job prayerfully sought the personal consecration of each member of his family.

Job 1:5 So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings [according to] the number of them all. For Job said, "It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." Thus Job did regularly. (NKJV)

Note the words, "Job would send and sanctify them". This speaks of his high priestly role at the head of his family. He went to God seeking their purity before the Lord.

In a practical way, dads, it is you that needs to know well your boys and girls so that you can stand with them in prayer, seeking their sanctification. Sanctification is a big word for being useful to the Lord. As dads, we need to pray, seek, and ask the Lord to make our children instruments He can use. That is our constant prayer.

It is a godly dad who prays constantly for his children, that needs to tell them when they are out of line, when they are immodest, when they are heading toward sin and so on!

 

Tips to Get Started

We are, as Paul said in Ephesians 5, to seek the sanctification of those we love, through God's Word! We should care about our family members' spiritual status and be prayerfully seeking their growth toward Christlikeness.

Do you pray regularly for the personal sanctification work of God in your family members' lives?

In the middle of v. 5 we see another truth about godly prayers:

 

3.  Intercessory Prayers for Family Members

Job prayerfully offered himself to God as an intercessor for his family before God.

Job 1:5 So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings [according to] the number of them all. For Job said, "It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." Thus Job did regularly. (NKJV)

It wasn't talk it was work!

Have you ever offered yourself to God as an intercessor?

Prayer is much like holding something for someone you love. You just make sure that you guard it. Next:

 

4.  Intercessory Prayers are Offered From God's Perspective

Note the words "in their hearts". He was so vitally concerned about their inner spiritual life that he cried out to God for them. Have you started doing this?

Job 1:5 So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings [according to] the number of them all. For Job said, "It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." Thus Job did regularly. (NKJV)

Job was so aware of the constant pressure of the world, the flesh and the devil. He wanted pure children, holy families and strong worshipers of God Almighty. So he was looking over the lives of his family members trying to see them from the inside out.

What a challenge, what an opportunity, what an encouragement this can be dads. Sometimes we just need to look at them as they will be instead of only as they are.

Remember God says we are seated with Christ. That is our future glorified condition. And He relates to us on that basis. Never overlooking sin, but always seeing us, as we shall be by His grace. Finally:

 

5.  Intercessory Prayers  that Never Quit

He was a great and godly dad because he kept on. It wasn't just when they were little. He prayed through their growing years and never stopped.

You know the key to success in any endeavor is to get started and not quit.

Job 1:5 So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings [according to] the number of them all. For Job said, "It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." Thus Job did regularly. (NKJV)

"Continually." He started following their lives. He started to offer prayers for his family as their intercessor and wouldn't stop. He was ready for the unexpected death of his children. He prepared them for it every day!

A Godly parent, full of the Spirit and in tune with the Scriptures, will know his children deeply, personally and directly, get involved in making sure they keep pure, stand ready to seek their repentance and restoration, look at heart attitudes, and won't stop!

 

How to Get Started with Prayers for Those We Love

We have a biblical obligation to pray for those that we love in our families.

There is a tiny pocket-sized card in the rack at the Media Center and also a full-sized booklet of the same material as what I am sharing with you now.

It is in every visitor gift bag, and is posted as a printable PDF on our Calvary website called: "How to Pray for Those you Love".

Here is why we should allow the Holy Spirit to empower us to pray:

Listen to Samuel in 1 Samuel 12:23 (NKJV)

"Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you; but teach you the good and the right way.

I could summarize the guidelines for each of us to use as we pray in this way:

 

A Four-Part Plan For Every Believer

There are four elements in the lives of those we love and serve, that we must be sure we ask, seek, and knock for at the Throne of grace and mercy. Those prayers invite the Hand of God to be at work in their lives to stir:

 

Reality In Their Spiritual Life (Last Time)

Integrity In Their Personal Life

Stability In Their Relational Life

Eternity During Their Temporal/Earthly Life

 

These truths are the same that we would pray for our Sunday School class, our youth group or grandchildren, a discipleship class, or our very own children living at home, at school, or even married and out of the home.

These truths are for life, and they span our entire ministry with people in the Name of Jesus and for His Glory.

We must pray in faith; and to even more powerfully impact those we love, join with someone in prayer that we can share complete agreement with as we pray. In marriage this is a natural partnership in prayer that God offers to us. So prayerfully we seek God about seeing them grow with integrity in their personal life:

 

1.     By maintaining a clear conscience (I Timothy 1:5).

2.     By learning to stand alone (Daniel 1:8).

3.     By seeking to stay pure in Mind & Body (I Peter 2:11).

4.     By evidencing a servant’s heart (Mark 10:44-45).

5.     By not being bitter in trials (Ephesians 4:30-32).