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 twenty-eight 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 twenty-eight with an important reminder to live as children who are obedient to God.
“As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.“
1 Peter 1:14 (NIV)
How obedient are you? Why? Would the people who spend the most time with you agree? Why? What level of obedience do you expect from others? Does it differ depending on who the “others” are? Why? How much disobedience to you find acceptable in your own life? In the lives of others? How does knowing that something is right affect your desire to do it? Why? How does love change your desire to be obedient to someone? Does it change how you view the disobedience of someone? How?
Life is filled with rules, laws, and instructions that each of us have to choose our level of obedience to. Often our expectations of obedience by others exceeds our own practice of obeying. As Christians, we expect children to obey their parents because God says so but our lifestyle may not always reflect our obedience to God even though He calls all of His children to the same obedience. Fear of punishment can be a motivation to obey, but God’s expectation is that we would be obedient because it is the right thing to do for people who love Him. When we obey because it is right, we help others learn obedience.
As you pray for a child of any age, ask God to help you evaluate your own level of obedience. Pray for the humility needed to model an obedient life that others can see. Pray that your love for God would compel you to do what is right. Pray that God’s practice of forgiveness would be your example when the children (of any age) around you fail in obedience. Pray for the courage to do what is right, and lead others in that direction, even when it seems no one else does.