Lord, Give Them Minds To Do Your Will
I have prayed this for my children for years. I still do, though now they have grown up and are forging their own way. I now pray the same for my grandchildren. I want the same for all of you.
I want my children and grandchildren to be successful in life. I want them to be surrounded by godly friends. I want them to know the love and care that we have known. I want them to be caring. I want them to be a blessing to others. Above all, I want them to know the Lord. I want them to know His grace and mercy. I want them to know salvation.
I want them to do everything else they do, and to experience everything else they experience, in the light of the knowledge of God. I want them to fear the Lord, for this fear is the beginning of all knowledge and wisdom (Prov 1:7; 9:10). I want them to love God with all their heart, soul, strength, and mind, for this is the greatest of all commands. I want them to love their neighbor as themselves, for this is second only to loving God (Matt 22:36-40). I want all that they do to be informed by their knowledge of Christ Jesus, to regard no one according to the flesh and understand what it means to be reconciled to God (2 Cor 5:16-21).
It does not matter to me what profession they choose in this world, as long as it is honest, right, and never comes between them and the Lord. It does not matter how much or what kind of physical possessions they have. It really does not even matter that much how much relative “success” they have in their chosen fields. As long as they are cared for and can provide for their own families, they are successful in this world. Yet, that is secondary.
It does not really matter to me how far they go in secular education, for their mother and I do not consider them truly educated without a knowledge of God and His word. All other education is subservient to this, and, while important, can never overpower the knowledge and wisdom of God. We want them to be well-rounded in their understanding and knowledge. Yet always, without exception, I want their knowledge to be governed by what will always be the most important piece of literature ever given. This literature, however, is not just literature. It was embodied by the Son of God, the Word made flesh. No education is complete without this knowledge. No success will ultimately matter without the relationship with Him.
“But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 3:13-14)
Real success, true success, is not to be measured by things, by positions, by jobs, by secular education, or by monetary value. Biblically, it is the one who lovingly and humbly serves the Lord, who knows His will, who is intent on doing His will, who is successful (Jas 1:25; Psa 1; Josh 1). When it comes right down to it, nothing else really matters. Nothing. Without a faithful relationship with God first, everything else is just biding time in a broken world and waiting for the end to come. And it will come. Then what will it have mattered? Then, “who will own what you have prepared?” (Luke 12:13-21) What will they have to give in exchange for their souls? (Matt 16:24-26)
I want my children to be truly successful as God defines it. I want their spouses to love the Lord more than they love my sons or daughter or children. I want their life’s mates to know the Lord first and to treat their marriages as reflections of Christ’s love for His body (Eph 5:22-33). I want my children and their spouses to experience a beautiful marriage within the context of knowing the Lord first.
I want my grandchildren to know the Lord, so I pray for the same for them: “Lord, give them minds to do Your will. Give them hearts that love You above all else. Let them be reflections of Your glory.”
There is nothing in this world I love more than my family. I cannot express to my children or grandchildren how much I love them. I have been far from perfect as a father. I have often been a disappointment to myself, to them, and to God, and may He forgive me. Yet in spite of myself, the blessings God has brought into my life through my children, and now my grandchildren, is immeasurable. They have been true gifts from God.
All I can ask is this. “Lord, give them minds to do Your will. Give them the hearts and courage to love You above all that the world offers. May my children and their children, as many generations as You bless this family with, be true reflections of Your glory and image.”
Following after Paul’s example, “my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved” (Rom 10:1).