Ten Biblical Prayers for a Child

by Erin Bird

We are just over halfway through our 21 Days of Prayer. If you missed last Sunday, I encourage you to at least go listen to Sunday’s message. God was clearly at work in a number of lives during the Worship Gathering. If you are using the “21 Dangerous Prayers” booklet, keep at it. Today (Thursday Jan 17) is Day 12. But let me say that if you are behind, or haven’t even started, go ahead and jump in. The goal isn’t to just get through the book in a certain time frame. The goal is to connect with Jesus, and if that happens in 31 days or 61 days rather than 21, that is a-ok.

Also, be sure to join us this Sunday as we complete the Dangerous Prayers series and head into our last week on this prayer journey. I am super excited for what we have planned for Sunday as we pray “Lord, Send Me” and I really don’t want you to miss it!

Praying for Children

Ten Prayers Child2 350x196 - Ten Biblical Prayers for a ChildSince we are talking so much about prayer on Sundays, I want to continue the blog-series we started last week on Praying for Others. Last week, I gave you ten biblical prayers you can pray for a close friend who follows Jesus. Next week, we’ll look at ten biblical prayers you can pray for your spiritually disconnected friends and family. But this week, I want to give you ten biblical prayers you can pray for kids.

If you are a parent who follows Jesus, you will probably find this helpful. But even if you aren’t a parent, you can pray these prayers for nieces and nephews, the neighbor kids, and even the children of your Riverwood friends.

For this week’s list, I’ve chosen to center the ten prayers (specifically Prayers #2-10) around the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:

1. Salvation: “God, help this child find true life through Jesus and follow Him all their days.” (Acts 4:12)

2. Love: “Lord, shape this child into a conduit of your love.” (1 John 4:7).

3. Joy: “Fill him/her with your joy, Jesus!” (John 15:11).

4. Peace: “Heavenly Father, protect this child with a peace that surpasses understanding.” (Philippians 4:7).

5. Patience: “Lord, develop a patient heart within this child.” (James 5:7-8).

6. Kindness: “Clothe him/her with kindness.” (Colossians 3:12-13).

7. Goodness: “Help this young one to imitate the goodness of Jesus” (3 John 11).

8. Faithfulness: “Empower him/her to be faithful even with the smallest of things” (Luke 16:10).

9. Gentleness: “Help him/her to be gentle and courteous to all.” (Titus 3:2).

10. Self-controlled: “Motivate this child through your grace to be self-controlled.” (Titus 2:11-12).

Like I said last week, copy and paste this list somewhere you can easily access it, or tuck it into your Bible so you can easily think through what to pray for the kids in your life. And if you so desire, you can pray for these same things for yourself. 😊

Ten Biblical Prayers for a Close Friend

In case you missed it, Riverwood started 21 Days of Prayer this past Sunday. I thought it was a great start! If you missed it, here are three things I encourage you to do:

1. Listen to last Sunday’s message.
2. Pick up a 21 Dangerous Prayers booklet this Sunday.
3. Grab a prayer-reminder bracelet to wear for the rest of this month.

Also, if you are not fasting from social media during these 21 days, be sure to follow or like Riverwood on Twitter and Facebook. We are posting Scripture and prayers from the 21 Dangerous Prayers booklets every morning at 7:00 am to remind you to keep praying throughout your day.

And finally, do what you can to be present this Sunday as we continue our series with “Lord, Break Me.” I’ll be telling some of my own personal story of praying a similar prayer that ultimately lead to the planting of Riverwood.
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Praying for Others
Because we are in series on the topic of “Dangerous Prayers” right now praying for God to “search me, break me, and send me,” I want to give you some ideas for how to extend prayer beyond yourself by praying for others. Next week we’ll look at some biblical prayers you can pray for kids (whether your own, the neighbor kids, or nieces & nephews). And then the following week, I’ll give you some biblical prayers you pray for your spiritually disconnected friends.

This week, though, I want to give you some biblical prayers you can pray for someone close to you who follows Jesus, like your spouse or a close friend. This list is inspired by an article by Jonathan Parnell about what Jesus-following men can pray for their wives. But as I read Jonathan’s ideas, I realized his list can extend to anyone you love and care for that already follows Christ.

So if you follow Jesus yourself, here are ten prayers inspired directly by Scripture you can pray for a fellow follower of Jesus:

1. “God, help him/her desire You more than anything else.” (Psalm 73:25)

2. “Increase his/her faith in You.” (Hebrews 11:6).

3. “Intensify his/her joy through Jesus” (John 15:10-11).

4. “Soften his/her heart to reflect your heart” (Ezekiel 11:19).

5. “Help him/her cherish Your people” (Romans 12:10).

6. “Give him/her wisdom” (James 1:5).

7. “Sustain his/her health” (3 John 2).

8. “Multiply his/her influence” (2 Timothy 2:1-2).

9. “Make him/her hear Your voice” (John 10:27).

10. “Overwhelm him/her with your grace” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

My advice is to save this list somewhere so that when you are at a loss for what to pray for someone, you can look over this to get some ideas of what to pray. And hey, if you want to pray for these things for yourself as well, I’m not going to stop you!

How the Gospel can Help Your Resolution

Welcome to 2019! For those of us in Iowa, the turn of the calendar usually means cold weather, snow, and new resolutions for a new year.

If you are making a resolution this year, whether to lose weight, save money, or break a bad habit, you are actually in the minority. I read this week that less than half (40-45%) of Americans make a New Year’s Resolution. However, of those who make a resolution, 25% will fail to keep it within the first week, 36% within a month, and 54% by June.

Now, there are all sorts of techniques you could apply to help you keep your resolution for the entire year. For instance,

  • you could work at your resolution with someone
  • you could hire a personal coach to encourage you and hold you accountable to your resolution
  • or you could give yourself some sort of reward on Dec 31 if you hold to it all year long.

But did you know the Gospel (the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection) can actually help you hold to your resolution, especially if you follow Jesus?How the Gospel can help your Resolutions Blank 350x196 - How the Gospel can Help Your Resolution
Look to Jesus
The author of the book of Hebrews says:

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2 NIV)

If you know anything about the death of Jesus, you know it was horrific. There was no joy in it. The “joy set before him” was on the other side of the cross. Jesus knew he was going to rise from the dead (he predicted it after all!), and knew his willing sacrifice on the cross would pay the penalty owed for sin and humans could be forgiven and reconciled with God.

And so Jesus resolved to endure the cross, to stick with the plan even when the pain was excruciating. He didn’t quit because He knew what lay ahead – the redemption of His people from their sin.

If you are a Jesus-follower, then I would encourage you to “fix your eyes on Jesus” as you resolve to make a change in your life. Let the Gospel be your motivation to become the person God is calling you to be.

If you are not a Jesus-follower (and have actually read this far!), I would encourage you to do more than just let Jesus be a source of inspiration. I would invite you to let Jesus’ sacrifice be for your sin, to enter into a personal relationship with Him. If you were to make following Jesus your New Year’s Resolution, you would see the most significant change in your life you could ever experience. Because it would not just change this year, it would change your eternity.

Worship Fully

This coming Tuesday is Christmas! Hard to believe it’s almost here. Chances are your day will be filled with food, noise, wrapping paper, entertainment, conversations, and who-knows-what-else.

Let me encourage you to not simply get caught up in the cultural trappings of the day. While I hope you enjoy the food, fun, and gift-giving, here are some creative ideas to help you Worship Fully:

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  1. Read the Christmas story from Luke 2:1-20 before opening gifts.
  2. Talk about the gifts the Magi gave Jesus, and ask each person in the room what they would give Jesus if He was spending the day with you.
  3. Encourage the kids (or adults!) to reenact the Christmas story.
  4. Sing a carol about Jesus’ arrival like Joy to the World. (For lyrics, go here.)
  5. If you have little kids (or even if you don’t!), bake Jesus a birthday cake and sing him “Happy Birthday.”
  6. Attend the Riverwood Christmas Eve candlelight service Monday evening at 4:00 pm.
  7. When you and your family/guests sit down to eat together, have each person who feels comfortable pray aloud, thanking God for sending Jesus.
  8. Start your day with 2 or 3 minutes (or more!) alone in prayer, thanking God for Jesus and praying for everyone you’ll be spending the day with.

This is just a primer. The main point is to make your holiday start with Jesus, end with Jesus, and be all about Jesus. May the presents remind you of the gift of Jesus. May the laughter remind you that the joy of the Lord is our strength. May everything in your day drive you toward Jesus.

Hopefully you have Spent Less, yet Given More this Christmas Season. May you Love All you interact with this Christmas week. But most of all, may your focus be first and foremost upon Worshipping Jesus Fully.