The Word For Today

Jairus 2

'Pour out your heart... for the life of your...children.' Lamentations 2:19 NKJV

The story of Jairus is the story of a pleading parent and an ever-present Saviour. So, 'Pour out your heart...before the face of the Lord. Lift your hands towards him for the life of your...children' (Lamentations 2:19 NKJV).

Parent, you can do this. You can be a loyal advocate and a faithful intercessor. You can bring your parenting fears to Jesus. In fact, if you don't, you might take your fears out on your children. Fear turns some parents into prison guards who monitor every minute and check the background of every friend. They stifle growth and communicate distrust. A family with no breathing room suffocates a child. On the other hand, fear can also create permissive parents. For fear that their child will feel too confined or fenced in, they lower all boundaries. High on hugs and low on discipline, they don't realise that appropriate discipline is an expression of love. Permissive parents or paranoid parents - how can you avoid those extremes? Pray! Jesus said so little about parenting, yet his actions speak volumes about prayer. Each time a parent prays, Christ responds.

The big message in this story is: when your child is in crisis, turn to Jesus. But don't wait for a crisis to come. When you send them off to school each day, do so with a blessing. When you tell them good night, cover them in prayer. When they're stumped by a homework assignment they can't handle, pray with them about it. Pray that your children will have a profound sense of their place in this world, and a heavenly place in the next one.

Soulfood: 2 Sam 17:14-19:43 Lk 8:1-15 Ps 123 Pro 18:13-16,


Jairus 1

'Jairus, a leader of the local synagogue, came and fell at Jesus' feet.' Luke 8:41 NLT

Jairus enjoyed the social status of a mayor or bishop. But when your child is in a crisis, all the celebrity status in the world won't help you. And Jairus wasn't the only parent to run to Jesus when trouble came knocking on the door of their home. A mother stormed out of the Canaanite hills, crying, 'Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter has a demon' (Matthew 15:22 NCV). The father of a seizure-tormented boy also sought help from the disciples. When they failed to provide it, he turned to Jesus. In tears, he said, 'Lord, I believe; help my unbelief' (Mark 9:24 NKJV)! In each case Jesus responded. He never turned one away.

And he won't turn you away either! After all, your kids were his kids first. The psalmist said, 'Children are a gift from the Lord; babies are a reward' (Psalm 127:3 NCV). Next to the gift of salvation, your children are 'God's best gift' to you. And even though they are yours, they are still his. And what he owns, he protects and provides for. Like the Prodigal Son, they may have broken every one of God's laws and broken your heart. But your prayers are what gives God an invitation and an entry point back into their lives.

The love of the father that drew the Prodigal back home, will bring your wayward child back too. What Jesus said to Jairus, he is saying to you today: 'Don't be afraid. Just have faith, and [he] she will be healed' (Luke 8:50 NLT).

Soulfood: 2 Sam 14:21-17:13 Lk 7:36-50 Ps 118:19-29 Pro 18:10-12,


A prayer for knowing God's will

'You saw me before I was born.' Psalm 139:16 NLT

The psalmist wrote: 'You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God' (Psalm 139:16-17 NLT).

If you want to know God's will for your life, pray this prayer: 'Lord, you knew me completely before I was born, and you shaped me and destined me for a purpose. Give me a clear vision of all you want to do in and through my life. I desperately need to understand what the "hope of my calling" (Ephesians 4:4 NAS) is, and "the exceeding greatness of his power" (Ephesians 1:19 NKJV) to enable me to fulfil your purpose (see 2 Corinthians 9:14). Show me the gifts you have put in me, and how I can develop and use them for your glory (see Romans 12:6). Help me to think big and pray with boldness (see Ephesians 3:20). I want to be open and available for whatever you have for me, and not miss your blessings by being unprepared to receive them. Help me not to hold on to things or relationships that are not of you. I want to do your will with my whole heart (see Psalm 40:8). Only you know what and who is right for me. Help me to hear your voice, and give me the grace and courage to follow your leading when I am afraid (see John 10:4). May the desires of your heart become the desires of my heart. Enlarge my capacity to believe that you can take what I have and multiply it beyond what I can imagine. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.'

Soulfood: 2 Sam 12:1-14:20 Lk 7:24-35 Ps 118:10-18 Pro 18:7-9,

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