Encouragement 10-04-04


October 4, 2004
Encouragement for Today

"The Engagement" Part 1
Susanne Scheppmann, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

Key verse:

But God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me! Psalm 66:19-20 (NIV) 

"Mom, I would like to introduce you to my fiancée," my son said proudly.

Although we had been expecting the joyous announcement, my heart pounded with excitement! I hugged both my son and future daughter-in-law with a heart full of praise and thanksgiving. And I began to ask a million questions.

"Have you set a date?"

"Where will you have the wedding?"

That night as I lay in bed, I reflected on the thousands of prayers that I had floated upward to the Father on behalf of my future daughter-in-laws.  From the time my two chubby tow-headed sons toddled on the floor, I had prayed for godly daughter-in-laws.  And especially over the past couple of years, I had prayed diligently for God to bring a godly woman into my youngest son's life.  My prayer partner, Shelley, and I prayed for a wife for my son with specific requests.  Such as: 

"Lord, let her be a Christian."

"Let her sweet love pour over my son."

"It would be nice if she likes to play family games."

"Father, let her have a great sense of humor." 

"Oh, and let me love her family, too."

My sweet prayer partner once said, "Gee, Susanne, I feel like we are praying a shopping list.   Perhaps, it did sound like that, but God answered my prayers in miraculous detail for each of my daughter-in-laws. I believe God likes us to be specific in our prayers.  Because if we are not specific, we might not recognize the answer. 

God wants to answer our requests.  Christ gave us insight on the Father's attitude concerning our prayers when he told his disciples the following two statements.

 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." (Matthew 7:7 NIV)

"If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" (Matthew 7:11 NIV)

While these verses do not guarantee that we will receive everything we ask for, they do encourage us to go before the Father and ask boldly for what we would like.  I believe a key to answered prayer is for our requests to be inline with God's intent for our lives. I like to call them kingdom prayers.

God wants my sons to marry within the Christian faith.  He desires that I love and get along with my son's wives.  So if my requests will benefit his plan for my life and his kingdom, he is pleased to answer, "Yes, my daughter."

So, what kingdom prayers could you pray for your children?  It does not matter how young or old your children may be, God bends his ear to listen to a mother's prayers. I know he hears and listens, then answers our prayers that are within his desired will.  How do I know? The engagement has been announced, the wedding planned, and I am off to shop for a mother-of-the-groom dress.  My future daughter-in-law was not handpicked, but kingdom-prayer picked.

My prayer for today

Father, help me learn to pray kingdom prayers for my family.  Give me the insight and fortitude to continue in prayer for requests that may appear trivial, but will make a lasting difference for my children and their future.

Application steps

Ponder in your heart things you would desire for your family's future.  Write them in a journal; then begin to pray, believing God to answer. Watch and record, in the journal, the variety of ways he answers your kingdom prayers.

Reflection points

How can I pray for the future of my family?

Do I pray regularly for my family?

Do I pray kingdom prayers or prayers for my own wants and desires?

Power verses

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. Jeremiah 33:3, (NIV) 

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Ephesians 6:18, (NIV) 

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.  James 5:16, (NIV) 

Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. 1 John 3:21-22, (NIV) 

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 1 John 5:14, (NIV) 

Additional resources

Being a Great Mom, Raising Great Kids, by Sharon Jaynes

Originally published Monday, 04 October 2004.