Tag Archives: disciples

Growing Up in Christ

God parents each of us perfectly!  Growing in grace and knowledge as Jesus did is an individual responsibility.  But we all–whether we have children or not–have opportunities to disciple (or spiritually parent) others.  This prayer guide is a tool ifor the growing up process–for ourselves and others.

Parenting is a privilege and responsibility that allows us co-laborer closely with the Lord in the soul-building process. He has provided powerful tools to utilize in our work.
The Word of God is our primary tool; it is indeed a living and active tool. It is critical for our lives and our children’s lives. Love for God’s Word…for its necessity and tremendous value in each life…is the key to unlocking and utilizing this vital building block.

This ‘perpetual’ prayer guide has seven focus areas—one for each day of the week. Our prayers matter and keep us in tune with the Lord—for the reality is that all we pray for others must be sought for ourselves as well. May this prayer guide draw you and yours ever closer to Jesus Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith!

Prayer Focus: Love of God’s Word 

Father in heaven, we praise you for the gift of Your Word. We praise you for the Living Word, Jesus Christ. And we praise you for our privilege of using words to communicate with others. Only humanity was allowed this precious gift. Lord we ask that You help us use words well with our children. Instill in our children a love for Your Word. Help them to understand and help us to live with the scriptures as our guide and not simply a pleasant source of encouragement. Help our children understand that every aspect of life is blessed by wisdom from the Word. Help us model for our children a desire to read, study, remember and apply Your Word moment by moment. We desire your plans and purposes for our children; we long for them to live lives of blessing. May Your Word be a light unto their path for their good and for your glory. We ask in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Scripture supports:

Psalm 119:9, 72, 72, 140; Jeremiah 15:16; Ephesians 6:17; 1 Peter 1:22

Prayer Focus: Growing Faith 

Father, knowing you is the most important thing our children will ever experience. We ask that you meet with them in personal and transforming ways. Grow their spirits into ever greater likeness to Christ. Give us wisdom to point them to you. Grant us a depth of faith in your love for them that we do not interfere with your work. Reveal yourself to our children and draw them to your irresistible glory. Strengthen them in their inner being with your Spirit and be glorified in the lives of our children. In Jesus name, Amen

Scripture supports:

2 Corinthians 9:10; Ephesians 4:15; Hebrews 6:1; 2 Peter 1:5,6; 3:18; 3 John 1:4

Prayer Focus: Godly Friends 

Heavenly Father, thank you for your passion for relationships. We lift our children up to you asking that you will orchestrate their lives that Godly friends will bring beauty and sweetness to their days. We ask for friends that will encourage them to walk closely with you; friends that will look at Your glory with them; friends who will stand in the gap when they are unable to seek You. We praise you for your gift of love that we can love others. Work in our children’s lives and in each of their relationships that they will know You more day by day. In Jesus precious name, Amen

Scripture supports:

Malachi 3:16; Acts 2:42; Philippians 1:3: James 2:23

Prayer Focus: Thankfulness 

Father in Heaven, we rejoice that the key to entering Your presence is PRAISE! Help us guide our children to the joy of thankfulness. Teach us, Lord, to fix our eyes on that which is praiseworthy and life-building…and fill our hearts with joy and awe. We thank you, Lord, that You created all things for us to enjoy and we only have to remember they are from You. We thank you, Lord, that even hard things can become blessings when You are sought. Help us instill that in our children that they will live every day with thanksgiving and rejoicing for Jesus’ sake, Amen.

Scripture Supports:

Deuteronomy 8:10; Psalm 100:4; Colossians 1:12; 3:15; 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Prayer Focus: Values 

Father, help us as parents teach your values and live Your values that our children will see Your glory and choose the same values for their lives. Grant our children a vision of the value You place on every individual and the treasure of time. May every choice made–in career, in recreation, in friendships, in money and even thoughts be founded upon Your value system. We ask this for the glory of God and the good of these precious children You have entrusted to us! In Christ’s name, Amen

Scripture supports:

Joshua 24:15; John 4:34; 17:4; Acts 20:24; Philippians 3:13

Prayer Focus: Health and Safety for Body, Mind and Soul 

Heavenly Father, lover of our children’s souls, we ask Your protection of their bodies, minds and spirit. Total well-being is a by-product of a God-ward focus so we ask you to orchestrate their lives so that a desire for Your will and Your glory will be their greatest passion. May our example as parents not derail them in any way; hold us close to You and convict us of disparities in our own walk. Strengthen the children, Lord, to exercise discipline in their physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual pursuits and to submit all to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. May our children’s lives–and our own–have a depth of integrity, an alignment with Your Word of thoughts, words and actions, which will reveal Your glory to all those we come in contact with. We praise You for the gift of the life of Christ which lives within Your children and we ask all this in His name, Amen.

Scripture supports:

Psalm 26:3; Psalm 86:11; 2 John 4; Isaiah 32:18

Prayer Focus: Passion for a Pure Heart 

Father in Heaven, we long to see You and to have our children see You. Your glory is our source of hope and confidence in a world of challenges. Lord, work in our children’s hearts and open their eyes to see You…to see Your amazing love, Your righteousness and Your open arms. Instill in the hearts of our children–and in our hearts–an ever-increasing desire to walk in Your presence and behold Your glory. Might the greatest desire of our hearts be to please You with every choice we make in thought, word and deed and might that same desire be in the hearts of our children. We praise You for who You are and how You work and for the purifying, perfect work of Jesus Christ. In His name, we ask this…Amen.

Scripture Supports:

Malachi 3:3; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Hebrews 12:14; 1 John 1:7

Walking with the Leader!

Walking with Scout certainly taught me many lessons.  Walking with Scout, Cooper and Barnabas has continued the process.  Personalities, self-centeredness, leadership and unity are three major challenges we tackle every time we go out for a walk.  Trying to walk 150+ pounds of dog is helping me walk out the requirements of God as stated in Micah 6:8:

He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth Jehovah require of thee, but to do justly, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with thy God?

Our dogs have inherited characteristics from their breed—and they have distinct 0219160922personalities as well.  Scout, our boxer, is a big dog—powerful and playful, he tends to be
easy-going but clearly defines the limits he finds comfortable.  Cooper is a Jack Russell, high-strung, always on edge and ready to fight any who disturb him.  Barnabas, an English Bulldog, has a stubborn complacency about him that defies disruption.  Their personalities are not equally enjoyable to me.  I have a tendency to excuse some behaviors and correct others based on my own preferences.

God is not like me: Hallelujah!  He loves each wholly.

He created each one of us different and rejoices in our differences.  God does not have favorites because He loves perfectly.  Awareness is the first step in change, so I’m glad these guys help me see that my preferences are not to determine my choices.  Loving diversity while doing justly is part of honoring God!

Appreciating uniqueness is the mark of leadership that produces unity!

Self-centeredness is a characteristic of animals–one we humans all too often share.  (By the DSC07195 (2)way, I whole-heartedly acknowledge that the love of animals is a key aspect of pet ownership.  But I submit that their love is self-centered because it emanates out of their need.  And their perspective about pet ownership is that we
belong to them!)  Taking a walk with three self-centered creatures
builds the arm and back muscles.  All
too often what catches the eye of one is in the opposite direction of what catches the eye of another.  My responsibility is to capture their attention and set the direction.

Failure to lead in a clear direction creates chaos and frustration!

The LORD is a leader who sets a definite direction.  Since God created humanity above the animals, we have extra responsibility.  Learning to take dominion over my dogs on a walk DSC00011reminds me that I am also in charge of my own walk with the LORD.  It is my responsibility to keep my eyes fixed on the LORD.  He is the author and perfecter of my faith…the One who sets the course I am to follow.  Running off my own initiative will result in correction because He is a good leader with a perfect plan.

Fixing our eyes on the Lord as our leader produces unity that advances the Kingdom of God!

Are you letting your preferences and distractability

interfere with following the Leader?  

Soul Training in the Barn is a Bible Study created to set a foundation for a firm walk.  Check it out on Amazon – it is free to Kindle Plus users!

Growing Up in Christ

Growing up spiritually takes a plan.  When I accepted Christ as Lord–as opposed to receiving a ticket out of hell–I had trouble finding folks who could articulate the Way.  They told me ‘read the Bible,’ ‘do this’ and ‘do that.’  They were not wrong, but I needed more.  It is always my heart to offer that ‘more’ to others who are on this glorious path!

Throughout this website and in my materials you will find resources for ‘more.’  Soul Training in the Barn is a basic study to move believers on in their faith journey.  BUT the bottom line is this:

We cannot “DO” to be…but when we “BE DISCIPLES” we will surely do the works God plans for us!

so, here are some BEs to do!

  • RELATIONAL – Discipleship demands relationship with the Holy Spirit. Become best friends with the Holy Spirit; distinguish His voice; and increase your responsiveness.
    • Be Spirit-led. Be Spirit-loved. Be Reverent.
    • Isaiah 30:21; John 14:26; Galatians 5:16
  • BIBLICALLY LITERATE – Study the Scriptures to know the King, the Kingdom and the Way.
    • Be Students of the Word. Be Faithful.
    • Psalm 119:9-11; Joshua 1:8; Matthew 4:4; 2 Timothy 2:15
  • TRANSFORMED – What you learn as you study, must be practiced. Live the Word you read.
    • Be the Word. Be Growing.  Be Eternal. Be Obedient.
    • Proverbs 4:20-1; John 14:15; James 1:23-25
  • TRANSPARENT – Be honest and allow the Spirit total access to your heart, mind and will.
    • Be Teachable. Be Humble.  Be Hospitable (invite people to know the real you!).
    • Proverbs 12:1; Luke 18:17; Hebrews 12:6
  • FAMILY – Produce spiritual children, care for one another.
    • Be Leaders. Be Encouragers. Be in Fellowship.  Be Peacemakers.
    • 1 Corinthians 12:12; Romans 14:13; Colossians 3:13
  • LOVE – Live the Word that others will see it and long for it.
    • Be Christ-like. Be Unselfish.  Be Eternal.
    • Proverbs 10:12; 1 Corinthians 13:4-8; 1 John 4:7, 18-19