Monday, July 8, 2019

Praying Through the Bible for Your Kids

The One Year Praying Through the Bible for Your Kids, Nancy Guthrie

If you are a parent, I highly recommend this devotional book by Nancy Guthrie. It combines a one-year bible reading plan with commentary and prayers for parents. So, not only are you getting your daily input of bible reading organised and suggested for you, she has picked something each day to comment on and respond to which is relevant to your life situation.

There are four bible readings each day: Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms (covered twice) and Proverbs. I was a little surprised by the decision to spread the Proverbs over the whole year, with only a verse or two a day. However, the decision to cover the New Testament only once over the year, meant it could be read in a little more detail than some other reading plans.

Increasingly, devotional books do not actually dwell in the bible, rather they dwell in the author’s thoughts about the bible. But here, if you take the time to read the assigned passages, much more time is spent in the actual word of God, which is richer by far.

Guthrie extends your thinking though, by offering a commentary on one of the passages, in a way that is applicable to raising children. There is much to ponder and reflect on here, as well as to be challenged by. Each day finishes with a written prayer to bring before God about the passages read, applicable in some way to parenting.

What I loved was that many passages were not so much praying for your children (although there certainly were those), but so many were praying about our parenting. Our sin, our failings, the grace extended to us, and the mercy that is new each morning. She applies the scalpel of God’s word to parents and challenges them to consider their own hearts and motivations. She reminds parents that God is also parenting them: loving them, caring for them and comforting them in their struggles. She exhorts parents to live godly lives that speak grace to their kids and to speak the gospel into their lives.

Yet, there are also numerous prayers to bring our children to the Lord, change their hearts, grow them in fruit of the spirit, change them to be like Christ, and prevent them from conforming to the ways of the world.

I did use it for a year and found it to be very encouraging and very challenging about our parenting, and I am about to start it all over again. It made me more biblically prayerful for my kids and it grounded me in God’s word. Highly recommended.

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