What’s up, guys? Welcome to another Five Minute Fatherhood. We love to tease out different verses, passages that seem to have implications or applications for fatherhood.
One of them is in Job chapter one. There’s tons and tons of things to apply from the book of Job to children. But there’s something it says at the very, very beginning of the book that I always found interesting.
And it says in Job 1:4-5, “His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day. And they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. And when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and consecrate them. And he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all, for Job said, ‘It may be that my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.’ Thus, Job did continually.”
First of all, how cool is it that all of his siblings were going to each other’s houses constantly to have parties? Job’s family was pretty epic.
I could understand why this was really a hard thing for him to lose.
But I love what Job does here. It’s an interesting decision to say… These appear to be adult children, and he was interceding for each one of them because he saw that the biggest problem that his children were going to have in their life was whether or not God engages them directly. He did not want to see a rift developed between God and any one of his children. Individually he would go through and offer burnt offerings for each of his children after these different fees that they were enjoying.
It’s really cool to have an intercession strategy. Maybe yours isn’t going to involve burning animals, but I want to give you guys three quick examples of different ways that I have developed intercessory strategies for my kids.
I had a season where I did what I think of as the card method. This was a book I read about prayer a while back, and a man just had a card for each of his children. I did this for a couple of years. Put their name on the top, and then as I prayed for them, I would add things to the card and just pray through the card. As I got more and more full, I would just pray to intercede for those things I felt like the Holy Spirit was inspiring me to do. That was a super awesome season for interceding for each of my kids.
Then there’s the passage method, which is where you actually find, oftentimes a prayer in the Bible, and you really assign that prayer to each one of your children. It may be a different prayer for each one of your kids. If you listen to the podcast I do with my dad, it really ends with my dad praying the prayer over me from Colossians that he’d been praying my entire life, which just happened also to be the prayer that my wife was also praying for her future husband.
I got a double dose while I was growing up of this prayer from Colassians, which is awesome. And then the verse right after that is… Actually, when I was a teenager, I didn’t even know this was happening, but it became my life verse. A whole other story there, if you want to listen to that podcast.
The third one and the one I’m using today that I really am enjoying is, I just call it the rotation method.
Every single morning when I pray, I have different things I pray for on a daily basis. But what I do is, I put one of my kids’ names down in my journal and I just listen. I pray over each of them, I write some things down. Today is all about this one child. Today I’m going to pray for Kira. I’m just thinking about Kira during my prayer time, just going deep, and then I just do it in age order. I go back and then after Kira goes Kelsey, Jackson, Sidney, Lisa, Kira, that’s how I do it. I’m just constantly praying and I can flip back in my journal, similar to the card method, and look at things I’m interceding.
You guys, our children have an enemy and they have a relationship with God, and what it means to intercede is to stand in the gap against their enemy and to stand in the gap before God. Job was such a powerful example of this, of course, because you see that God is there in a courtroom and people are coming and saying various things, and our children need an advocate before the throne of God on their behalf against their enemy and pleading for God’s favor. I just take this responsibility of inner interceding very seriously. Samuel said about his relationship with Israel, he said, “Far be it from me that I was sin against the Lord by ceasing praying for you.”
I think that we cannot cease praying for our children individually, interceding for them before the throne of God, taking whatever equity we have in our relationship with the Lord, and really constantly advocating on behalf of our children the way Jesus does for each one of us interceding for us.
I really encourage you guys develop an intercessory strategy for your children. I think it’s a really important part of being a dad. Jeff, how have you thought through this one?
Very similar to what you just said, so I wouldn’t add much more. The two things I think about is, I see it as two different prongs, so I try to…
In the morning, I feel like I would almost call that the receiving prayer. I think one of the job of the parents, too, of parents is to receive words for your kids and seek the Lord for a vision for them on their behalf. I feel like in the morning, it’s less about me saying, “I pray for this and this and this,” for them, and more about just, “Lord, what do you have for this child?” And then it usually turns into, “Yeah, this is what I need to change to be able to bless them or encourage them.” It feels more receiving.
Then at night, I’ll do more of the other one where I feel like at night over them and it’s usually pretty quick and stuff, but I’ll just pray for them and for who they are and their strength all these different things in them. It’s little bit more for the need-based prayers.
I think that really couples them, two sides that were really helpful for a full story. Really huge, but I think you have to develop a strategy, like you said, and keep molding it and evolving and growing it. But as long as you’re doing that, that really is the main thing.