Dear Ones,
Hope you are enjoying this holiday weekend. This afternoon we are going to the  home of a couple from our church for a dinner party along with 10 others. Fun! This morning I did some food prep and cleaned the apartment and especially my desk top of papers. Tomorrow Al will be preaching at our church as our pastor’s family is on vacation. I’m sure he would appreciate prayers.
Devotions from Judy’s hear
When I was at my former Bible Study group, a Christmas gift was left at my place on the table and I do not even know who it is from. But it was a book by Erwin Lutzer, “A Practical Guide for Praying Parents.” When I first read the title, I thought our kids are grown but maybe it has wisdom in praying for our grandchildren too, as they have so many challenges that we didn’t have to face.  As I read it, I was reminded of the importance of prayer and the tremendous power in prayer. Our children belong to God and Erwin said the best way we can honor and prove our love to them is to pray regularly for them. I know my parents prayed daily for me and my siblings even as Al and I pray every day for each of our children and spouses and our grandchildren. At Moody Church they had Prayer meetings for Parents of Prodigals for 4 weeks and attendance grew as many came and wept in prayer for their prodigals. It’s not necessarily the parent’s fault when their children go astray but a couple questions they asked themselves were, “What is God teaching us through our children?” How might we have contributed to their rebellious choices? Maybe we were too strict or self-righteous or never wrong and need to ask the Lord to change us. Some children are born into homes where they were thought of as a burden and not a blessing; maybe mom was raped, or dad wasn’t in the picture at all. But all children need to know they are loved and to receive hugs and words that they are valued. Sometimes we are more concerned about our children’s behavior than the condition of their hearts. We allow their hearts to be stolen by cell phones, violent games, pornography, T.V. etc; but we need to spend more time praying for the Lord to capture their hearts. There are times God makes them miserable in their sin and we are not to enable them or to rescue them but pray they come to the Lord. God wants to create in them a clean heart. Most often, they have to come to the pigsty before they can come home to the Father who is waiting. Let us never give up on our children, for God’s power is greater than the enemy. The disciples tried to shoo the children away from Jesus but Jesus let his disciples know that He welcomed them. In Mark 10:16 (The Message) it says, “Then, gathering the children up in His arms, He laid His hands of blessing on them.” Just as Jesus blessed them, we as parents can also do that. Al had his father place his hand on his head to say a blessing on him and we can pray a blessing over our children. They need to know unconditional love, affirmation and encouragement for that which is good. Pray! Pray! Pray and never give up!
Challenge for today: Pray for children in your life and bring encouragement to them when there is opportunity.
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy