I must admit, I have been guilty of telling a friend, “I’ll pray for you.” There
is, of course, nothing wrong with a promised prayer. But if you’re like me, there
are times where I forget to pray. The promised prayer becomes a forgotten
prayer. My daughter, Holden, has begun to pray for me and my wife Hanna
sometimes before bedtime. Her prayers go something like this, “Father, please
help Daddy sleep, give him a new heart. In Jesus’ name, amen.” Holden heard
these prayers from us, her parents. Every night before bed, Hanna and I pray for
Holden and Shepherd to sleep well, know the forgiveness only found in Jesus
Christ, and for God to give them new hearts by the Holy Spirit. It is amazing how
our children mimic us!
A Prayer in Spurgeon’s Ear
The great pastor, Charles Spurgeon, was once a little child listening to the
prayers of his parents. Spurgeon had the privilege of godly parents. Growing up,
Spurgeon’s mother was a powerhouse of prayer and Scripture reading in their
household. Godly mothers are a special gift of grace. She would sit around the
table with the kids, and verse by verse explain the Scriptures to them. After
teaching the Scriptures, she would ask the children about their spiritual state and
even press them on how long it would be before they sought the Lord. Then
would come the mother’s prayer. Spurgeon recalls one particular prayer of his
mother. She prayed: “Now, Lord, if my children go on in their sins, it will not be
from ignorance that they perish, and my soul must bear a swift witness against
them at the day of judgment if they lay not hold of Christ” (The Early Years, 44).
It was this prayer that pierced Spurgeon’s conscience. The thought of his
own mother bearing witness against him on the day of the Lord stirred his heart
to see his sin and his need for a Savior. Spurgeon had many teachers growing up,
but in his mind, the instruction of his mother stands above all. Spurgeon says,
“How can I ever forget her tearful eye when she warned me of the wrath to
come?” (The Early Years, 45). She prayed for Spurgeon, she prayed with
Spurgeon, and he could never forget it.
Pray Promptly in Public
Friends, I have been encouraged many times to hear a brother or sister
pray for me out loud. On Sunday night, we had dinner with a couple from the
church and at the end of the night, after I prayed for them, the husband prayed
for us. Just today, I shared a burden with a friend and immediately he prayed for
me. What a joy to hear someone intercede on your behalf to our great God!
Perhaps the next time you hear of a need, a burden, a struggle, a
discouragement, a concern, you could stop and pray out loud for that person.
Who doesn’t need more encouragement? Who doesn’t need more prayer? Who
wouldn’t be benefited by your public prayer?
Pray Parents, and Pray for Parents
Parents, could we not learn from the earnest prayer of Spurgeon’s
mother? Pray with your kids, and pray for them. Let them hear you plead with the
God of heaven to save their souls. Let them hear your cry out to God for their
salvation. And may the Lord answer our prayers. I am also so thankful for the
many examples of godly parents at Covenant Hope Church—this is God’s grace. I
am especially excited about the Core Class on Parenting that will be taught by
Brian and Nisin. They are excellent examples for our church to imitate. Part of
parenting, and perhaps one of the most important parts, is prayer. Let’s pray for
the parents of our church as they seek to earnestly work to bring up any under
their care in the training and instruction of the Lord.