Prayer For Parents Working From Home (8 May)
Sing: This is Your House
Scripture: Deuteronomy 6:1-25
These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 2 so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. 3 Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you.
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
10 When the Lord your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, 11 houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, 12 be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
13 Fear the Lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. 14 Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; 15 for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land. 16 Do not put the Lord your God to the test as you did at Massah. 17 Be sure to keep the commands of the Lord your God and the stipulations and decrees he has given you. 18 Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors, 19 thrusting out all your enemies before you, as the Lord said.
20 In the future, when your son asks you, “What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees and laws the Lord our God has commanded you?” 21 tell him: “We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. 22 Before our eyes the Lord sent signs and wonders—great and terrible—on Egypt and Pharaoh and his whole household. 23 But he brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land he promised on oath to our ancestors. 24 The Lord commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the Lord our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today. 25 And if we are careful to obey all this law before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.”
Search your heart and pray as the Spirit leads
O gracious, Holy One, our Lord God, thank You for Your bountiful gifts. Every gift You give is perfect and right and especially the wonderful Gift of Your Son Jesus! In Him we have hope for all times, from the beginning of time to eternity. Father God, You invite all to come to You. O Lord, may we like children come to Your loving embrace and know that we belong to You.
Your gifts, Lord, come in different ways intended for our good. We have a skewed understanding of what those gifts are especially when they involve pain or loss. You ask us to trust You. We do this only when we know Your heart. You gave us Your commands, decrees and laws to observe so that we, our children and their children after them may fear You, the Lord our God. As long as we live by keeping all Your decrees and commands that You give us, we may enjoy long life. The life You desire us to enjoy is a full and abundant life, and not a rushed and hurried life – a life where we learn to sit at Your feet even as we are working hard in the kitchen of living. So Father, help us to trust and obey You, we pray. Engrave deep in our hearts and in the days we live that You alone and Only You are the Lord our God. Fill our hearts to love You with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our strength. Completely!
Let me have a single undistracted heart for You, dear Jesus! As You have Your way in me, through me and around me, use my life to impress our children at home, in church and wherever I meet them. Let my conversations with them flow naturally out of my love for You and Your deep love for me and for them. When I sit at home, walk along the road, lie down or get up, in whatever place You lead me or find myself in, show me how to bring You into my chats with them. I know that children catch more by my example than by what I say; so Father, let me learn from You that I may know how to pass it on to them. Remind me that where I have come from and come to be now is only by Your grace. Remind me that Your hand has always been, is, and will be in my life. Let how I live be a picture of Who You are and how You are for my family to see.
Father, for parents who are working from home with the presence of young children and aging parents, carry them. They are sandwiched between the boundless energy of the young, tugging and fighting for their attention and the needs of their sometimes frail and fragile elderly parents. With kids on one side and parents on the other, they are confronted by the demands of work in the light of a suffering economy impacted by this Covid-19 pandemic. Father, please lift them up each day to find renewed strength to stand on the solid Rock of Jesus Christ our Lord. Even as their beloved families call for their help, may the sandwiched generation cry ‘Abba Father’ for every need they have. Remove their anxieties of work demands or home-based learning challenges. Remove their fears about their parental needs by helping them release to You all that is happening. Take their worries into worship of You. Remind them that You, Who brought them out from their past, any bondages, every highs and lows, can deliver them out of this pandemic. For through all this, who else tells us, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Only You, our Lord, to Whom we trust and are thankful for.
We may not all like the way things turn out as a result of this pandemic. However, when we look past this cloud of heaviness and fears, we may have discovered things we had not known…new skills, renewed relationships, a better rhythm of work and life, treasuring what we took for granted and appreciating all that we are blessed with. In every trial, there are lessons to be learnt that will only shape and sharpen us more for what You have in store. Teach us, Lord, to number our days and to seize every moment to point everyone in our household to look to Jesus Christ our Saviour and Lord. In His name, we pray. Amen!