PARENTS’ PRAYER – OUTLINE
. LAYING OF HANDS WTH LOVE
. VERBAL MESSAGES WITH LOVE
. APPRECIATING CHILDREN’S UNIQUENESS WITH LOVE
. ASPIRING THEIR FUTURE GREATNESS WITH LOVE
. COMMITMENT FOR FULFILLMENT WITH LOVE
. HELPING DISFUNCTIONAL ADULT CHILDREN WITH LOVE
Prayers are praises and thanks to God for supplying with faith, the desired needs to those prayed for, and should be daily activities within the heart in any place at any time. This episode, however, considered formal blessings rendered by parents on special events to their children. The format here is peculiar, and requires some consideration.
When you pray for children, they feel loved by someone incredibly significant in their live stories. The family prayer gives them the much-needed sense of personal acceptance by their parents and plays a part in developing intimate relationships with other people. Children who grow up without parental acceptance are especially susceptible to being drawn in false or fake promises. For instance, immature children leaving home too early, experience not only physical but also emotional separation which can lead to unhealthy relationships in future.
Parents need to pray for all their children; Young, Functional, and Dis-functional adults. When I was a toddler, aged one, I lived with my grandmother. She hardly allowed me to celebrate my first birthday before she took me away from my parents. She believed that my late auntie, Maria, re-incarnated in me and that God gave me to her to console her for the loss of her first daughter. The whole family consented with her to name me after her. This story reminded me of Naomi in the Bible. Naomi accepted Obed, son of Ruth and Boaz as her own son. Grandma actually treated me as her daughter, and she lavished me with everything I needed. I was very free with her. She felt delighted when I played with her, her breasts were actually my toys. She lost her husband early in life, and I appeared to be the only one in her life. I lived with her until I was twelve. My parents forced me to go to a boarding high school in the village, fearing that grandma would prevent my early maturity and development in life. For the first time in my life, I saw tears on her face. She sat on her bed, crying for days before she permitted me to go to the boarding school. Finally, she said to me, her voice full of emotions, ‘’Come here, Maria’’
When I reached her, she put me on her laps, hugged me tightly as if to swallow me. In tears, she told me how much she loved me and how deeply it hurt her to have me taken away from her. ‘’Maria, she said, still hugging me closely on the bed. ‘’I want more than anything in life for you to grow up and become a godly woman. I hope you know how much I love you and how proud I am of you’’. She then told me the story of her life. She had only two children – my mother and her sister Maria who died without a child at 40. Maria was a quiet woman, beautiful and very industrious. She got married to one diplomat who lost his life in the world war. Grandma actually loved her better than my mother who was somehow impetuous as a child. Grandfather died a year before I was born. She had been so lonely and sad before I came to her life. At any rate, she would not allow her selfish desire stand in the way of my progress in life. She prayed for me intently. Her attitude, verbal messages, her desire for great future for me kept ringing in my ears up till this day. She had the assurance that I would be great, live up to her expectation. After praying, grandma ‘’willed’’ half of her life property for me and at her death, I became very rich, richer than my peers at 30 for she was very wealthy being the first child of the Royal Highness of the town.
As I grew older, I pondered on her prayers for me. I compared them with the blessings of the biblical people. Parents are always parents. Their love for children are always unconditional. Children enjoy parents most when they are very young; Babies, toddlers, and teenagers. At between 18 and 30, they have to leave their parents to establish their own families for procreation. Procreation is for all living things, plants and animals. We all grow, leave our mother domains to flourish in foreign areas. Men and women leave parents develop their own families to continue the circle. This was even the case in bible days. Prayers received from parents early in life stick to children like magnet stick to iron rods. Childhood experiences are powerful in shaping lives. The expectation of parents is to reach out to children within their reach not necessarily their own, and let their blessings become agents of life for them. Apart from the inheritance given to me, the contents of grandma’s prayer became an incentive for me to excel in whatever I put my hands on. I wanted to live up to her expectation. Incidentally, grandma’s prayer came to me first when I left her house at twelve but my parents’ prayer came on my wedding day – The day I left the family house. Surprisingly both prayers had the same pattern, the same sentiment. The following passages endeavour to picture the sentiments observed as seen in the outline.
- LAYING HANDS WITH LOVE
Sciences told us that living things move, and similar things attract each other. Parents first choice in life is towards their children. As they do that they add life to their relationship. All children appreciate hugging from their parents; four- year- old, fourteen, even older ones.
Science shows that, over one-third of our five million touch receptors are centered in our hands
Our hands are so sensitive that some blind people are being taught to read without braille, by actually ‘seeing’ through their finger tips. An experimental procedure was shown to translate printed words into vibration that can be perceived by fingertips. Another scientist found that both the toucher and the one being touched receive a psychological benefit from this practice because inside our bodies is hemoglobin, the pigment of the red blood cells which carries oxygen to the tissues. The hemoglobin levels in both people’s blood-streams go up during the act of laying-on of hands. As hemoglobin levels are invigorated, both tissues receive more oxygen. This increase of oxygen energizes a person and can even aid in the regenerative process if he or she is ill. Researchers show that gentle touch, hug or kiss, given by significant people in our lives – the parents in particular, can increase their life-span by almost two years. Loving touch-benefits are experienced early in life. Researchers show that – Premature babies given 45 minutes massage each day, show 47 percent greater weight gain within 10 days than those children who are not regularly touched. A second study shows that actual bone growth of young children who are deprived of parental touching is half that of children who receive adequate physical attention. It also shows that without maternal touch, rat pups do not produce a type of protein crucial to their growth and development. When these rat pups are separated and unable to feel their mothers’ touch, they respond by slowly shutting down production of an enzyme crucial to the development of major organs. As soon as the pups are reunited with their mothers, the enzyme production returns to normal. Another set of researchers observe marked difference between physically handicapped children placed on a smooth surface and a second group on a highly textured surface. Simply putting children on a textured surface increases
their muscle strength. These overwhelming evidences show that physical touch benefits can be important part of maintaining health and positive attitude in adult children.
Laying of hands in prayer may not be the fountain of youth, but it certainly provides a clear stream of physical benefits for both young and adult children. Believers of the scripture say that – What obtains on earth has the same follow up in heaven. Hopefully then, children who receive meaningful touch consistently are destined to feel better and become richer spiritually or otherwise.
In the scriptures, laying of hands were demonstrated anytime parents prayed for children. Isaac’s son was about 40 years old when his father said, ‘’Come close and kiss me, my son’’.
Children love coming close to their parents to receive prayers. Jacob not only kissed his grandchildren – Manasseh and Ephraim, he held them closely, placed his hands on each head. This generates warmth and love to them. Generally, people bow before someone of great value – a king, a queen, a prophet or someone considered important and of high worth. By the grace of God my children consider me very important to them because they bow down to greet me every morning. This is actually the practice back at home – parents normally come first to children because they are their role models in love, and encouragement. Parents direct their foot-steps on positive paths. Actions and attitude combine to make prayer tool uniquely effective.
In the Old Testament of the Bible, Isaac’s prayer for his son was not an isolated one. Each time, personal touch provided a caring background to the words spoken – Kissing, Hugging or Laying of hands. In my own days, my grand-mother held me closely by her side on the bed. She held me tightly with both arms, with my head on her chest. The intimate embrace has many beneficial effects on me till this day.
- VERBAL MESSAGES WITH LOVE
Verbal message speaks out the prayer in words. A blessing fulfills its purpose only when it is actually verbalized. Silence communicates nothing, but when spoken, children feel valuable and secure. Receiving prayer from grandparents touches the heart very much because it is rendered with all intention directly from the heart. Parents are preoccupied with daily activities, such that praying fervently for children becomes secondary for them now. They believe the routine hugging or the daily saying – I love you – is enough evidence to show love for the children. Hopefully, this will change when they too become grandparents or even when these children are old enough to live separately. Then the feeling of loss will summon their emotions to pray for them.
Science says – The tongue is a small part of the body, boasts of great things, and expresses emotions. Just like a forest fire, it can burn deeply into the hearts. Negative words can shatter children emotionally, rather than shape them positively. Reason why parents need to pray incessantly daily to uplift their morals and desires. In the Bible, Abraham spoke a blessing to Isaac, Isaac spoke it to his son Jacob. Jacob spoke it to each of his twelve sons and two of his grandchildren. Children desperately need words of blessing from their parents.
My own parents gave me their blessing, the night I got married. On that fateful night (as it is the custom in my village), my husband in the company of his parents and sisters came to take me away from my home to their family house. That night, myself and the groom knelt down in-front of my parents to get the farewell blessing. For the first time, I saw tears on my father’s face. My mother cried, I also joined them to cry. The night was the most memorable day in my life. My parents lay their hands on both our heads – Narrated how precious I had been to them, My achievements, my values, and their future expectations for me. They chorused my praises. My head was swollen, for I never knew my parents could be so sentimental. They prayed for happiness, prosperity and fruitful children for us. This day was special in our lives. Of-course our tears showed mixed feelings; The loss of my leaving the family house to another house and the solemn desire to see us successful in the nearest future.
Today, I thank God that all their kind wishes for me come to pass in my life – My married life was rosy, with many beautiful children who in turn appreciate me and call me blessed, for I have everything I desire in life not because I deserve it all, but through the grace of God.
On top of all, after the marriage, my parents felt committed to follow up our accomplishment. My mother stood around me whenever needed, especially with my new-born babies. Mother and father mentored us on how to become entrepreneurs early in life. They led us through, set the pace for us and made sure we prospered before they died. I can never forget my parents’ love. At their death, I lost a Gem? Mother died February 1990, and father died three years before his wife. I could never have had better parents, for they made me what I am today.
It is mandatory for parents to love and pray for their children, and follow up their success in life. They will later call you blessed?
- APPRECIATING CHILDREN’S UNIQUENESS WIH LOVE
You honor the person you pray for. Honoring a child carries the idea of adding weight or value to him or her. The greater the weight, the higher the value. When you pray for someone you are basically saying – You are of such great value to me, I choose to add to your life – To convey a blessing, the spoken words attaching high value to the person being blessed.
A scientist found that even a small amount of extra physical stimulation or appreciation after birth, makes a lasting effect on rats’ brain. Meaning that merely appreciating a child’s uniqueness with love can add positively to his or her brain. Extra physical stimulation causes rats’ brain to put a brake on the development of glucocorticoids – stress hormones that are a disaster to have in the blood stream. As a result, when these rats become old, they do not lose more than 10 to 20 percent of memory – The critical gray matter that older rats and the humans normally tend to lose.
Each of Jacob’s sons was an individual and each of them received the blessing that depicted his value.
My brother, Raphael, came as the first of the family. My parents always called him – The Elephant, just like Jesus called Peter – Rock. My brother always had the lion-share of everything. Our parents believed that because he was a boy and the first-born, God had given him the mantle to be in-charge of everything in the family. When praying for him, parents called him – ‘’Elephant, father of all animals, you will live up to expectation, all nations will bow before you’’ My brother died three years ago while parents died in the 20th century. Believe it or not, my brother lived up to expectation throughout his life. He was the head boy in all the schools he attended, and he died well-respected as a high chief in our town. Anywhere he went, people honored him and bowed for him.
The appreciation of uniqueness does not only put weight to the prayer, it adds honor and respect to the one blessed. Just for fun, when I had my first baby in 1968, my husband matched in-front of the labour room in-patiently to carry his daughter for the first time. The nurses kept the baby in the cleaning room to dress for her. Emotionally, my husband heard a baby crying. He felt uneasy, thinking the baby was his child. He agitated and rushed forward to announce that his baby was crying. People laughed at him because many babies were in that room. But behold, when the crying baby was brought forward, it was my child. How did my husband recognize the crying of a 30 minutes-old baby? To me, it was love. Guess what – The baby herself will soon be a grandmother, to God be the glory.
- ASPIRING FUTURE GREATNESS FOR CHILDREN WITH LOVE
Children are literalists when they hear predictions from their parents. This is why communicating a special future to a child is such an important part of giving family blessing. It is feeling and believing that the future is rosy and something to look forward to. This can greatly affect anyone’s attitude to life. By aspiring bright future for our children, we are providing them with clear light for their paths in life. Words can drive a person toward the warmth of genuine concern and fulfilled potential, and can act like a lantern. Instead of leaving them to stumble into a dark unknown, they can illuminate path-ways lined with hope and purpose. Wise children take steps down the positive path-ways.
Anyone who has ever watched a caterpillar emerges from its cocoon as a butterfly has seen such a picture. The caterpillar is probably not on anyone’s list of the world – Ten most beautiful creatures. Yet a caterpillar has the potential to be transformed into a list – topping beautiful butterfly. The transformation of a caterpillar to a butterfly is called metamorphosis. Words that picture a special future for a child can act as agents of this kind of transformation, and make the child shine in future. Words have that kind of transforming power. God’s thought and thinking patterns have the ability to transform us into godly men and women rather than leaving us to be squeezed into imperfect mold of the world. In the Bible, Jacob prayed for his son Judah saying – You are he whom your brothers shall praise; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies, your father’s children shall bow down before you (Gen 49:8). This special future took years to become reality, but it offered Judah a special hope as each year unfolded. Today, we cannot predict our children’s future with Biblical accuracy but we can provide them with the hope and direction that can lead to meaningful goals. As they begin to live up to these goals, they gain added security in this insecure world. There is power in the word.
- COMMITMENT FOR FULFILLMENT WITH LOVE
In the school of life, children desperately need adult, preferably their parents, who will make active commitment to help them – To encourage or praise their strengths. When hurting, they need someone to get them back on their feet, undeveloped potential needs to be brought out into the open and developed. These actions and attitudes are a part of bestowing the blessing commitment to fulfill their prayers. Commitment is the mortar that holds together the other elements of prayer. Messages need to be backed by an ongoing dedication to see the blessing come to pass. That is – action links with words. If we talk the talk, but fails to put the prayers to practice, we leave our children under-nourished and ill-clothed in their need for love and acceptance. First asking God to confirm the blessing will also teach the children that they should believe that their strength is from the Supreme Being and that He is personally interested in their progress in life. Secondly, parents need to dedicate time, energy and resources to caring for them and spend time with them. Wise parents realize that each child has his or her own unique set of needs. Personally, I desired my mother to stay home with me, at-least one month before any new child was born. I just liked the special petting from her. My brother preferred mom to pray for his family at a distance. In some cases, physical proximity is not necessary. Blessing our children involves understanding their unique bents.
A law of physics says that – Water cannot rise above its source. Meaning that – If a parent pictures that his or her child’s value in life is low, that child will find it difficult to rise above these words. Those who truly desire to give their children blessing need to provide room for them to grow by encouraging their potential and picturing a special future for them. Words that picture a special future for a child, is like a positive hormone attaching itself to a cell. It stimulates all kinds of positive feelings and decisions within a child that can help him or her grow and develop. Commitment for prayer fulfillment helps a child to work on a particular talent with confidence, particularly when their parents are the supporting team.
- HELPING DISFUNCTIONAL ADULT CHILDREN WITH LOVE
Discipline is a way of actively committing ourselves to a child’s best interest. No doubt, commitment is costly but parents need to pay the price. You need to invest time, energy and effort to see that your prayer for dis-functional child comes to reality. It is worth-while. One day, perhaps years later, the blessing that you give him will return to you.
Parents need to put their attention on new thoughts and new feelings to create the next series of desired circumstances. The law of Attraction and the Law of Deliberate creation work hand in hand. The Law of Attraction states that (Like) attracts (Like). If they put out positive feelings, they’ll get back a positive outcome. If they emit negative feelings, they’ll get negative results. They create that upon which they put their attention. If dis-functional adult child desires more money, put your attention on creating positive feelings around the idea of money, in order to attract more money into his life. Apply these laws in various ways according to the needs. Undoubtedly, you will have the results you truly desire in not too long a time. Discipline may seem the very opposite of blessing, but it means – Having to correct children when they go wrong. Jacob in the Bible rebuked Reuben, the oldest son but he balanced words of praise with words of correction. Reuben had several positive qualities – Might, Strength, Dignity, and Power, but he lacked discipline in his life. Blessing and discipline go hand in hand. If we genuinely love someone, we will not allow that person go astray into sin or be hurt in some way without trying to correct him or her. Like God, parents have unconditional love for their children. God actively deals with our wrong behavior rather than merely ignoring it because He sees us as His beloved children. So, parents need to add loving discipline and not shy away from it when appropriate. It is in their best interest. Initially, discipline can be painful for both parents and children, but willing to take the risk can bring out the best in children’s lives by training them and guiding them to the place of peace and righteousness (Hebrews 12:11). Discipline is an important way of actively committing ourselves to a child’s best interest. Beloved, giving your children blessing is like casting bread upon the waters. In years to come, they will rise up and bless you in return. The cost is genuine commitment but the reward can last a life-time and beyond.