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Praying For The Family

2 Timothy 1:3-5
I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. (NIVUK)

Paul chose Timothy to be his mission apprentice and then spiritual associate who would help grow the churches Paul had established (Acts 16:1-5).  Before his conversion, Timothy had the great blessing of a godly mother and grandmother who had prepared him to trust in Jesus.  Even though, initially, they did not know about Christ, they believed in God’s promise of the Messiah.  

Like Paul’s own forebears, they also believed in God, sought to keep His law and were ready to trust in Christ when they heard the gospel.  Devout Jewish parents prayed that their children would love and serve the Lord (Deuteronomy 6:4-5): it was the first prayer after birth and was repeated every morning and evening.  Those prayers uttered in faith were heard and answered by God who enabled both Paul and Timothy to respond to the gospel, know Christ and be filled with the Holy Spirit.   Although there is no evidence that Paul was ever married (1 Corinthians 7:7 implies that he had the gift of celibacy), nor had children by birth - he counted Timothy as his son (2 Timothy 1:2) and prayed for him constantly.

Timothy may well have had a fragile disposition (1 Timothy 5:23), and sensitive emotions that would allow him to weep in times of sadness, as Jesus did (John 11:35).  Perhaps he was a home-loving lad who did not think much of himself and would not push himself forward, but Paul was commissioning him to keep on living and teaching the truth about Jesus.  Paul had taught him and the Holy Spirit would keep him (2 Timothy 1:13-14).

All parents who trust in the Lord Jesus as their Saviour should pray for their children.  Of all the ambitions we may have for them, surely the highest is that they will love and serve the Lord.  In a world which has either become secular or hostile to believers, it is not easy for young people to embrace the truth that the path of Christ is the only way (John 14:6).  For many, it is a huge struggle, so pray for them (Romans 15:30).  Others have already embraced God’s grace, but need our prayers that they will finish their race of faith with joy: keep praying for them (2 Corinthians 9:14). It is not always easy to know how best to pray but we must not shrink back from wrestling in prayer for them (Colossians 4:12). God always answers our prayers in ways which will bring glory to Himself and blessing to those who repent and believe the Gospel.

Gracious God. I am so grateful for the way You have answered the prayers of other believers for me. I am sorry for failing to pray as I should, especially for my family. Forgive me if I have ever had higher ambitions for the children than that they should love and serve You. Please help me to keep praying that Christ may be their chief delight, their wisdom, strength and goal in life; and their only hope for eternity. In His Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams