Prayer for the Kids

Mr Personality, Photo by Stephen W. Hiemstra
Mr Personality, Photo by Stephen W. Hiemstra

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Almighty father,

We praise you for creating us, male and female, in your image (Gen 1:27)

so that in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female. (Gal 3:28 ESV)

We confess that we have not always lived into your image promise or even wanted to.

We give thanks that you have not given up on us, but sent Christ to show us how to live,

ransomed us from our own sinful folly, and given us the hope of salvation and eternal life with you.

We pray that our kids will remember the lessons that we so painfully learned,

but mostly that we learned to trust in you.

In the power of your Holy Spirit, grant us the strength to continue living another year,

the grace to reach out to those around us, and

the peace that passes all understanding (Phil 4:7).

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Prayer for the Kids

 Also see:

Giving Thanks 

A Place for Authoritative Prayer 

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net, Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter at: http://bit.ly/2jaUhI7

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Between Sundays

Cover for Called Along the Way
Art by Stephen W. Hiemstra

Honor your father and your mother,
that your days may be long in the land
that the LORD your God is giving you.
(Exod 20:12)

Between Sundays

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

After I confessed my faith in Christ and joined the church in 1967, I participated more actively in church youth programs, sang in the youth choir, and pledged money to the church, as was expected of young Christian men. My first attempts at evangelism and living out my faith could be described as spotty at best.

I knew a fellow by the name of Jimmy, who might today be referred to as having special needs. Jimmy only had a few friends and, when he heard that I was learning to play piano, he expressed interest in learning to play and I volunteered to teach him one day after school. Thinking that Christians should be really nice to people, helping him learn piano seemed like the right thing to do.

When Jimmy came over after school, my mother welcomed him in but she awkwardly asked: “Is Jimmy one of your friends?” Jimmy and I went straight to the piano where I taught him a few notes and how to play a C major scale. We spent about half an hour before he left and went home. Thinking about my mother’s question, I never invited him back.

By contrast, my mother really liked David, who lived two doors down from us. David was tall and thin and quiet and always at home. His father was a popular local pastor, who was a ham radio operator, and his mother, who was as sweet as the snacks that she offered up. David and I traded baseball cards, marbles, and stamps, but he never seemed interested in playing games with the other kids in the neighborhood and expressed little interest in chess. So, I was “nice” to David, but we were not close.

It was never exactly clear what it meant to live out Christine values at home, other than “honor your father and mother” (Exod 20:12). Because I grew the oldest among my siblings and was already more comfortable with adults, this commandment came easy, but I associated this commandment with obeying my parents, not with their later care. Sometimes in the evening I sat with my father in his study as he worked and read or did my homework. Other times I helped him with yard work, like cutting the grass, or washing the car. I also helped the neighbors with gardening or shoveling their snow, which I continued to do even in high school. When I left for college, my father traded in the old push mower for a gasoline model.

Until I was about 8 years old, my sister, Diane, was my closest friend. Growing up, we moved around a bit because my father was in still in graduate school. Diane and I played hide and seek. Diane and I learned to eat ice cream from cones. Diane and I celebrated birthdays—I will never forget Diane’s expression on viewing a pink rabbit cake that my mother baked when she was about two. When we got older, we sometimes watched television or played board games together at home and attended youth events and choir together at church. Although we were never chatty, Diane was my first friend.

Diane preferred doing girl things, like playing with dolls, while I did boy things, like collecting coins, stamps, and bugs, and building forts in the woods. Diane played more typically with Karen, while John, being still a tot when I was young, played mostly with Karen. This pattern continued uninterrupted over many years.

 

Other ways to engage with me online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net, Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter at: http://bit.ly/2sqjfoR

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40. Prayers of a Life in Tension by Stephen W. Hiemstra

 

Cover for Prayers of a Life in Tension40. Prayers of a Life in Tension

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Almighty God,

In our youth, you gave us the law so that our feet would not stumble. In our mid-life journey where scholars offer knowledge and computers offer information, you offer us wisdom. In our seniority you rewarded our sacrifices, giving our vineyard and trees great fruit. We praise you and give you the glory. You have swallowed up death forever, wiped away our tears, and set our feet on solid ground setting straight the reproach of our enemies (Isa 25:8). We praise you and give you the glory. Remember now your church in the storms of deprivation, national strife, and scandalous trials. Give your people eyes that see, ears that hear, and leaders that lead where you would have us go. Bless us with your conspicuous presence by the power of your Holy Spirit and in Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Also see:

Bothersome Gaps: Life in Tension 

A Place for Authoritative Prayer 

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net, Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter at: http://bit.ly/2vfisNa

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