DWM-41 - The Unlimited Power of Unhindered Prayer in A Godly Marriage

As we open to I Peter 3 this morning, may I challenge each of you to one of Christ's greatest promises to us as believers? Jesus said, “If you pray in faith you can see even that mountain moved” (Mt. 17:20); and, “If any two of you agree as touching anything, I will do it” (Mt. 18:19); and again, “Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7; Lk. 11:9).

The unlimited power of unhindered prayer in marriage is explained by Peter in chapter 3 to be in the context of a submissive, servant-hearted couple, living together in a harmonious, godly marriage. For us today we should remember that the majority of all adults in America are married. So our study today touches on most of us here. Either you are currently married, or will be someday be married, so this message from God's Word is for YOU!

God designed for marriage to be delightful. 

But when you add two believers who commit to a godly, Word-filled marriage there is an incredibly high degree of delight plus incredible power for spiritual ministry added to that marriage, that others do not have. 

Today God's Word challenges us to see the power God offers to couples who pray together with a shared faith and walk with the Lord. As we’ll see in a moment, Peter commends the amazing power of unhindered prayers.

God offers us the
Greatest Partnership

One  of my favorite moments in ministry is when a bride and groom, with trembling hearts, are standing with me at a wedding ceremony. The Holy Covenant of marriage offers to them if they are in Christ, access to the greatest power of all—total agreement in prayer to ask for God’s blessing. May I remind you of what couples agree to be at just one portion of the ceremony? It is usually called the lighting of the Unity Candle:

The two outside candles have been lighted to represent your lives to this moment.  They are two distinct lights, each capable of going its separate way.  

To bring joy and radiance into your home, there must be the merging of these two flames into one.

From this time onward may your thoughts be for each other rather than for your individual selves; may your plans be mutual, your joys and sorrows shared.

Wow, every time I say that it gives me shivers of joy to think that is what our marriages are all about. The Lord has offered to each of us a choice. We can either choose to follow His plan or ours through life. If we follow His plan we get to merge our life completely with another believer; and share the promised power that comes if we walk together in God’s Spirit. As a believing couple, we can have unhindered access to God’s Throne, in powerful prayers, agreeing with the one person of earth we can be closer to than anyone else. Is that what your marriage is like? And, is that what you want it to be if you aren’t yet married?

One of the most visible of all our choices is the person we marry. The choice we make will determine so much of the rest of our days on earth. We will either pursue a partner who is merely our choice, or one who is most importantly, the one God has made just for us to complete our life and give us that closest friend and partner to share all of life with, enjoying God’s blessing. 

The resulting years of marriage will be either delightful or disastrous. The lesson to heed for each of you not yet married is that:

God’s Best is
Worth the Wait

Remember you only get one chance in life to start out with a wonderful, Biblical marriage. It is worth the wait. Don’t squander one of the greatest areas of life by doing your own thing instead of God’s! Remember, where you are headed in your marriage, and as a family is your choice. You will never get to anywhere in the future, that you are not headed in the present! If careful, Biblical choices aren’t made, what is the other option? It is called unhappiness, unfaithfulness, hardness, and divorce.

Please listen as we see from Peter the absolute joy and power that is offered in godly marriages, lived out as God intended them to be. 

Please stand as we read God's Word and hear His voice through I Peter 3:1-12

 Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. 3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. 5 For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.
   
7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.
   
8 Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; 9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For 

 “He who would love life and see good days,  Let him refrain his tongue from evil,  And his lips from speaking deceit.  11 Let him turn away from evil and do good;   Let him seek peace and pursue it.  12 For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers;  But the face of the LORD is against those who do evil.”

Pray

God has made three promises to us about what we get for investing with Him some of our time we live on Earth. 

1.    In our marriages He says there is no greater spiritual power than the unhindered prayers of a godly marriage lived out in spiritual harmony.
2.    In our families He says that there is no greater joy than that which comes from seeing your children following God as His servants.
3.    In our personal investment of our time He says that there is no greater reward in life possible than that which He gives to those who go through life making disciples for Him.

Most of us today are part of the over 111 million  married people in America. That is the majority or 56% of all over 18-year-old adults. But even though we may be married today, most of us who are born again Christians only faintly realize the dangers we face every day of our married lives. The atmosphere our minds and hearts have to endure is deadly enough to destroy the most precious commodity we have as married believers—our incredible power of praying as one in heart, mind, and body in Christ. You and I today are:

Living in a
Culture of Divorce

The atmosphere that is so dangerous surrounds us every day. It is our American culture, soaked with the stain of divorce that has penetrated to the depths of all our institutions. 

Listen to these observations from a book called The Divorce Culture .

"Divorce is now part of everyday American life. It is embedded in our laws and institutions, our manners and mores, our movies and television shows, our novels and children's storybooks, and our closest and most important relationships. 

Indeed, divorce has become so pervasive that many people naturally assume it has seeped into the social and cultural mainstream over a long period of time. Yet this is not the case. Divorce has become an American way of life only as the result of recent and revolutionary change.

For most of the nation's history, divorce was a rare occurrence and an insignificant feature of family and social relationships. In the first sixty years of the twentieth century, divorce became more common, but it was hardly commonplace. In 1960, the divorce rate stood at a still relatively modest level of nine per one thousand married couples. [emphasis added] After 1960, however, the rate accelerated at a dazzling pace. 

It doubled in roughly a decade and continued its upward climb until the early 1980s, when it stabilized at the highest level among advanced Western societies. As a consequence of this sharp and sustained rise, divorce moved from the margins to the mainstream of American life in the space of three decades.

Beginning in the late 1950s, Americans began to change their ideas about the individual's obligations to family and society. Broadly described, this change was away from an ethic of obligation to others and toward an obligation to self. 

I do not mean that people suddenly abandoned all responsibilities to others, but rather that they became more acutely conscious of their responsibility to attend to their own individual needs and interests. At least as important as the moral obligation to look after others, the new thinking suggested, was the moral obligation to look after oneself. [emphasis added]

People began to judge the strength and "health" of family bonds according to their capacity to promote individual fulfillment and personal growth. The family began to lose its separate place and distinctive identity as the realm of duty, service, and sacrifice. 

The conception of divorce as both an individual right and an inner experience merged with and reinforced the new ethic of obligation to the self. In family relationships, one had an obligation to be attentive to one's own feelings and to work toward improving the quality of one's inner life. This conception of divorce strongly argued for removing the social, legal, and moral impediments to the free exercise of the individual right to divorce.

So the basic fabric of society, the strong culture of family, the necessity of honest character, the expectation of moral duty, and the personal habits of sacrifice have all slowly evaporated in America. But amazingly this has not merely taken place in secular society, it is equally common among believers, so that we find many:

Godly People in
Spiritually Neutralized Homes

God designed the convictions and disciplines of godly believers to primarily be taught within the framework of a vibrant, functioning Word filled home (Deuteronomy 6). His plan was that husbands nurture their wives in the Word, and that wives respond to their godly husbands and overflow into a sacrificial investment in their children.

God designed a plan in His Word for dads to lead the way in family devotions, for moms to support and supplement that plan—and for children to grow up in a home where the Word was just as much a part of life as meals, work, and recreation.

But all that has slowly changed. The American culture of personal expression and self centeredness has allowed families to slowly grow apart. The family meals that used to be the center of the day, the meeting of the family to talk, grow closer and to care for one another has been replaced by life on the run between athletic, academics, and recreation. It is time for Christ's church to:

Get Back to the Basics: 
Word Filled Lives, Marriages, and Families

Now, go back to where we started. God has made three promises to us about what we get for investing with Him some of our time we live on Earth. 

•    In our marriages He says there is no greater spiritual power than the unhindered prayers of a godly marriage lived out in spiritual harmony.
•    In our families He says that there is no greater joy than that which comes from seeing your children following God as His servants.
•    In our personal investment of our time He says that there is no greater reward in life possible than that which He gives to those who go through life making disciples for Him.
 
1.    There is No Greater Power than having a Word Filled Marriage . What type of power is there in a marriage? Prayer offered to God in complete agreement with the one person we can be closest to on Earth—our partner and closest friend for all of life.  And here is that greatest offer for prayer as a married couple in Christ: shared prayed in absolute agreement with your wife means– No Greater Power! 1 Peter 3:7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.   

2.    There is No Greater Joy than having a Word Filled Family. 3 John 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. 

3.    There is No Greater Reward than having a Word Filled Life . 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? 20 For you are our glory and joy.

A Word filled family is a family that takes its tone and direction from God's Word. That means that there is consistent time spent by moms and dads seeking to know what God wants done, and by His grace, doing it.

Since prayer is such a commanded and powerful tool, we must learn to develop a constant habit of praying for our children. God's Word explains how to pray for our children if we are parents; and how to we direct the lives of our young people. God has written down His expectations for us as we live together in marriage and the home. God's Word also describes what we look for if we are single and waiting for His timing and plans for our marriage someday.

Prayer is
The Key

God has told us and His servants have shown us that prayer is the key to raising, nurturing, and launching children that please the Lord. We all should be in a personal, long-term plan to learn how to better and better pray for our children. Here are the four key areas God's Word has described for us to focus our prayers as a couple. We are to be sure that we consistently pray for reality in their spiritual lives, integrity in their personal lives, stability in their relational lives, and eternity in their earthly life.

Let me just summarize what I mean. Ten years ago, I spent an entire year preaching through every verse in God's Word about marriage and family. Unknown to me a dear friend took my notes that I posted online every week from my messages and edited them down into a book. 

Then they came to me with the manuscript for that book and asked if they could make that material available for missionaries to translate for Russian, Arabic, and Spanish speaking areas.  After the Russian version was published, we got an English version. 

This book called the Word Filled Family, is the entire 464 page Bible study, and represents two thousand hours invested in prayerful study in the Bible of all that God has said to His people about how to allow His Word fill and overflow our marriages, homes, families, and lives. 

But the key to all that He has for us is that we learn that the greatest power we have is prayer. If we are not praying regularly, and earnestly as a couple for our marriage and family—we are not following His Divine plan laid down for us in His Word. I could summarize the guidelines for parents to pray as:

A Four-Part Plan
For Every Godly Couple

There are four elements in the lives of our children 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
•    integrity in their personal life
•    stability in their relational life
•    eternity during their temporal/earthly life

These truths are all summed up with the Scripture passage that teaches them, on a small card that I carry around in my wallet, that corresponds to and summarizes the Word Filled family book.

We must pray in complete agreement as a couple, about our responsibility to cultivate reality in their spiritual life:

1.    Seeing them genuinely saved. Acts 26:18
2.    Seeing them loving God's Word. Job 23:12
3.    Seeing them living in victory. John 8:32, 36
4.    Seeing them thinking of heaven. Colossians 3:1-2
5.    Seeing them finding sin repulsive. Psalm 38:18
6.    Seeing them responding to God. Psalm 51:17

We must pray in complete agreement as a couple, about our responsibility to cultivate integrity in their personal life:

1.    Seeing them maintaining a clear conscience (I Timothy 1:5).
2.    Seeing them learning to stand alone (Daniel 1:8).
3.    Seeing them seeking to stay pure (I Peter 2:11). 
4.    Seeing them cultivating a servant’s heart (Mark 10:44-45).
5.    Seeing them avoiding bitterness in trials (Ephesians 4:30-32).

We must pray in complete agreement as a couple, about our responsibility to cultivate stability in their relational life:
  
1.    Seeing them loving their brothers and sisters (I John 4:7-8). 
2.    Seeing them trusting God with hard situations and not rebelling I Samuel 15:23a).
3.    Seeing them loving the way God made them as men and women (Psalm 27:11). 
4.    Seeing them waiting to meet God’s chosen life partner for them II Corinthians 6:14).  

We must pray in complete agreement as a couple, about our responsibility to cultivate eternity during their temporal/earthly life.

1.    Seeing them choosing a life of contentment .  Philippians 4:11  
2.    Seeing them choosing a life of personally knowing, serving, loving and obeying the Lord. 1 Chronicles 28:9  
3.    This them choosing a life of consecration. 1 Timothy 6:9-12  

Now, go back to where we started. God has made three promises to us about what we get for investing with Him some of our time we live on Earth. 

1.    In our marriages He says there is no greater spiritual power than the unhindered prayers of a godly marriage lived out in spiritual harmony.
2.    In our families He says that there is no greater joy than that which comes from seeing your children following God as His servants.
In our personal investment of our time He says that there is no greater reward in life possible than that which He gives to those who go through life making disciples for Him. 
Spiritual
Reality

We must pray in complete agreement, for them to cultivate reality in their spiritual life:

1.    Seeing them  genuinely saved. Acts 26:18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’
•    1 Timothy 2:4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. (NIV)
•    2 Timothy 3:15  

2.    Seeing them  loving God's Word. Job 23:12 I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.
•    Psalm 119:97, 165  
•    Jeremiah 15:16 Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts. (NKJV) 

3.    Seeing them living in victory. John 8:32, 36 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
•    John 17:15 "I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. (NKJV)

4.    Seeing them  thinking of heaven. Colossians 3:1-2 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.

•    2 Corinthians 4:16-17  
•    1 Thessalonians 2:19-20  
•    1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (NKJV)    

5.    Seeing them  finding sin repulsive. Psalm 38:18 For I will declare my iniquity; I will be in anguish over my sin.
•    Proverbs 20:17  .
•    Luke 15:17-18  
•    Hebrews 11:25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, (NKJV)

6.    Seeing them  responding to God. Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart—these, O God, You will not despise.

Personal
Integrity

Secondly, we must pray in complete agreement, for them to cultivate integrity in their personal life:

1.    Seeing them maintaining a clear conscience (I Timothy 1:5). Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,

•    2 Chronicles 34:27 because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before God when you heard His words against this place and against its inhabitants, and you humbled yourself before Me, and you tore your clothes and wept before Me, I also have heard you,” says the Lord. 
•    Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; 24 And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.
•    Acts 24:16 "This [being] so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men. (NKJV) 
•    1 Timothy 1:5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, [from] a good conscience, and [from] sincere faith, (NKJV) 
•    1 Timothy 1:19 having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, (NKJV)

2.    Seeing them learning to stand alone (Daniel 1:8). But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. (which means a conviction that their character is more important than their popularity). 

•    Daniel 3:16-18 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. "If that [is the case,] our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver [us] from your hand, O king. "But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up." (NKJV)
•    2 Peter 1:3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, (NKJV)

3.    Seeing them seeking to stay pure (I Peter 2:11). Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,

•    Genesis 39:9 "[There is] no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you [are] his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" (NKJV)
•    1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. (NKJV)

4.    Seeing them cultivating a servant’s heart (Mark 10:44-45). And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

•    Philippians 2:5-7 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. (NKJV)

5.    Seeing them avoiding bitterness in trials (Ephesians 4:30-32). And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

•    II Samuel 16:11 “… Let him alone, and let him curse; for so the Lord has ordered him.”
•    1 Kings 11:14 Now the Lord raised up an adversary against Solomon, Hadad the Edomite; he was a descendant of the king in Edom. 
•    Job 2:10 But he said to her, "You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips. (NKJV)
•    Hebrews 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble [you], and thereby many be defiled; (KJV)
 
Relational
Stability

Thirdly, we must pray in complete agreement, for them to cultivate stability in their relational life:
  
1.    Seeing them loving their brothers and sisters (I John 4:7-8).  Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

•    John 13:35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
•    1 John 3:11 For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, (NKJV); 
•    1 John 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (NKJV); 
•    1 John 4:20 If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? (NKJV)

2.    Seeing them trusting God with hard situations and not rebelling (I Samuel 15:23a). For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,  and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king.”

•    Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;  In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. (NKJV); 
•    Romans 13:1-2 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. (NKJV)

3.    Seeing them loving the way God made them as men and women (Psalm 27:11). Teach me Your way, O LORD, And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.  

•    Psalm 139:13-18 For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb. 14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them. 17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! 18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You. (NKJV)
•    1 Timothy 4:12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. (NIV) The Message says: Get the word out. Teach all these things. And don’t let anyone put you down because you’re young. Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity. ... Cultivate these things. Immerse yourself in them…Keep a firm grasp on both your character and your teaching. Don’t be diverted. Just keep at it.  
•    Titus 2:4-5 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.
•    1 Peter 3:1-7 Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4 Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear. 7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. The Message paraphrases this passage as: The same goes for you wives: Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs. There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated by your life of holy beauty. What matters is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—but your inner disposition. Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in.  

4.    Seeing them waiting to meet God’s chosen life partner for them (II Corinthians 6:14).  Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?

•    Proverbs 31:10-12     Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. 11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain. 12 She does him good and not evil All the days of her life. (NKJV)
•    Proverbs 18:22 He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.  (NIV)
•    Proverbs 19:13-14 A foolish son is the ruin of his father, And the contentions of a wife are a continual dripping. 14 Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers, But a prudent wife is from the LORD.
•    2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 

Eternal
Priorities

Finally, we must pray in complete agreement, for them to cultivate living for eternity during their earthly life.

1.    Seeing them choosing a life of contentment .  Philippians 4:11  Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:

•    1 Timothy 6:9-12 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.  But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.  Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (NKJV)
•    Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. (KJV)

2.    Seeing them choosing a life of personally knowing, serving, loving and obeying the Lord. 1 Chronicles 28:9  “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever. 

•    1 Chronicles 28:9 " As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever. (NKJV)  
•    1 Chronicles 29:19 "And give my son Solomon a loyal heart to keep Your commandments and Your testimonies and Your statutes, to do all these things, and to build the temple for which I have made provision." (NKJV)
•    3 John 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. (KJV)

•    Romans 12:1-2

3. THIS MEANS SEEING THEM CHOOSING A LIFE OF CONSECRATION. 1 Timothy 6:9-12 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.  But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.  Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (NKJV)

Now, lets learn the verses we pray from to see Consecration in our children.

•    A Consecrated Christian Believes That Losers Are Keepers. Matthew 16:24-27 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. 

•    A Consecrated Christian chooses to return to the Lord the title deed to all we own. Luke 14:26-33 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. 27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— 29 lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. 33 So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.

•    A Consecrated Christian Believes in GIVING OUR BODIES, MINDS, AND EVERYTHING ELSE TO THE LORD. Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

•    A Consecrated Christian Believes THAT WE WERE BOUGHT AND PAID FOR BY THE LORD. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

•    A Consecrated Christian Believes in GIVING OUR SELF BACK TO GOD. 2 Corinthians 8:5 And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God. 

•    A Consecrated Christian chooses to not love money. 1 Timothy 6:9-12 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.  But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.  Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (NKJV)