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Children at Risk


1 Samuel 1:19-28

It is the duty of every parent to protect their children from harm and danger. Our children young or old are always at risk from things seen and unseen. They are at risk from germs, passing traffic, sexual predators, bad company, car accidents, unwanted pregnancy, theological error, poor choices, and their own sinful inclinations. The list of dangers is endless, and added to that list is the risk of the prayerless parent. No child is safe who does not live under the umbrella of a praying parent. It has been said that we can do more once we have prayed but we cannot do more until we have prayed. The wise parent realizes this truth, and so they make it a priority to pray with, and for their children. Prayer is our greatest weapon in the defense of the Christian home, and the protection of our children (Matt. 6:13; Eph. 6:10-18). The unprayed for child is the unprotected child!

In rereading the story of the birth of the prophet Samuel, I was struck afresh by the words of Hannah his mother in surrendering him at a young age to Eli for service in the house of the Lord. She said, "For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition which I asked of Him" (1 Sam. 1:27). Samuel was born to a praying mother. Hannah had been childless, and had prayed fervently that the Lord would open her womb, and in due course God answered her prayer (1 Sam. 1:20; 2:5). Samuel was a child of many prayers (1 Sam. 1:12). Hannah had prayed that the Lord would give her a son, and then promised the Lord that if He did that she would give her son back to the Lord, and she kept her promise (1 Sam. 1:10-11; 27-28). Hannah had a strong desire to have a son, but an even stronger desire to see that son become a child of God, and serve God all the days of his life. She not only prayed for her child’s health, but for his holiness, not only for his birth, but for his new birth. Samuel was a product of prayer.

One Sunday in a Midwest City a young child was acting up during the morning worship hour. The parents did their best to maintain some sense of order in the pew, but they were fighting a losing battle. Finally, the exasperated father grabbed the little fellow, and walked sternly down the aisle on his way out with the child in tow. Just before they reached the doors to the foyer the wee boy called back to the congregation in a loud voice, "Pray for me! Pray for me!" We do need to pray for our children. Parents and grandparents we need to pray for their health, their choices, their eternal salvation, their growth in grace, their careers, their service to Christ, their future spouses, and their children. Don't put your children at risk through prayerlessness. We sin against the Lord and our children in doing so (1 Sam. 12:23). Perhaps, we should be more concerned about the lack of prayer in our homes than the lack of prayer in our schools.