Our God and King, worthy are you to receive glory and honor and to be praised for your unsearchable greatness. Who knows how the spirit comes to the bones of a child in the womb? Who understands eternity past and future? Who comprehends a throne founded on righteousness and justice? You alone are to be feared above all gods.
But Lord, we confess we fear worthless idols, obeying their commands to our destruction. Wood and stone, experts and popular opinion claim authority on our hearts and we willingly surrender to any promise that offers a life of fearlessness. But you have not required us to be without fear, instead to live courageous lives, by fearing you alone. Forgive us Lord. Take captive our souls into your service and route our rebellion toward all powers that tickle our ears with false assurances.
Before we can ask that our children fear your name, we must first plead that we will. The unspiritual are unfit to restore a brother caught in sin. Until we seek first your kingdom and righteousness our children are stuck fumbling around in the insecurity of dark and crooked paths. Greedy for unjust gain, we call our children to a standard that we don’t strive for and expect our wrath to get them there. Forgive us Lord. Grant us personal repentance, striving in sanctification, and gentleness in correction. Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Our families bear the name Christian. We claim that we and our households will serve the Lord. For your name’s sake then, generously work in us and through us to be a fragrance of life to your people everywhere we go now and throughout the future generations of our families.
Teach us not to despise the days of small things. Help us to fatten our babies’ souls with spiritual milk, nurturing their dependent little frames with your love. Give us patience with toddlers as we teach them to obey you and your appointed authorities. Give us faith to nurture the strengths and bear with the weaknesses of preschoolers. Give us knowledge to teach our school age kids your absolutely true ways. Give us wisdom to guide our teens into maturity among a perverse and crooked generation. Give us endurance to keep sharpening and humility to be sharpened by our adult children.
Teach our girls to be adorned with the beauty that Sarah had, fearing nothing that was fearful instead being a praise-worthy woman because she feared you alone. Lead our boys in the way of David, the man after your own hear, give them whole-hearted devotion, bold repentance, and courage. Do not list our children’s names among the cowardly.
To raise children in the fear and admonition of your name is a weight that threatens us with death. In fact, it requires death. Thank you that Jesus has died once for all and that we have died with him. May the life we now live by faith free us to bear the fruit of generations of Christ-worshippers.