Monday, August 20, 2012

The 10 Commandments of Prayer: Praying the Will of God for Your Children

Today I Welcome Educator and Author Zari Banks to the Spotlight.

Zari Banks, M.Ed
The 10 Commandments of Prayer: Praying the Will of God for Your Children
Book Tour – Guest Post

Youth Dating

What can I say about youth dating? Well, there’s no mention of it in the Bible. And, now that I’m a mom and someone who had a boyfriend as a teenager I don’t think dating is appropriate for kids. Yeah, I said it.

I’m sure that may invoke some gasps and a variety emotions, but if you consider the stage of brain development teenagers are in during the high school years, a dating relationship just isn’t wise situation to allow children into. And, yes, teenagers are still children. Even more so now than in past decades because there are more children raising themselves now than ever before. What I mean by raising themselves is that many parents assume that the kids are mature because of age, and leave them to make adult-grade decisions when their brains are really not developed enough to do so. There is also less hands-on but more cultural parenting (allowing kids to do what other kids do). The middle school-aged brain is in even worse condition. There’s actually a part of the brain that needs to be connected for optimal reasoning that’s separated for a few more years, so those kiddos REALLY shouldn’t date. But, they do.

As Christian parents our first priority is to honor God above all else, and also to instruct our children to do the same. We teach them to honor Him using the same methods we ourselves use – believing and living the Bible, prayer and communion with the Lord and through godly counsel. Proverbs 22:6 provides a covenant promise that if we train up our children in the way (in the original language the word is direction) and admonition (counsel) of the Lord they won’t walk away from it when they’re older. That’s God’s promise to us, and He doesn’t break promises. Yes, that promise is conditional. We have to do our part which is the training up, and we can then trust Him to do His.

Ok, so we want our kids to honor God with every word, thought and deed because the Bible tells us that we all will give an account for those things (Matt. 12:36; 1 Sam. 16:7; Rev. 20:11). If we’re allowing our kids to date we have to look at the situation from Christ’s point of view. When teenagers are holding hands is God looking at that and saying He’s pleased? When kids are rubbing each other’s backs in a dating scenario, is Jesus seeing that and preparing to bless the kids? When teens are kissing is heaven rejoicing? These are things we have to think about.  

God’s ways are different than ours (Isaiah 55:8) and if we want to please Him and be blessed by Him we have to obey Him (Deut. 28). Sure some of us don’t want to acknowledge The Ten Commandments because they’re Old Testament and we’re New Testament, but there’s a price to pay for doing so. These rules are God’s basics; they don’t change. It’s obvious by the condition of our nation’s families that we’re paying heavily for this disobedience. But, God is loving and kind so as soon as we make the commitment to do right, He pours in the power to make it possible.

I want my child to be extraordinary and glorify God with his life. In his brief 10 years, he’s amazed me with his love for and obedience to God. He just believes God’s word and acts on it, and their relationship inspires me and keeps me accountable. I raise him according to Biblical principles and am fierce in battle on his behalf. I’m a prayer warrior. I don’t know how to do everything, but I do know how to pray. And, I pray God’s word because it’s effective. 

My book, The 10 Commandments of Prayer: Praying the Will of God for Your Children contains prayers that declare God’s desires for our behavior over our kids’ lives. Agreement in prayer is powerful, and praying God’s word puts us into agreement with the Creator of the Universe and gives us all of heaven as reinforcement for His will to be carried out. God tells us in Psalm 138:2 that He exalts His word above His name. This truth has duality to it. First, it’s proof of the power of the word of God. Second, Jesus is the word made flesh and we know it’s all about Jesus. We can’t go wrong here. God has to uphold His word and see that it comes to pass for our kids, and being like Jesus – bringing glory to God with our lives – is our ultimate goal.  

I pray in Jesus’ name that you and your children will grow in love for each other and for God by leaps and bounds. (1 Thess. 3:12)


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