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 nine 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 nine with an important reminder to know and teach the fear of the Lord.
Know the Fear of the Lord
“Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. “
Psalm 34:11 (NIV)
Is fear a good thing or a bad thing? Explain. What does “the fear of the Lord” mean to you? Why? How do you feel about fearing the Lord? Why? What are some things that a good and healthy fear protects you from? What are some things that an unhealthy fear has kept you from? What’s the difference? How does learning and practicing a healthy fear lead to greater wisdom? What have you learned about having a fear of the Lord that you wish you had learned earlier? How does that help you to pray for others to know the fear of the Lord?
As an emotion, fear is a very complicated thing. As a decision, however, fear can be a choice that leads us down a path of good and right choices. When you pray for a child of any age to know a fear of the Lord, you are asking God to direct them in a way of wisdom. This is a fear that understands both the consequences of disobedience and the love of a forgiving Father. When we live with a fear of the Lord, we help others to see the joy of walking in obedience — not just to avoid the “wrath of God”, but to honor the Father who loves us beyond measure.
As you pray for a child of any age, ask God to help them know the fear of the Lord as a good and positive thing. Pray that they would find wisdom in following a path outlined by a godly fear of the Lord. Pray that God’s love would change those who feel more terror than fear. Pray that your life would help others to know that there is joy to be found when you fear the Lord according to the honor that He deserves. Pray that those around you would choose obedience which honors God.