By Kathi Pelton
James 1:27 speaks of a pure and undefiled religion as one that “looks after the orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”
How do we pray that our children can be kept unstained by the world? Often people become so comfortable with the familiarity of the narrative or ways of the world that they scarcely recognize when it begins to leave a stain upon them. The enemy is always seeking to redefine what is defiled as normal or pure. We are watching this demonic normalization happening among even the youngest of our children today.
I love Psalm 51 as it begins with a prayer that we can pray to keep our children (and grandchildren) separate from the stains of sin and the world,
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:1
I pray this for my own life but I pray this for my sons and daughters often.
Earlier in James 1 we are shown the progression of how mankind can become stained. In verse 14 it says,
“Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.” James 1:14-15
We all begin with desires that are impure which is why we must ask the Lord to “create in our children clean hearts that desire what is pure and undefiled.” But the temptation is not the sin (although we can ask that God purified them from even being tempted by such things), it is when they begin to compromise (even ever so slightly) that it gives birth to sinful actions which can grow like a cancer that brings death upon them.
This is one of my favorite ways to pray for my children. I will pray, “God, create in them clean hearts that desire purity, righteous and truth. Remove even the temptation that comes from impure desires from their hearts. Purify their very desires.”
Matthew 5:8 says this,
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
I want my children to SEE GOD! We all want our children and our children’s children to see God. I believe that one of the greatest schemes of the enemy is to take the sin nature that we are born with and to begin to define what is defiled as pure. If he can redefine fleshly desires, that need to be purified by the blood of Jesus, as normal and natural then our children will give birth to actions that bring death.
There is a progression that can be stopped through prayer. Of course we must be teaching our children from young ages Biblical truth and training them in the ways of the Lord— but we must battle for them in prayer!
Just as we clothe them when they are young, did you know that you can clothe them spiritually throughout their years? I use Ephesians 6:10-18 to pray and decree over them,
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
I ask Holy Spirit to clothe my children and grandchildren with the full armor of God so that they can recognize and stand against the enemies schemes. You can (and should) do this as well. Each piece of the armors has a purpose for protection. We are not powerless against what our children are facing because we have the authority through prayer to guard and protect them so that they will be a holy people.
Our prayers are effective and powerful! I pray this over your children today too! May they be a generation that sees God!
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