Archives For Prayer

5 things christian parents should pray over their kids daily

When I was just a little boy my mom started praying over me at night as I slept. The reason, as I recall her telling me, was because she “didn’t know what to do with me.” I had a tendency to overreact about things. I was a kind of hot-headed. I was a difficult kid to handle at times. But instead of trying to fix me, she prayed and she surrendered her parenting to God.

I’m trying to do the same thing these days. Sometimes your kids can drive you crazy, am I right? The screams, the meltdowns, the overreacting. I’ve come to realize most kids go through a season of one or more of these behaviors. We can help create a culture in our home that leads them away from this and we ought to do everything in our power to do that. But we also need to surrender our parenting to God so that He may do it on our behalf and equip us with what we need to get the job done.

Yesterday I posted a photo on Instagram that immediately got attention from a couple of old college friends. It’s a simple thing, praying for our kids as they sleep… but we also have a lot to get done while they sleep, right? But what if we all took some time each night and/or nap and prayed while they slept?

So, what should you pray about? Well, there are lots of things you could pray, but for now I’m focusing on five.

5 Things Christian Parents Should Pray Over Their Kids Daily

This is not a complete list because the list is endless. But you’ve got to figure out what are the things that are most important to you, that you want for your kids. Here are five things I’ve just started praying over my kids as they sleep. I no particular order…

  • God Protect Their Innocence
    I want my kids to maintain innocence, not only sexually, but mentally and in every other way as long as possible. So many kids grow up out of necessity, way too early and skip out on childhood. I want my kids to have a joyful and fulfilling childhood. 
  • God Change The World and Use My Kids To Do It
    Don’t we all want to be world-changers in once sense or another. I want my kids to fall in love with Jesus so madly that they’d be willing to follow his call to the ends of the earth. I want them to know personally, the mission God has for their lives and I want it to be grand. I’m not satisfied with a little mission in my life and I don’t want my kids to just fulfill some ideas of what might be the call of God on their lives. I want them to know without a shadow of a doubt that God has purpose for them and I want them to pursue that purpose.
  • God Give my Kids Incredible Future Spouses and Life Long Friends Who Love You
    We, parents, have a lot of influence on our kids lives… but we won’t always be there. Kids need great peers to help keep them focused and on track. Think back to your teenage or early adulthood regrets (or maybe late adulthood), who were the people warning you not to do that? Who were the ones egging you on? We all need people in pursuit of the same ideals as us surrounding us because if left to our own individual devices, we’ll make a mess of things. So I’m praying for my future son-in-law and daughter-in-law. I’m praying for their families and their friends. 
  • God Help my Kids Follow Jesus All the Days of Their Lives
    What Christian parent doesn’t want this for their kids? I want them to never stray from the path of Jesus. I know they’ll make mistakes, they’ll have missteps, but they don’t have to be huge and they don’t have to be overly painful. 
  • God Give my Kids Immeasurable Favor
    Have you ever felt the favor of God? I consistently prayed for God’s favor in a particular situation (another story, another future post) for over two months… everyday until God gave me favor with this particular person. And that prayer altered my entire life, forever. I want that kind of favor for my kids, their whole lives.

So there you have it, 5 Things Christian Parents Should Pray Over Their Kids Daily.

You’ve probably got your own version of this. I’m curious, what are you deepest desires for your kids? What are you praying over your kids as they sleep?

You may also like:
5 Tips to Kickstart Your Prayer Life in 2014
Secrets Every Christian Parent Should Tell Their Kids Daily

An Atheist Prayer

January 9, 2014 — 4 Comments

“Thoughts in a prison” an atheist prayer by Micah Prewitt.

I came across this song the other day. It’s by a friend of mine, Micah Prewitt. I haven’t seen him in years but he did help out with the music in a student ministry I was leading a few years ago. He now lives in France pursuing music. But his gut-wrenchingly honest song got me thinking…

You don’t have to be an atheist to cry out words like these. There’s probably a time, no matter what you do or do not believe, that you’ve faced a question like this one, “Are you real or are you no?”

Many people face this question when they feel forgotten or overlooked by God. Some people face a faith crisis when circumstances seem to be out-of-whack with what we’ve been taught about God or His character. It doesn’t take much research or googling to see all the awful things happening in the world and so it doesn’t take a genius to know at some point we’re all going to face this kind of question and perhaps say a skeptical atheist prayer.

In fact, it takes a lot of courage to ask a question like this. Especially if you’ve been raised to believe in God. But it also takes a lot of courage for a life-long atheist to pray that same prayer, coming from a different perspective. Here’s my challenge to you all:

  • If you’re an atheist and you’ve never prayed. Pray it. Just try it. Pray it as if you’re actually talking to someone. Ask, “Are you real? If so, show me.”
  • If you’re an atheist who has prayed this before. Try it again. I dare you. Ask, “Are you real? I know I’ve asked before and I didn’t see any evidence that you’re real. So, I’m giving you another chance to show me.”
  • If you’re a Christian and never had a faith crisis, you’re faith is on shaky ground. You’ll have a faith crisis one day and if you have the courage to ask God this question and you come out the other side with your faith intact, your faith will be undeniably solid.
  • If you’re a Christian and you’ve been through this whole process, I challenge you to pray, “God, I know you’re real. I know you’re there. Help me live as though I truly believe that.”

No matter who you are. No matter what you believe. There’s a time in your life where you’re going to face the God question. You’re going to say a bit of an atheist prayer, “Are you real or are you no?”

So tell me. Has your faith weathered the storm? Have you come out stronger? Have you lost faith altogether? Be honest. I want to hear your story.

will

What if God told you that you were sick and dying and to get your house in order?
What would you do?

In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.”

Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah: “Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life…'”

Isaiah 38:1-5

I wonder if we really put that much stock in prayer… If you pray, do you expect anything to change about your circumstance?
Jesus prayed pretty hard one night.
He knew he was about to die and he was overwhelmed with sorrow, so he prayed.

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping.“Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” He went away a second time and prayed,“My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”

Matthew 26:36-42

God did not spare Jesus from death, but Jesus rose from the dead, so that’s a pretty good trade off.
But what he did give him is strength and resolve to face what he was about to face.

What is your first instinct, first natural reaction to bad news, to stress, to the idea of death?
Where do you immediately go, in your mind?
How would our lives be different if our first instinct was to pray to the only one who can really do anything about it?

Try it, if you dare.

At Two Cities Church we believe that you can talk to God. You, me, anybody. We believe that He hears you and we believe He cares. We also believe that He can do something about your circumstances. Because we believe all of this, we’ve put together a prayer team. Three couples have stepped forward to pray for our church, our community, our country and our world. So if you are in need, please don’t hesitate to tell us. You can email us here.

Internet-Marketing-Tools
In the past year, we’ve been living in Fresno, Ca laying the groundwork for Two Cities Church, starting an LLC called Four12 Group, and raising our kids. Our schedules have been crazier than they’ve ever been. So, how do I keep it all straight? There’s tons and tons of apps, websites, and programs out there that can help you accomplish your mission. Let’s call those things tools. Here’s a list of my favorite tools that I’ve used over the past year. In no particular order, they are:

  • The Bible
    I frequently read my physical, 1984 NIV, bible as well as use the YouVersion iPhone App. This guides and frames the way at which I interpret life and react to it.
  • Prayer
    When I told someone about our church planting dream, the first words out of his mouth were, “You better be prayed up.” And he was right.
  • Asana
    A project management website. Trust me, you need it or something similar. I track everything on there and I can assign things to other people and see their progress.
  • Revision Printing
    At Two Cities, we order a lot of printed material. Business cards, invite cards, information pieces, connection cards and signs. And we do it ALL through Revision Printing. Low cost, excellent service and on time… every time.
  • Facebook
    I know, I know. Facebook is what’s wrong with the world today. But you gotta go where the people meet to reach them. People are on there all the time and I can’t tell you how many important conversations started on social media for me. I manage a couple of pages and use Facebook Ads to reach new people as well. PLUS, they recently added hashtags to track conversations to Facebook. Seems insignificant, but it really does change the game.
  • WordPress
    I use WordPress as the backend of just about every website I’ve ever created or currently manage. The applications seem limitless for this content management system.
  • Instagram
    With the addition of video integration, I’m sold on Instagram and I dropped Vine. Instagram is quickly becoming the gateway drug to Twitter.
  • Dropbox
    I use dropbox to store and share about 10GBs of information. I use it with Four12, Two Cities and my personal life. I can sync it across multiple computers, my iPad, my iPhone and I can always access it through their website.
  • iCal
    The native calendar system of all iOS devices. It works seamlessly across multiple devices and keeps me on track, day-to-day.
  • Google Drive
    Another online document storage place, that I use for various data collecting and archiving.
  • Moleskin Notebook
    Moleskin is the notebook of choice.
  • MailChimp
    A professional email site. You can keep address lists, email templates and more in your account on their site.
  • HootSuite
    Scheduling social media posts can be a huge time-saver.
  • Nextdoor
    A new website and app who’s purpose is to create a small social network for your local neighborhood. It’s not a standard for me yet, but I have been in contact with some of my immediate neighbors through it.
  • Email / Text Messaging / Phone

Did I mention that most of this is free.
So what do you use on a day-to-day basis?

Mentors: Andy Benton

February 20, 2012 — 5 Comments

When I was a freshman at Pepperdine University, my roommate and I were invited to attend a bible study on Sunday nights at the president’s home on campus. It was on those nights, in that invitation-only crowd of students I learned some life-lessons from a man-of-God. Andy Benton was one of my mentors and in this video, you can see why… he’s a man of prayer.

Thank you Andy for investing in students like me.

This post is a part of a series of posts on my life mentors.

a simple thank you

February 15, 2012 — Leave a comment

If you work at a church and you aren’t hearing stories like these… it’s time to consider doing something different. I love hearing these stories. Thanks Jenn for sharing!

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#nvcwish

December 19, 2011 — 1 Comment

At New Vintage Church we’re doing something called #nvcwish.
We’re asking people if they could have one wish fulfilled this Christmas Season, what would it be…
People are tweeting and writing on Facebook their #nvcwish and we’re choosing one or two a week that we can make happen.
Seth Naumann tweeted that he wants to walk the Great Wall of China. Obviously, we can’t send him.
Instead, we took a picture of him and photoshopped him into a picture with the wall.

That’s a funny example of what’s going on with the #nvcwishes, but on a more serious note we’ve been able to help someone who needs a bed, get someone a hearing aide, provide a Christmas morning (gifts) for two families and help feed individuals in our community and church through this project.

I’m excited and burdened by the requests coming in. We can’t help everyone, but we can help someone.

“Do for one, what you wish you could do for all.” – Andy Stanley

Josiah Prays

April 10, 2011 — Leave a comment

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