The Holy Spirit must govern our lives and theirs.
The Holy Spirit must govern our lives and theirs. (Unsplash/Alexander Dummer)

Beware of the great lies, "boys will be boys" and "girls will be girls." Or "They're teenagers (or adults) and so I no longer have influence in their lives."

Eli's refusal to restrain his sons had a devastating impact on his family and the nation of Israel (1 Sam. 3).

It helps to define parenting goals. Some parents live to launch their children from the family nest. Others want their children to be successful by the world's standards in education and profession. But shouldn't our ultimate goal be to strive for God's approval for a job well done in raising His children to love, honor and serve Him and others? How do we achieve this? The Holy Spirit must govern our lives and theirs. So let's pray about it,

Father, Please help us to pray life-defining prayers over the children You have assigned to us. May we take life-defining action to ensure they become all You desire and designed them to be. We want them to be world-changers who honor You and who lead vast multitudes to Christ.

Church attendance has never been an option at our house. If you live under our roof, you're going – but that's not helpful without passion. And so we prayed,

Father, Please grant our children a passion for church services and activities. Connect them with energetic, God-honoring individuals of all ages who will reinforce the values You've asked us to instill in their hearts, truth from Your Word.

He did.

Whenever we ask God for more of Himself, He will never give us less—but it may be necessary to leave our comfort zone. In 2002 I journaled prayers asking God to center my family in the midst of a global awakening. He soon led us to a young church over an hour from our home, but the presence of God was so dynamic, we made the drive every Sunday and Wednesday and were involved in as much as our circumstances would allow.

We couldn't possibly have known that today it would be the second-largest church in America. My children and grandchildren are thriving because of an obedient response to a dangerous prayer. When we kept the grand-angels one weekend, they came downstairs ready for church before their alarms were scheduled to go off. But our older children are just as passionate.

I frequently place my hands on their Bibles, asking God to give them a passion for His Word.

He does.

But we have to set the example. Our experience with God has to be as fire in our hearts. My family is aware of the darkness and consequences I once chose to walk in, and so they better understand why those things are no longer a part of my life—or a part of their lives. When looking at the lives of others, they appreciate this. And so I strive to turn up the flames in their hearts when they appear to be growing comfortable or cold spiritually.

Next month, I'll share prayer inspirations that can help us effectively guide and guard their hearts and minds and lives.

Connie Norrispassion is to mobilize women and children to pray. Please visit her website, "My Home, a House of Prayer for All Nations" myhomeahouseofprayerforallnations.com or connect with her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/conniepn.

This article originally appeared at just18summers.com.

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