Psalm 16 – Praying for our Kids

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Psalm 16 has changed the way I pray for my kids.

Every day I pray God’s safety and protection over them – heart, soul, mind, and body.

Having teenage drivers does that to a mama.

I like to pray scripture, and there it is in black and white in verse 1: “Keep me safe, my God.” But as I continue reading, I find the riches of experiencing God, not only for safety and protection, but for his presence in all aspects of life’s journey.

They’ll always be my “kids” even as they become young men and women. My young man recently decided to take a crazy long road trip with some other guys in spite of my misgivings and without my express permission. He didn’t need it anymore, having become of age.

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We have to let them go at some point…as if they ever really belonged to us in the first place.

Since I’ve been pondering Psalm 16 for a few weeks, the trip was a challenge to my own faith. When my son left, it was like God said, are you going to trust me in this? Are you going to go beyond asking for safety and protection, and ask for him to experience more of me?

And so, borrowing the words of David, I pray for them to experience God’s presence in each step they take.

In you I take refuge – May God be the one to whom they flee not only for protection, but for wisdom in the face of life’s tough decisions, for courage to do what is right, and for strength to stand against the crowd.

You are my LORD – May they know and experience Yahweh as a personal, covenant-keeping God who created them and knows them intimately.

Apart from God there is no good thing – May they know the source of every good thing is a result of God’s blessing, and may they understand that when they venture far from him, they will find nothing good.

The holy people of the land…in whom is my delight – May they delight in and desire to be with God’s set-apart people as they choose their friends.

Running after other gods – May they be wholeheartedly devoted to the one true God, knowing that idols of our own making will never satisfy.

My portion and my cup – May they seek God as their source of daily provision for all their needs – physical, emotional, spiritual – and be content with what he provides.

Boundary lines in pleasant places – May they live within the boundaries God has set for our good and his glory, and recognize the consequences of stepping beyond them.

Delightful inheritance – May they joyfully anticipate our eternal inheritance in Christ, while walking presently in the power of the Holy Spirit as the guarantor of that future inheritance.

Praise the LORD – May they maintain a posture of praise, thanksgiving, and worship, whatever their circumstances.

The LORD who counsels and instructs – May they seek wisdom and counsel from the Lord; may they love his word and seek to apply it to their lives.

Keep my eyes always on the LORD – May they always look to Jesus in every life situation; may their faith be built up and strengthened; may the storms of life make them stronger and not shaken.

You will not abandon me – May they have full confidence in God’s love, his faithfulness, and his promises.

Make known the path of lifeShow them the path of life, not just through life. May they choose Jesus – the way, the truth, and the life – over all others.

Fill me with joy in your presence – May they know the joy of your presence, the one who will never leave them or forsake them. May they learn the secret of contentment is to rest in that presence, knowing you will give them strength for all things.

My son returned safely, praise God! And, he shared a couple of things that happened that drew him closer to Jesus.

Our prayers matter. As mamas, may we petition not only for the protection of God but for the presence of God as our loved ones travel life’s journey.

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