I’ve been reading a book by D.A. Carson A Call to Spiritual Reformation that teaches through Paul’s prayers in the Epistles. Though somewhat thick, it is very helpful and applicable to parents and pastors. The following quote from pp. 54-55 specifically addresses parents and the values that fuel our prayers.
When was the last time you prayed this sort of prayer for your family? for your church, for your children? Do we not spend far more energy praying that our children will pass their exams, or get a good job, or be happy, or not stray too far, than we do praying that they may live lives worthy of what it means to be a Christian?
Many of us have had the experience of asking a parent, “How are your children doing?” only to get an answer like this: “Oh, Johnny’s doing very well now. His career as a research physicist has really taken off. He is the youngest person in his company to have been appointed to the board. And Evelyn is doing very well too. She’s into computer programming and is already the head of her section.”
“And how are they doing spiritually?”
A long pause.
“I’m afraid they’re not really walking with the Lord at the moment. But we’re hoping they’ll come back some day.”
Of course, the initial response of such parents may be a reflection of nothing more than privacy, a quiet and loyal concern not to disparage any family member.
But too often it reflects warped priorities. I have had parents, ostensibly Christian parents, rage at me because they thought I had influenced their bright children to train for ministry, perhaps for missionary service. Others are joyous over their children’s material prosperity and not terribly concerned over their children’s utter indifference to the God who made them.
If you are looking for a book to deeper your prayers, consider A Call to Spiritual Reformation .