VATIC Expressions: Truth, Transparency, Transformation
Volume 1, Summer 2015 Issue. A division of Vatic Publishing®, LLC.
Shut the Door and Pray
by Laura Frohmader
Prayer time is very important. Martin Luther said he was so busy he must spend many hours in prayer, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” (http://www.prayingthegospels.com/martin-luther-quotes-2/short-quotes-martin-luther/) Most of us don’t have 3 hours to spend in prayer (maybe not even 1 hour), but even a few minutes to keep us focused on God is important. We NEED to spend time in prayer to help us focus on the daily things. We need to bring those things to God, give them to Him, and connect with Him throughout the day.
James 4:2b tells us “… You do not have because you do not ask.” We need to hide ourselves from this world for a time to interact with our God who controls all things, even if it’s a few desperate moments of ‘help me God.’ When our kids were young there were times when it was just a quick ‘give me strength Lord.’ As Matthew 6:6 tells us, “But when you pray, go into your private room, shut the door, and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Also… James 5:16b, “The urgent request of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.” If you’re hung up on that word “righteous,” remember… we are washed clean by the blood of the Lamb (Jesus). Our Father sees us as righteous because of what Jesus has done for us.
We all have different things in our lives we need to pray about. I just want to share the things I find important to me personally.
As I greet each new day I need to remember that it is a gift from God and I should glorify Him in all I do. Dietrich Bonhoeffer has a good reminder: “At the threshold of the new day stands the Lord who made it.” (http://orthodoxnet.com/blog/2014/07/the-beginning-of-the-day-belongs-to-jesus-christ/) So we should rejoice with the psalmist, “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24
My first thought is to ask God to forgive me for all my sins, knowing I sin daily in thoughts, words, deeds, and lack of doing what is right. I also ask God to forgive my husband and children; not just the sins we know we’ve done wrong but the unknown and unintentional as well. I then ask God to send His angels to protect us from harm, danger, and evil. I pray for protection every time I get into a moving vehicle. One day I had a long drive on a long, straight stretch of road and found myself going a little faster than the speed limit. The Holy Spirit convicted me: if I’m going to pray for God’s protection I should live within His will (His will being that I obey authority and the speed limit). I pray protection for my husband and children as they drive to work or college (though right now I pray for a job for my husband). Then I ask God to keep us healthy and heal our ailments.
Despite people’s political differences, this is a great country to live in. We should pray for those in authority as we read in 1 Timothy 2:1-2, “First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.” Dear God, grant us leaders who will do Your will and continue to bless us with the freedom to homeschool and worship without hindrance. Also… protect us from our enemies. We are reminded in Romans 13:1 that “Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist are instituted by God.” So even if we disagree with those in political authority, we should respect them, pray for them, and remember God has His hand in it all.
I am so blessed with a wonderful husband, I must thank God for that blessing daily. I pray that He would bless our marriage and grant us an everlasting love and faithfulness to each other and to Him; that we would grow as best friends and great lovers all the days of our lives, as well as enjoy a long life together. In living this adventure of marriage we pray we would know and do the Lord’s will so our lives will glorify Him. So often we wish our husbands would change, to see things our way. It is better to pray that God would help me to be the wife Bob needs. This helps me focus on my task as helpmeet to my husband. It’s not about ME, it’s about serving God and doing His will. Genesis 2:18, “Then the Lord God said, ‘it is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper as his complement.’” Yes, husbands and wives drive each other nuts in our differences, but God wired us with those differences so we complement each other in our oneness. We complete each other and should work with those differences to enrich our oneness. Our husbands have a serious job as head of the house. 1 Corinthians 11:3, “But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of the woman, and God is the head of Christ.” So I pray God will give my husband the wisdom he needs to be the head of our house, to be a good husband and father. I also pray God would help me be the mom and teacher our kids need, as well as give us wisdom and direction in all we do. James 1:5, “Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.”
When our kids were little, life was physically demanding and I didn’t always get the sleep I wished for. To focus on the positive I would thank God for a good night’s sleep (even if it wasn’t as long as I desired) and I would ask Him to give me strength for the day. It is also physically demanding to have our kids need us all day long and then want to spend time snuggling with our husbands after the kids go to bed. Most moms at that point would like to just slip off to sleep and let the men fend for themselves. However, that does not nurture a marriage. Children are born into a marriage, grow up and move out to fend for themselves. The marriage relationship should not be forgotten during this time because after the kids move out, too many couples look at each other and wonder who that stranger is on the other side of the bed. We must nurture that friendship and love every step of the way. As a tired mother of young kids, I just wanted to go to sleep after the kids went to bed, but God always blessed me when I still spent time with my hubby. Quite often He would bless me with a little more sleep than I thought I’d get. It was well worth the effort of even 10 extra minutes snuggling with Bob. Our youngest is now 10 years old, and two of our kids are moved out. I actually get time to nap during the day and I have a wonderful relationship with Bob because we nurtured that relationship daily. Moms, make sure your husbands feel important. The marriage relationship should be just a little higher than the mother-child relationship.
Our children… yes, I thank God for wonderful kids and ask Him to help us nurture them in the way they should go. “Father, give our children wisdom in Your calling for them, bless our homeschooling, and send the Holy Spirit to guide us on this journey.” I pray specific prayers for each of my children as well as praying for their spouses. I have no idea who God has in mind for them to marry, but those spouses are out there somewhere, so I pray for them just as I prayed for my husband before I met him. God knows who they are. I pray God would keep them all safe through the day, that He would strengthen them spiritually, and grant them the peace that transcends all understanding. This has become even more important as my kids move out and I have no idea what goes on in their day to day activities. Instead of worrying about them I look to my favorite verses in the Bible, Philippians 4:4-7 (this one from the NIV), “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
At this point I have a whole page of prayer requests for our children. Parenting is such an important job, it must be approached with prayer. I pray that our kids would know the Lord early in life. The earlier they get to know Him the longer the Holy Spirit has to grow their faith. I pray they would love God’s Word and have a hatred for sin. Discipline & discipling our children brings me to pray that they will be teachable and able to take correction. Hebrews 12:11, “No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the fruit of peace and righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
Father, may our children be aware of You in all they do and seek to glorify You in all their decisions. May they be caught when guilty, and have a quick, repentant heart. Proverbs 9:10 tells us, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” May our children fear you Lord and serve you single-heartedly. I pray they would totally submit to You and resist the devil.
I pray our children will respect authority and have a responsible attitude in all their relationships; that they would desire the right kinds of friends and be protected from the wrong kinds of friends. Proverbs 13:20, “The one who walks with the wise will become wise, but a companion of fools will suffer harm.” Many things in this world have an influence on us and our children. One thing we do in our home is listen to a Christian radio station. It is a blessing that the kids & I enjoy Contemporary Christian Music. There’s no generation gap in music tastes and we have countless opportunities to praise God throughout the day and learn his Word through music. Music has a greater impact on us than we realize. Many elderly who can’t remember much of the present, remember their childhood. They remember the songs they learned and the Scripture that is hidden in their hearts. Psalm 119:11 encourages us, “I have treasured Your word in my heart so that I may not sin against You.” Let us arm our children with the Word of God to face the trials of this world for decades to come. Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart.”
May our children live by the Spirit and not gratify their flesh. May they find spouses who will help them grow closer to You. May they be kept from the wrong mates and saved for the right ones, and may they all be pure until marriage.
Our world talks a lot about self-esteem. It is important to see ourselves as worth living, yet I pray our children will have ‘biblical self-esteem.’ They need to know they are worthwhile because God created them, God has a purpose for them, and Jesus paid with His own life to save them from hell. That is some awesome love God has for us.
May our children be bold in sharing the gospel, have a strong faith, and an active prayer life. I pray they will have a passion to serve You; that they will be faithful, courageous, pure, kind, generous, humble, content, hospitable, and have a servant’s heart with gratitude.
Fill our children with the joy of the Lord and help them bear the fruits of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-25, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, we must also follow the Spirit.”
Father, send your angels to guard them from harm, danger, and evil. Protect them spiritually, emotionally, and physically, especially from wrong philosophies – that they would know Your Truth and stand firm on it.
Finally I move on to praying for my unsaved friends, my Sunday School students, missionaries we know, and immediate requests people have made known to me. Then I spend some time in God’s Word so He may speak to me. James 4:8a, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”
May this article bless you and the Holy Spirit speak to you of His Truth.
All Bible quotes are from the Holmen Christian Standard Bible unless otherwise noted.
© 2015 Laura Frohmader