Persevering Prayer For Children
By Gardiner Spring (1785 – 1873)
Humble, persevering prayer will accomplish much in educating your children! Is your pride concentrated in your children? Parents of great intellect and determination, especially young parents, are very apt to place great confidence in their own skill, management, and firmness. This pride in our children – and confidence in ourselves – will meet with severe trials. The Lord of heaven and earth holds both in His hands.
God means for us to renounce our self-confidence and feel our dependence on Him. When we fail – as certainly we will to some extent – we will lie prostrate on our faces and carry our children to the God of all grace and power. The sooner, more earnestly, and more submissively we do this, the more reason we have to hope.
Parental tenderness is the most pure, the most faithful, and the most productive – when prayer nourishes it. It is at God’s mercy seat that a parent’s love all flows out. And God reveals His mercy exactly as our children need it.
Let your children hear you pray daily. Pray for them so they can hear you asking God’s special blessing on them. And then remember them in your private devotions. An affectionate and faithful parent will not let the Angel of the Covenant go – until He blesses his children.
Finally, do not be content to plead only for God’s restraining grace! Go on in confidence to ask Him for His saving mercy. Plead for them in their sinfulness – lost without Christ’s blood. Plead for them because they possess indisputable, inalienable immortality. Plead for them with the tenderness of Jesus. Plead for them with the assurance that someday you will say with Jesus, “Of those whom You have given me – I have lost none.”
God’s time for the conversion of your children may not be your time. Your efforts may seem to be in vain – even for years – but you will likely at last see your children rejoicing in the graces and comforts of holiness. He who goes forth and weeps, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.