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Sunday, August 16, 2015

31 Prayers for My Children

Many years ago I came across a list of 31 things to pray for your children. I thought it was a pretty cool idea, so I kind of tucked it in the back of my head for a "someday something to do." About three years ago I decided to do something with this list.

I whittled the list down to a single word or phrase for each of the things to pray for your children. Then I asked my mom, who is one of the most talented artists I know, if she would write each of the words on a heavy piece of paper. She not only wrote the words, but she did a cool handwritten border around the mat. While she was working on this, I made a frame for it out of walnut. This joint effort was a Mother's Day present for my wife.

But here is the really cool thing about this list. It hangs between the doors of our kids' rooms. So every night, just before I go to bed, I go in to give them a kiss and say a prayer over them that is centered around the virtue of the day. That means that in a year I have prayed for courage for each of my kids a minimum of 12 times. I have prayed for self-control a minimum of 12 times. Yeah, number 31 gets the shaft five months out of the year, but you can either put your least favorite virtue there, or you can double up on the last day of the month.

Here are the virtues in list form:
  1. Salvation
  2. Growth in Grace
  3. Love
  4. Honesty
  5. Self-Control
  6. Love for God's Word
  7. Justice
  8. Mercy
  9. Respect
  10. Integrity
  11. Faithfulness
  12. Courage
  13. Purity
  14. Kindness
  15. Generosity
  16. Peace
  17. Joy
  18. Perseverance
  19. Humility
  20. Compassion
  21. Responsibility
  22. Contentment
  23. Faith
  24. Servanthood
  25. Hope
  26. Work Ethic
  27. Passion
  28. Self-Discipline
  29. Prayerfulness
  30. Gratitude
  31. Missions Heart

For me, praying these over my kids is a great reminder of virtues that I want my kids to have. Of course the best way for them to have these virtues is for them to see me and my wife model them. So maybe the evening prayers are not just for them, but also a good reminder for me as to what I should be modeling to my kids. 

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