XVII. Train them, lastly, with continual prayer for a blessing on all you do.
Without the blessing of the Lord, your best endeavors will do no good. He has the hearts of all men in His hands, and except He touch the hearts of your children by His Spirit, you will weary yourself to no purpose. Water, therefore, the seed you sow on their minds with unceasing prayer. The Lord is far more willing to hear than we to pray; far more ready to give blessing than we to ask them; but He loves to be entreated for them. And I set this matter of prayer before you as the topstone and seal of all you do. I suspect the child of many prayers is seldom cast away.
Look upon your children as Jacob did on his; he tells Esau, they are “the children which God hath graciously given they servant” (Gen 33:5). Look on them as Joseph did on his; he told his father, “they are the sons whom God hath given me” (Gen 48:9). Count them with the Psalmist to be “an heritage and reward from the Lord” (Ps 127:3). And then ask the Lord with a holy boldness to be gracious and merciful to His own gifts…. See how Manoah speaks to the angel about Samson: “How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him” (Judg 13:12)? Observe how tenderly Job cared for his children’s soul: “He offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all, for he said, It may be my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually” (Job 1:5). Parents, if you love your children, go and do likewise. You cannot name their names before the mercy-seat too often.
To this I can only say, Amen. Let us now be doers of the Word and not hearers only!
Next week will be our final installment of the series.