Our summer began with the dreaded task of shopping for a new vehicle. It was not a matter of choice, but a matter of crunch. One moment the kids and I had been chatting about school picnics and wheeling home in steady after-school traffic, and in the next moment, we were jolted to a halt by the the sickening crush of metal smashing metal. The petrified cries coming from the four passengers behind me left me momentarily frozen. I peeked at my shell-shocked son in the seat beside me. No blood. No broken bones. No tears. My firstborn was safe. Hesitantly, I turned around. School bags once carefully stowed beneath the seats cluttered the floor. Twisted and mangled cup holders jutted upwards in unusual angles, while the rear window hovered oddly close to my girls’ heads in the backseat. Maggie’s face was crimson red from crying. Joshua’s green eyes were flooded with tears. But all four of the passengers behind me were in one piece. Nothing else mattered.
Slowly, we unbuckled and climbed out of our smashed van. The sight of my five children- rumpled and shaken- had never been sweeter. The sight of a totaled mini-van had never been less concerning. My appreciation for the invention of seat belts immediately grew tenfold. Once again, I’d been reminded of the precious gift of life.
The next morning after scribbling a “thank-you-for-protecting-us-during- yesterday’s-accident,” note to God in my prayer journal, I wrote: “Would you please protect my children’s souls in the same way?” I pictured our crumpled van. And shivered at the thought of a crumpled soul. If only I had a spiritual seatbelt for my family.
God’s Word doesn’t hide the fact that the road of life is a dangerous place. We may be just wheeling through the our daily routine when we are suddenly reminded that we have an ENEMY who wants to run us off the road. Not only us, but our precious children as well. Ephesians 6:12 reminds us, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Simply put, Satan loves to halt God’s children in their tracks and crush their faith with unexpected blows.
However, we are not without protection. By His grace, God has given us everything we need to travel safely Home. Just as we secure our little ones into their car seats before we begin to drive, so we can strap the Word of God across their hearts each day with a deliberate decision to be mothers of prayer. In her book Praying the Scriptures for your Children, author and mom Jodie Berndt mentions, “Asking God to protect our children may be a mother’s most oft-repeated prayer. But more often than not, our prayers center around physical protection, ignoring the invisible-but incredibly potent-dangers in the spiritual realm.” When we speak the Word of God over our children’s lives, we call our Protector into action. In Isaiah 55:11, God reminds us that His Word “shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper the thing for which I sent it.”
Lately, I’ve been trying to let the simple click of a seat belt serve as a personal call to prayer. (Considering that I drove to town and back TEN times yesterday as the family chauffeur, this new prayer strategy just might be my key to praying without ceasing!) I’ve placed a few verses near the dashboard of my van, and when I hear my children buckling up, I send up a quick prayer for their spiritual safety as well. Because when I pray the scriptures, I fasten my children onto the lap of Christ. And no matter what road they travel, there is no safer place to be!
Here are a few of my favorites verses to pray. Just add your own children’s names in the blank and personalize them into your own prayers:
Keep ___ from all harm. Watch over his life; watch over his coming and going, both now and forevermore. (Psalm 121:7-8).
Put a hedge of protection and blessing around ___ and everything he has (Job 1:10).
Give___ the weapons she needs to demolish strongholds, arguments, and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of you, Lord. Help ___ to take captive every thought she has to make it obedient to Christ.
Help___ to submit to you, O God, and to resist the devil. Make the devil flee from ___ as he draws near to you (James 4:7-8).
Keep___ from the snares the enemy has laid for him, from the traps of evildoers. Let the wicked fall into their own nets, while he passes by in safety (Psalm 141:9-10).
The Overflow: “...You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety” (Psalm 4:8).