“And… Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually” (Job 1:5).
Dear Heavenly Father,
I come to you today, not for myself but for my children. My love today is stronger than it ever has been, but the relationship and my responsibility for my children have changed. You know that my children are grown and are on their own. Lord, they have followed Your plan of leaving my wife and me and are cleaving to their own mates–and are building their own families.
Loving Father–You know my heart. I feel so helpless now to affect their lives. My role now is one of giving, hopefully wise, advice–but only when I am asked (Proverbs 3:1-12). They are now making their own decisions, just as You divinely planned–going where they want to go and doing what they want to do. Lord, I am so concerned.
As they grew older, Heavenly Father, my role changed from training to guiding. My only ties on them now, Lord, are my prayers, forged bands of love, and the training we gave them. As I look back on those years, Lord, I wonder if I trained enough, did I guide enough–did I love enough?
Lord, I am afraid that in those early years my children were not the priority they are today. My mind was taken up with making a living, obtaining possessions and gaining positions–I gave them things but not me. Lord, many times I did not even take time for a family altar. Lord, I know we instilled into them “what we believed”–but Lord, did we instill “why we believed it”?
Heavenly Father, I thank You for my wife–the mother of my children who did help me later set priorities. Together we gave our children a loving family void of bickering and fighting. We did show Your love openly to one another. When they were young, Heavenly Father, we tried to train them up in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6). We did go to the House of the Lord faithfully.
Lord, You know I took each one of my children to the altar many times. Each of my children has seen me weep over them and they have heard my prayers for them. Lord, You know and have ‘put thou my tears into thy bottle, are they not in thy book?” (Psalms 56:8). God may my children remember also.
Loving Father, for better or for worse they have taken our example, our training, and our values and have formulated their own belief system. Lord, I must accept that You gave them the same right You gave me, the right of “free choice.” They have the right to accept Your statutes or reject them. To accept You–or reject You. You also have many prodigal sons which You love.
Now, Heavenly Father, I come to You for these my children and their children. I put them in Your hands and claim Your promise that my relationship with you will be theirs also (Acts 2:39). I cannot be with them all of the time, but You can. I can no longer tell them to do what is right, but Your Spirit can. Lord, it is not wise for me to encourage them to depend upon me for their natural needs–but You can supply all their needs.
Dear Heavenly Father, when they are in their own houses having fun, Lord, keep them from evil. Father, may they “set no evil thing before their eyes” (Psalms 101:3). If they think any evil thought–convict them. If they sin today, Lord, forgive them. If they stray into the “far country” of sin, Lord, allow them the full consequences of their acts. But God, may they ever remember that You and I are ever at the door with outstretched arms of mercy to receive them back again.
Job sacrificed animals for his children, Lord. But now, “thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it:
thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise” (Psalms 51:16,17).
If there are questions you would like to see discussed on this page, you may write Bro. Reynolds at the address below.
6930 S.E. 262nd, Gresham, Oregon 97080