Job is best known for his patience in tribulation. However, he is also a role model for parents, especially fathers. He had ten children and prayed for each of them. I hope this blog helps you pray for the children in your life.
God blessed Job with:
1 – Godly Character.
In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. (Job 1:1).
Job’s character and reputation was spotless. He had a wonderful relationship with God and others. This was the foundation of his life that allowed him to sustain the future afflictions he would face.
2 – Great Wealth.
He had seven sons and three daughters, and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East. (Job 1:2-3)
In those days, wealth was measured in land, animals and servants. Job was blessed with all three. His sheep provided food and clothing. The camels and donkeys provided transportation. The cattle provided food, milk, and labor. He needed many servants to take care of his ranch. He was the richest of the rich.
3 – Many Children.
His sons used to hold feasts in their homes on their birthdays, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would make arrangements for them to be purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular custom. (Job 1:4-5)
Job had 7 sons and 3 daughters. They would get together, probably on birthdays, and have a party together. They enjoyed being together. Job would intercede to God for his children. They were the first thing on his mind in the morning.
What should we pray about for our children?
1 – Pray for character.
There is no indication that anything wicked was going on at the parties of Job’s children. However, Job knew outward appearances can be deceiving, so he interceded on behalf of his children. Job prayed for their heart. Pray for your child’s heart.
2 – Pray for God’s will.
Job’s concern was that his children may have cursed God in their heart. He wished for his children to follow God. Pray that your children will do what God wants them to do. If you don’t know what to pray for your children, pray that God’s will be done in their life and that they would do God’s will (See Matthew 6:10; Luke 22:42)
3 – Pray for salvation.
Job prayed for their relationship with God. The most important relationship our children will ever have is with God. Our prayer can’t save our children. Salvation is personal. God has no grandchildren. But we can pray for them.
“The tragedy of my life is that though I’ve led thousands of people to Jesus Christ, my own sons are not saved.” – Billy Sunday
Three Lessons from Job’s Prayer for his Children:
1 – Don’t allow God’s blessings to lead you away from God.
Job was a very rich man. But he did not allow his possessions to tempt him away from his relationship with God and responsibility to his family. Don’t let the blessings distract you from the Blesser.
Also, it’s important to realize that Job’s children grew up in a good home with many blessings. It could be that they would see the blessings and forget God. Job did not allow all the blessings to lead him or his family away from God. The blessings brought them closer to God.
2 – You can’t control your children but you can pray for them and influence them with your godly example.
Job knew that he couldn’t be with his children all the time. As children grow up, they get out on their own and parents have little control over what happens to them. What can a parent do? We can pray for our children. Prayer goes where we cannot go. Prayer does what we cannot do. Prayer changes what we cannot change.
As Job went to prayer, he set a godly example before his children. His morning sacrifice to God on their behalf impressed on his children the fear of God and the consequences of sin. He was a great example.
3 – Prayer doesn’t work the way we want it to.
The irony is that in spite of all his prayers, his children all died in a severe storm (Job 1:18-19). Sometimes our prayers don’t get answered the way we want them to. But that’s what prayer is – asking. Sometimes God has a plan than we don’t understand. This shouldn’t stop us from praying. But we should always pray for God’s will to be done for our children. We must trust Him.
Most parents want what is best for their children. We try to provide for all their needs and prepare them to face the world as adults. Send them to good schools and provide experiences that will enrich their lives. We want to protect them from any danger and deliver them from anything that would harm them. We will do anything for our children. But the best and most we can do for our children is pray for them – especially their relationship with God. All else is temporary. God is eternal.
We can learn a lesson from China. In ancient China, the people wanted security against the barbaric people to the north. So they built walls to keep them out. These walls were built so high that no one could climb over it and built so thick that no one could break it down. So they settled back to enjoy their security. It is told that during the first 100 years of one of the walls, China was invaded three times. How? The gates were left open. The enemy had bribed the gatekeepers. The Chinese spent all their time building a wall, but they neglected on building character and integrity in their children. May we never become so pre-occupied with providing for the financial, athletic, and academic security of our children that we neglect the spiritual security that only God can give.