Mama Bear · Praying the Commands of Jesus

Raising Kids Who Shine

Before we look at light, lets take a moment and look at darkness.

Darkness is absence of light, lack of, concealment, a lack of sight.  Darkness is all around us, and for those lost in darkness, we are the light calling them home.

Look at the Stars!

Light illuminates, make things visible and is a radiant energy.

Our children, who know Jesus as their Savior, carry the light of Christ within them.  They carry this visible and radiate energy to all who they come in contact with.

So don’t hide your light! Let it shine brightly before others…

Jesus knew that carrying the light would not always be easy for us and that must be why he felt the need to remind us.   You see, everyone looks at the light, notices the light and there is a level of accountability for a light carrier.   There are days when this can be hard, uncomfortable and self sacrificing.

Jesus is not suggesting that we shine, He is commanding it.  Not only are we to shine, but shine brightly for all to see.  It should be obvious to all, who we are living for.  Not once do I ever hear Jesus say, stay comfortable.

We aren’t in this faith walk to stay comfortable, Mama Bears.  We shouldn’t want it for ourselves, and we are cheating our kids if we want it for them.

I am known as the ‘pusher’ at my house.  I purpose to push my kids out of their comfort zones whenever I can.   What can I say,  it’s my calling!

We have not been called to stay safe inside our Christian bubble, we are called to Go Out.  Go out into the darkness and SHINE!  

…so that the commendable things you do will shine as light upon them…

How do people see the light within us?

By being people whose actions and speech are filled with light and goodness, causing people to trust and have confidence in us.

This is how simple it can be.

Have you ever heard the saying, “The Way to a Man’s Heart is His Stomach.”  Truth!

Dinner was a important event in our day, and I receive texts and calls throughout the day asking, “What’s for dinner?”  Many of the boys friends found their way to our dinner table.

I remember one young man who was amazed at family dinner, but he was not amazed at my great cooking, he was amazed at the conversation.  His comments to our son after dinner were, “Your parents asked me all about my day, the even asked how football practice went.  My parents never ask me.” 

Simply inviting a boy to join us  around the dinner table showed him the light of Jesus, we gave him light in the darkness and a place to call home.

My kids saw first hand how simple it is to shine.

and then they will give their praise to your Father in heaven.  Matthew 5:16 

Here is the catcher… praise will come, but it won’t be for us.  The light will be bigger than us, bigger than our kids, it will be God Sized.  This light, this heavenly light, shining through our lives will draw people to God Himself.

 

String Lights Mardi Gras Instagram Post

A Mama Bear Prayer

Father, I ask that _______ will not hide his/her light, but that _______ will let it shine brightly before others.  That all she/he says and does will be commendable, causing all those who come in contact with _______ to praise You.  In Jesus Name – Amen

Before I pray for you today Mama Bears, I want to share a little story with you about a woman who is simply shining brightly for Jesus.  You can hear Ludmilla’s story here.

A Prayer for you, Mama Bear

Father, I lift my friend up to you today, may she carry Your Light into the darkest places.  I thank you that Your light overpowers all darkness.  Fill her life and her home with Your light.  Let her be a light shining brightly before all she comes in contact with, causing them to have a trust and a confidence in her that leads them straight to You.  In Jesus Name – Amen

Mama Bear · Praying the Commands of Jesus

Rejoice in Rejection, Is It Even Possible?

Rejection is hard, plain hard.  No one likes it, or the awkward lonely feeling that it brings.

To be rejected is to be refused, discarded or cast out.  Jesus knows how that feels, to the fullest extent.  That is how He can say these words…

Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.  Matthew 5:12

God’s people have been rejected and persecuted from the beginning and it continues to this day.  You see, those that are different, those who walk to a different code, who step away from the norm in this world will naturally be rejected.

I want to be really honest to those of us who are Christians in the United States.  Do we really know about rejection?  Really?  Your child doesn’t get invited to the party, is left out at recess or not picked  for the team, maybe even made fun of.  I get it, it hurts a bit.

Let’s for a moment put things in perspective.  How does that compare to not being able to attend school, being physically attacked or having your home burnt to the ground?  Truth is, it doesn’t compare, not at all.

Mama Bears, we have to and we must remind ourselves to look outside of the little box our lives have become, and teach our children to do the same.

Rejection of who we are along with our faith is going to come, yet that doesn’t stop the call from Jesus that we choose to rejoice in the face of rejection.  How do we live it and teach our kids to do the same? Let’s dig in and find out how –

Rejoice and be glad …

To Rejoice is to be glad, take delight in or to make joyful.

To be Glad is to show cheerfulness or joy, but it also means to be very willing.

Are we very willing to brush off rejection and choose joy?  You see it all comes down to this, it is a choice.  There are days this choice will be easier than others, but it is our  choice to make, our children’s choice to make, and Jesus reminds us that it will be worth it.

…because great is your reward in heaven…

Jesus tells us to set our sights higher, to set them on Heaven, that is where our real reward is.

I’m going to be honest, I don’t often think of  heavenly rewards, it seems I am more interested in earthy ones.

What reward does await us in heaven?  Streets of gold are mentioned, mansions are mentioned, even crowns are mentioned.  I like all of those, believe me I do, but they are hard to wrap my mind around.

Here is a reward I can grab hold of, For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’” Revelation 7:17 

You see, Jesus will be there.  The Jesus I love, the Jesus I have taught my children all about, trusting that they love Him too.  When we arrive in heaven, there He will be, our Great Shepherd.  He will take us by the hand and lead us to refreshing, living, eternal water.  And then… the hand of God will come and wipe every tear, every heartbreak, every disappointment from our eyes.  Oh my, what a reward.

We don’t hear much about Heaven these days, and I’m not sure why.    Is it because we are so busy,  trying to make Heaven here on Earth that we have lowered our sights?

Let’s lift our sights.  Let’s talk of Heaven and dream of Heaven, with our children.

…for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

  Matthew 5:12 

Jesus reminds us, that rejection is nothing new, many who have walked this faith walk before us were very willing to choose to rejoice in the midst of rejection, prison and even death.

Let’s tell our children of the prophets and the martyrs who have paved the way.  We can learn much from their testimonies, and you can find many of their stories here Jesus Freaks: Martyrs: Stories of Those Who Stood for Jesus: The Ultimate Jesus Freaks.

A Mama Bear Prayer

Father I bring _______ before You today, I ask that when he/she faces rejection of any kind, that you help _______ to be very willing to choose to rejoice, and to take delight in You.  I thank you for the promise of a Heavenly reward, may _______ cling to Your promise and set her/his sights toward Heaven in times of rejection.  In Jesus Name – Amen

A Prayer for You Mama Bear 

Father, I bring my friend before You today, may she choose to rejoice in times of rejection.  May you give her abundant wisdom as a guide in times when her children face rejection.  Remind her daily of her great reward in Heaven and may she set her sights not on this world, but higher, in heavenly places. Remind her of those who have paved the way before her, the persecuted and suffering.  Let her take strength in their testimonies and remind her to tell their stories to her children.   In Jesus Name – Amen

Mama Bear · Praying the Commands of Jesus

Why Our Kids Must Make Jesus Their First Follow

We live in an age where everyone and anyone is calling for our kids to follow them.  There is a first follow that will guide all of their other follows, and that follow is Jesus.    By following Him first, He becomes the measuring stick by which they measure all of their other follows.

Jesus’ call to follow Him is clear…

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In this verse Jesus is speaking to Peter and Andrew, two brothers who were doing their daily fishing. As we read on scripture tells us that at once, they left their nets and followed Him, they don’t hesitate for a moment.

Jesus’ call is still clear for our kids today:

Come Follow Me

 

Come… 

To come is to take your place, move into position or move into view.  Our children must be positioned so that Jesus is in their view, the first place where we can get them into position is in our home.

They must see that before we make daily decisions, 

We Place Jesus in Our View 

They must see that before we eat a meal, that we pause with thanks,

We Place Jesus in Our View

They must see that when the waves of life come,

threatening to take us under,  

We Place Jesus in Our View 

 

…and follow Me…

To follow is to to conform to, comply with, or act in accordance with; to obey.  When our children decide to follow Jesus they are making a decision to live according to His commands, to live life the Jesus Way. 

We can make many decisions for our kids, but this decision is theirs alone.  That is why we must pray, that they will not hesitate and come to their own decision to Follow Jesus.

Some Mama Bears will not have to pray this prayer long, other Mama Bears may be praying this prayer for years.  For the Mama Bears who are still praying, I stand with you, I agree with you in prayer that your child will hesitate no longer, and make the choice to Follow Jesus!

The end result of this prayer no matter how long we pray, or how many years pass, is a beautiful transformation…

…I will transform you…

A transformation will begin within them and the living and powerful Spirit of God will come alive inside them. The life long work of Jesus in their lives will begin changing their nature and character, to become more and more like Jesus.

…into men and women who will catch people for God… 

People will see the character and nature of Jesus in them and will be attracted to them, and causing friendships to form.  Then they will cast their nets and they will gather those people and lead them to the Great Fisherman,  Jesus.

I want this life for our kids 

I want Jesus in their view all day

I want them on His heels, following Him so closely,

That He can hear them coming up behind Him 

Let Pray this passionalty for our children, Mama Bears!

A Mama Bear Prayer

Father I  pray that ________ will not hesitate to come to Jesus, that Jesus will be in her/his view all day long.

I rejoice that as _______ follows Jesus, Jesus is doing a transforming work within him/her.

Making _______ a fisher of people, who are need of a Savior, gathering them in, and bringing them to Jesus.  – In Jesus Name Amen

A Prayer for You Mama Bear

Father I pray over my fellow Mama Bears today, that you will help them to keep Jesus in their view, from their rising up until their laying down.  May they resist the temptation to take their eyes off of Him when the waves threaten to crash over them.  May their homes become a place anchored in You, and may their nets reach far gathering in those who need Jesus.  In Jesus Name Amen

Follow & Gather

Mama Bear · Praying the Commands of Jesus

Why We Must Pray for Repentant Hearts

When your child was born, I’m sure one of your thoughts was that he or she looked so pure, so innocent and they do!  There is nothing like a newborn, the softness, the smell the newness.   In that moment you couldn’t imagine that this precious little one would ever sin.

Truth be told,  it won’t take long until their selfish and sinful nature begins to reveal itself.  It’s just a fact, our human nature is bent toward sin, we are selfish lovers of ourselves and we all are in a lifetime battle against it.

Before you know it, that innocent babe is walking and talking, and soon you are hearing the words, “Mine” and “No”.   A few years later you hear the first lie come out of that little person’s mouth, it leaves you shocked and breaks a little piece of your heart.

You will not want to see your child’s sin, you’ll want to look away, ignore it and refuse to  believe it.  You must be brave, Mama Bear, and see your child’s sin for what it is, sin.  Make it your business to face it, name it and never give up praying about it until you see change.

One of the first commands we hear from Jesus as He stepped out in ministry is “Repent”.  This tells us that repentance is an important step, a step that we and our children must  take.

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Turning away from sin…

To repent is to feel sorry, to have regret, so much so that you are willing to make a change, and turn away from it.

Saying you are sorry is not popular these days.  We see people making excuses and getting by with sinful behavior everywhere we turn.

If we do hear the words ‘I’m sorry” it’s often just an attempt to escape the consequences.

Jesus is calling us to be real here.  To be conscious of our of sin and when we sin, we have a sincere desire to not repeat it again.

Consequence is a good teacher
At our house it’s called, “feeling the pain.”

Mama Bear, you will be very tempted to step in and remove the consequence of sin for your children.  Resist it, feeling the consequences, or should I say feeling the pain leads to a lesson,  and those lessons lead truly repentant hearts, away from future sin.

Come back to God…

Our children must see us walking repentance out in our own lives.  Repentance leads us back to God every time, back to the Cross where forgiveness is possible.

As we teach and train our children in the way they should go, part of our job is helping them face their sin, name their sin and turn away from it.  Then we can take them by the hand and walk with them to the Cross, where they can feel the light of forgiveness rising.

For Heaven’s kingdom realm is now accessible.  Matthew 4:17

If you are like me your thinking, “What does this even mean?  Heaven’s Kingdom realm is now accessible?”

Jesus is saying, I’m going to make the way for forgiveness of sin.  Right now there is no way, but when I finish My Mission, you will have a way from the darkness of sin to the light of forgiveness.  You will have access through Me to my Father and to all of Heaven.  The road that leads you there is called the Road of Repentance.

I want my children on this road with me, don’t you?

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A Prayer for Your Child:  

Lord, help _______ to acknowledge, repent and turn away from his/her sin and draw close to You.  I thank you that through Jesus You have made the way for _________ to always come back to You, to have access to You, to step out of the darkness and into Your brilliant light. In Jesus Name, Amen

A Prayer for You, Mama Bear 

Lord, I lift my Mama Bear friend up in prayer today.  I ask that she become a woman who faces her sin head on and is quick to turn away from it.

Lord, You are so gracious that You have already made the way for her to continually turn around and come back to You, lead her from the darkness of sin to the light of a repentant life that serves as a guide for her children.  In Jesus Name – Amen

If you’re wondering about all of the Mama Bear talk you can find out more about that here.  Mama Bear

Mama Bear

Pray With Purpose

A purpose is the reason, the aim or the goal.

We have to ask ourselves, what is our aim when we pray for our children, what are we hoping to achieve?

More importantly what is God wanting to achieve through our prayers?

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I believe that the Lord’s purpose is reflected in this scripture, He is always at work transfiguring us into His likeness –

We can all draw close to him with the veil removed from our faces. And with no veil we all become like mirrors who brightly reflect the glory of the Lord Jesus. We are being transfigured into his very image as we move from one brighter level of glory to another. And this glorious transfiguration comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 

1 Corinthians 3:18 – The Passion Translation

He wants to draw us close.  So close that we begin to reflect Him in all we say and do, from glory to glory.

He wants our children to know Him face to face, to know Him as well as they know their own reflection, He wants to take them from from glory to glory.

Less of Us – More of Him
From Glory to Glory

If we happen to forget God’s purpose, no worries, He’ll remind us. 

I meet with some ladies once a week and we pray for our community.  On my heart that day were Mama Bears and their Baby Bears who are born addicted.  In the area I live it is on the rise and my heart breaks, not only for the babies but the mamas too.

When we finished praying one of the women said something brave, “We must be ready, when the opportunity arises, to put feet to our prayers today.”  

It was only hours when my opportunity arose, and I’ll be shamefully honest, I hesitated.

It was inconvenient, I was busy and it didn’t fit in to my plan for the evening.  Then the Lord stopped me dead in my tracks.  “Wasn’t this the very women and child you were praying for today?”  

It was the kick in the pants that I needed and it spurred me into action. I rearranged my plans, and went to encourage those who God had called me to that night, the very ones I had been praying for that morning.  I had almost missed it, I had almost missed my purpose.

We must be Mama Bears, who are willing put feet to our prayers.  Our children need to see us grab ahold of our purpose, this will give them courage to grab ahold of theirs.

When we pray for our Baby Bears, we must pray with God’s Purpose in mind, that they be transfigured into His likeness.  Jesus gives us a great starting point, His Commands to us and to our children.    When they begin to walk in obedience to the Commands of Jesus, this is the path to an abundant life!  I desperately want that, do you?

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When we hold our  Bible we hold the Commands of Jesus  in our hands, but there is a difference between holding them and keeping them.  To keep something is to maintain it with care and labor, to lay something up, to treasure it.

Love and obedience walk  hand in hand.  When we purpose to keep Jesus’ commands this demonstrates our love for Him and a chain reaction begins.

  • Our obedience reveals our love for Jesus
  • Our love for Jesus opens the door to God the Father, and He lavishes His love upon us.
  • There is more… Jesus’ love is also released upon us, with a promises to reveal Himself to us.

To reveal is to make known, to lay open.  Jesus Himself is made known to us as we love Him and keep His commands, everything about Him is layed open before us.

We then find ourselves knowing Him more and more, loving Him more and more.   Our lives are  being molded by love and obedience.  From glory to glory.

Don’t we want all of this love shaping our children’s lives?  

Don’t we want them living, breathing and moving in the love of Jesus?  

How better, than to pray the Commands of Jesus over their lives!

As you read through the Commands of Jesus, imagine how they will shape the life of your son or daughter.

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This list is going to take us on a prayer journey.  Each week we will pray a command from Jesus over our children, with Passion, with Power and with Purpose.

Let’s Start with Jesus’ Call – To Keep His Commands   

A Prayer for Your Child: 

Lord, I thank you that _______ has access to the commands of Jesus, may he/she keep them with care,  showing his/her love for Jesus.  As _______ loves you though his/her obedience I rejoice in knowing that _________ is loved by You and Jesus will come and reveal Himself to her/him.  -Amen

A Prayer for you Mama Bear: 

Father, I lift up my Mama Bear friend to you, may she be a woman who digs deep into the Commands of Jesus.   Make her the gatekeeper of her home as she strives to maintain them in her life.  I thank you that her love for Jesus, will spur her on in obedience to Your Word.  Remind her that Your love for her is overflowing, and may Jesus be revealed to her more and more. – Amen

Mama Bear

Praying with Power

Scripture tells us that there is great power in the tongue.    What we say matters, it matters much.

And so the tongue is a small part of the body yet it carries great power! Just think of how a small flame can set a huge forest ablaze.  James 3:5 

So I must ask you, Mama Bear, what are you saying?  What words are you speaking over the life of your family?  What words do your children hear come out of your mouth?

Words of Life – Words of Encouragement – Words of Faith
– Or – 
Words of Fear – Words of Discouragement – Words of Doubt 

Even when we pray our feelings of fear, discouragement and doubt can filter in.  I will admit for many years I prayed with tears and frustration, and I was known to even add in some begging and pleading. It wasn’t until I learned to pray scripture that I felt true power in my prayers.

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Power is the ability to act, to do accomplish something with strength. That’s exactly how I want to feel during and after my time in prayer, that I have accomplished something with strength! Lord knows, I’m weak on my own! The great thing with prayer is it’s not in my strength, but God’s.

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Most days I do not feel godly or righteous, I feel like a plain old sinner.

But Jesus

You see, dear Mama Bears, it is Jesus who places us in the position of righteousness, right standing with God. Through Him we have been washed clean and can approach God’s throne with confidence.

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16

If that isn’t enough we have access to even more power –

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When we pray God’s Word, our prayers become alive with power, His power.

I can trust that God’s words are alive and active, when mine are inadequate.

God’s words hit their mark, when mine fall short.

God’s words slice with the power of a sword, when mine are a butter knife.

God’s words penetrate the hearts, when our bounce off and fall to the floor.

A bonus is, when we pray God’s words for our children, His words pierce our hearts as well as theirs, and you know we love those two- for-one deals!

Let us be Mama Bears who leave our begging and pleading days behind us, and pray with power over the lives of our children as we teach them to do the same.

A Prayer for You Child:

Lord, I thank you for your word, that it is alive and active in _____________’s life.
As I pray your holy scriptures over him/her may they penetrate her/his soul and spirit. Your Word is the only thing that can judge the attitudes of _____________’s heart. Amen

A Prayer for You, Mama Bear:

Lord I lift up my dear Mama Friend, I ask that you remind her that Your power lives within her and she can approach Your throne with confidence. As she rids herself of offense and confesses her sin, your power comes and healing is released within her and those she is praying for. When she adds the piercing power of Your Word, her prayers are unstoppable! Amen

Mama Bear

Praying with Passion

I have come to the place where I’m sick of my own voice and my own agenda. When I pray it becomes all about my plan, which seems to be the easier plan, but not the best plan.

I want to hear God’s voice when I open my mouth in prayer, I want to hear His Passion, His Power and His Purpose.

Let’s take a look into what it means to pray with God’s Passion.

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Passion is a powerful and compelling emotion full of love and fondness. If I were to ask you to tell me a few things that you are passionate about, I would be able to hear the passion in your voice and see it on your face. The beautiful thing about passion is it compels us into action.

Listen to the greatest command from Jesus –

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Your passion may be your husband, your children, your career or business, an important cause and all are good, great even. If those passions supersede your passion for God, the truth is, your life will be out of order. When we make God our first passion, all of our other passions will spill over, in perfect order.

God knows that our passion compels us and He’s counting on it. You see if we love Him, with every passion in our heart, with all of our energy, with every thought and with all of our strength we’ll do anything He asks and go anywhere He takes us. We will follow Him to the end, and that’s what He longs for, a passionate lifetime relationship with us.

God wants this same relationship with our children, a passionate love filled relationship. Should we want anything less for them? I have to wonder if we have settled for less.

The culture in which we live will try to convince us that they should have other passions, sports, music, friends, school, hobbies, popularity, college, aspirations and that their passion for God can wait until later.

As I banged out those words I realized just how completely ridiculous they sound. Since when do we, followers of Jesus, care about popular culture? Why would we ever want our children’s passion for God to wait!

Mama Bears we must be the ones to encourage our children to passionately pursue God with all that is in them, and when they do, everything else falls into place. If we aren’t living out our passion for God in front of them, who is?

Maybe you are struggling with your passion for God, most of us have been there right along with you, times when we feel cold and distant.

There is power and passion within the Word of God, and as we begin to pray His words we will no longer hear our voice but His. Then that little ember within us will spark and our fire will burn again.

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A Prayer for your Child:

Lord, My prayer for ____________ is that he/she love You with every passion of her/his heart, with all of the energy of his/her being, with every thought within her/him and that ___________ will love you with all of his/her strength. I know this is Your great commandment. Amen

A Prayer for you, Mama Bear:

Oh Lord, you are passionate about your precious daughter and I ask that she love you with every passion of her heart, all of her energy, in every thought and with all of the strength within in her. Help her to live her passion for You, out loud before her children, that it will ignite a passion for You within them. Amen

Praying for Your Child With

Mama Bear

Don’t Worry Mama Bear, Pray

I have heard it said many times that when you have your first child, it’s as if your heart came out of your chest and started walking around.  Sit around a table with a group of mothers and you will see that those words are true.

Mama Bears tend to worry and before we know it we have a list of them that has no end. Worry is a tricky thing, it starts small, and it can keep growing within us until we are almost smothered by it.

There are some boo-boos that we can kiss and make better, and there are some that are completely out of our control.

Maybe some of these sound familiar to you –

  • Are they eating well?
  • Sleeping well?
  • Are they happy?
  • Do they have friends?
  • Do I like their friends?
  • Do they like their teachers?
  • Do their teachers like them?
  • Are they studying enough?
  • Applying themselves enough?
  • Can I trust them?
  • Are they friendly and kind?
  • If they are moody, why are they moody?
  • Are they leaders or followers?
  • What are they wearing?
  • When is the last time they washed their hair? Brushed their hair?
  • Is their walk with the Lord strong enough?
  • Have I failed them in any way?
  • Do they lie to me?
  • Are they depressed?
  • Before we know it boyfriends, girlfriends, college, careers, spouses, marriage and gasp! grandchildren (a whole new generation to worry about) come into the picture and the list continues to grow.
Your list of worries will have no end, Mama Bear,
unless you put an end to it.
The only way is to take your worries and turn them into prayers

The power to do just that, lies within you. When you purpose to live your life according to this scripture, refusing to live in worry and fear, choosing to live in prayer and peace.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

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Do not be anxious, worried, fearful

about anything, any one thing, to any degree

but in every, any, each situation

by prayer, communion with God and petition, ask

with thanksgiving, gratitude, appreciation

present, show, give your requests to God.

Then the peace, unity, calmness of God

which transcends, rises above all of your understanding

will guard and protect your heart, the center of who you are

as well as your mind and your thoughts, as they are hidden and protected in

Christ Jesus.

Prayer is our secret weapon against fear and anxiety, God beckons us to come to Him and pour out our hearts on behalf of our children.

Arise, cry out in the night,
    as the watches of the night begin;
pour out your heart like water
    in the presence of the Lord.
Lift up your hands to him
    for the lives of your children
 Lamentations 2:19

Don’t Worry Mama Bear, Pray. 

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Wondering where all his Mama Bear talk is coming from?  You can find that post here Mama Bear

 

Praying for Your Child With