THE SIN OF PRAYERLESSNESS

Scripture Reading: I Samuel 12:19-25

“Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way.” (I Samuel 12:23)

I don’t think that I have recognized that failing to pray for those we love and serve is a sin against the Lord. It makes sense now that I think about it. When parents have their children baptized, they promise God that the will pray with and for their children and do all they can to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Failing to do so is a sin against God.

No matter how young or old they are, parents must pray diligently for their children. We must pray for their physical well being and for their safety. But we must also pray all the more for their spiritual health, for their walk with God. It concerns me greatly when I consider what my children and grandchildren will face in these spiritually dark times. We must pray that they become rooted and grounded in God’s love and that they walk in line with the truth of the gospel.

Samuel also said, “And I will instruct you in the good and the right way.” We must teach our children the ways of the Lord — “the good and the right way.” The greatest way we teach them is by the example we set before them. Do they see us serious about our faith? Do they see us in prayer and in meditation over the Scriptures? Do they see us being consistent in worship and in fellowship with other believers?

Our teaching must be more than by example; we must also equip our children to know how to study and to meditate upon God’s Word. We must show them how to apply the gospel to every aspect of their lives. The Psalmist wrote — “He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers to teach their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope on God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments” (Psalm 78:5-7).

Samuel knew the Lord wanted him to pray for his spiritual children, the people of Israel. He knew that failing to pray for them was a sin against God. We parents have a tremendous privilege and responsibility to pray for our children and to instruct them in the good and the right way. Failing to do so is a sin against God.

Lord God, let me never fail to bring my children and grandchildren before You in prayer every day. I pray for each of them by name and ask Your greatest blessings upon their lives. I pray for protection and I pray for their spiritual growth. May they be rooted and grounded in Your love. Keep them ever close to You and give them the desire and power to walk with You.

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