Praying for children has been heavy on my heart during this current season of school and church buildings being closed with the need for social distancing, self isolation, and stay at home orders. I pray often that families will be able to shield children to some extent from the negative emotions that cling to this COVID-19 pandemic. This is day five of the devotions from my “The Heart of a Child” book to help each of us pray for a child of any age, including our age. Through time in prayer, this devotional journal was written to help you understand, and live, some important traits of living and praying with the heart of a child.
Here is day five with an important reminder to know, value, and live the commands of God as you share them with children of any age in every way possible.
Value the Commands of God
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (NIV)
Have you ever not done something you should have because you didn’t know you were supposed to? How do you feel when you miss opportunities that you should have known about? Are there times you have done something that you didn’t know was wrong until after the fact? How did you feel? Did you wish someone had warned you ahead of time? Why? How diligent are you about learning what God wants and expects? Do you feel responsible to help others know the commands of God? Why? How does your comfort level in living and talking about the commands of God help others to know them?
Years ago I was pulled over by the police for committing a driving infraction when I wasn’t aware I was doing anything wrong. After the policeman gave me a written warning, a person riding with me said, “Oh, yeah, you can’t do that in this town.” My immediate thought was, “That would have been nice to know before I drove through the town rather than after.” Our willingness to talk about God’s commands, and practice them, in all situations will go a long way toward our children knowing them.
As you pray for a child of any age, ask God to help you be more aware of His commands. Pray for help in expressing the suitability of His commands in all situations. Pray that the children around you, and the child within you, would know the commands of God as tools meant to help you and not to harm you. Pray for wisdom in living and sharing the commands of God with people who have not yet chosen to follow them. Pray that your obedience to the commands of God would help the next generation know their value.