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Praying For The Family

2 Timothy 1:3-5
I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers 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 have been 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. (NIV)

Parents’ prayers matter. Paul thanks God for the prayers of his parents and grandparents for him; even though they did not know about Christ, they were trusting in God’s promise of the Messiah. Although there is no evidence that Paul was ever married (1 Corinthians 7:7 states that he had the gift of celibacy), nor had children by birth - he counted Timothy as his son and prayed for him constantly.
Timothy’s Jewish grandmother and mother had also prayed for their boy. Like Paul’s 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.
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 know that the path of Christ is the only way. For many it is a huge struggle, so pray for them (Romans 15:30); others have already embraced God’s grace, but 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