Children – their prayers and praises

Still on Hagar and Ishmael’s story in Gen 16 -21.

For a background of the story, please read my last post. In the preceding verses, Sarah sent Hagar and Ishmael (in his early teens) away from the house. They had no clue to their destination but wandered through the wilderness. When her food and water finished, Hagar pulled over somewhere; overwhelmed, exhausted, deeply frustrated, seeing no hope for the future especially for the teenager.

She placed Ishmael under a tree and walked as far away as possible to avoid watching her dearly beloved son as he dies of hunger and thirst. She sat down and wept.

Verse 17, “God heard the voice of the boy,and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Do not be afraid, for God has heard the voice of the boy from where he is [resting].” (AMP)

We were not told the contents of Ishmael’s prayers. Also, it is interesting that (AMP) used the word “resting” as his disposition unlike Hagar who was described as heavily disturbed. Could it not be the case that both voices were heard? Possibly so however it was recorded that, the boy’s voice was heard. Surely, there is something about children- their prayers and praises.

Matt 18: 10 (AMP) “See that you do not despise or think less of one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven [are in the presence of and] continually look upon the face of My Father who is in heaven.

If you are a parent/guardian, bring your children/wards up in the way of the Lord; teach and encourage them to pray. Their prayers will in return have positive impact in your lives.

Memoirs for my children

Tye Tribbett “🎼🎶🎧…If He did before, He can do it again. Same God right now, same God back then…🎧🎼🎶”

One of the miracles God did through Moses was to push the Red Sea apart so that the Israelites could pass through. After they had passed through, the waters returned to its position and hastened the drowning of the Egyptians. Moses told the generation who had experienced this to pass the information down to next generation(s) so they remember how awesome God is.

A similar miracle happened in time of Joshua. River Jordan was piled up in a heap to allow the Israelites to cross over. Thereafter Joshua built a stone memorial and said to them, “in the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over”. Joshua 4:21-23

I fast forward to another generation where a child asks his parent about the memoir and the parent says, “it was like yesterday! I was filled with awe of God seeing the waters roll up in a heap and back to its form after we had crossed over. While we were about crossing the river, I remembered the story of the Red Sea narrated to me by my father who had experienced it and deep down I knew we were safe. It was more than whao“.

My Father, Professor Akinsola, when we are passing through any challenge, would always say, “the great things the Lord has done for us in the past, forbid us to think He will abandon us at this time or even ever! He has rescued and delivered us before, He will do it again.” Then he will go on to recount these great things.

And so each time I have a challenge, I open up the testimony journal and my faith is boosted. No wonder Moses and Joshua encouraged that these testimonies be passed down.

Now the questions are: do you keep memoirs? Will you pass them down to your next generation?

What are you passing down?

I remember my mother would wake my siblings and I up very early in the morning (5.45pm) to say the morning prayers which usually starts at 6.00am. She had a couple of strategies: she would either start singing hymns with such a loud and unmistakable tone that would wake anybody up no matter how interesting the dreams were; or she could switch the bedroom lights on, pull off the duvet, open the blinds and windows and allow the early morning breeze to blow in. I do not remember she ever failed on her mission.

On Sundays, we would dress up to go to church. It was a choice that could not be refused. As a little child, I attended the children’s church though reluctantly for reason(s) I can not recollect. I graduated to the adult church (as was the norm, thank God there was no need to resit!) and I remember sitting with my sister and a family girl friend in the pew in the middle row close to the window.

Of all I remember, I loved the hymns. We sang them in vernacular. I hardly could read them but I got to know the lyrics by heart after hearing them sung over and over again. Years and years after, these hymns flood through my mind and I sing them frequently. They bring ‘sweetness’ words fail me to characterise. I have literally bound them around my neck and written them on the tablets of my heart.

And this takes me to Joshua. In Moses’s era, there was the Tent of the Lord’s presence that anyone who wanted to consult the Lord would go into. Moses would go into this tent to converse with the Lord face-to-face and once the conversation has ended, he would leave the tent. However, Joshua, a young guy and Moses’ protege, never left the tent. He practically lived in it; he had his bed, toilet, laundry, kitchen etc there.

The case must have either been that Moses asked (mandated) him to stay in the tent to await messages from the Lord or Joshua, out of zeal, requested for permission to stay therein and commune with God. Which ever the case may be, Joshua came out to be a great vessel in God’s vineyard.

It is a good thing to have something to pass down to your children and grandchildren. Of all things to pass down, ensuring there is a relationship with Christ should be the main priority.

What if Moses had not been hidden?

Motherly instinct is powerful! Every woman  has that power but how often is it harnessed?

Moses was one of judges in Israel and he was also called Moses, the deliverer. He did great exploits. To give a background, Joseph, an Israelite, was then the Prime Minister in Egypt and he gained favour in the sight of King Pharaoh. Joseph requested that his family (Jacob, 11 sons and the servants) migrate to Goshen. During the lifetime of Joseph, the family multiplied and filled the land. After the death of Joseph and his siblings, another Pharoah took over who knew not Joseph and he meted out hard labour and various punishment for the Israelites. Around this time, the Egyptian astrologers foretold the birth of the liberator of the children of Israel. Since they did not know whether he would be of Jewish or Egyptian descent, all male children born that day, were to be thrown into the water by order of Pharaoh.

On a fateful day, a Levite woman gave birth to a boy. She saw that she was goodly to look upon and therefore hid him in a basket and put him in the river. I guess she hoped that someone will see the baby, have mercy and preserve his life. The boy was saved by Pharoah’s daughter, she named him Moses and he grew up in the Pharaoh’s house. Moses, moved from Egypt to Midian (running away from an incident) and dwelt there for about 40 years. God instructed Moses at 80 to go back to Israel and deliver his people from Pharoah; he was given power and authority . He was given specific lines of communication to Pharoah. Pharoah refused to let the Israelites leave the land and God did many awesome miracles through Moses ( shepherd’s rod becoming a serpent, water turning into blood,  locust disaster, frogs disaster, gross darkness over the land, death of the firstborn et al). Eventually, Pharoah allowed the Israelites to leave with Moses as the lead. The Isrealites went into the land promised them by God through Abraham.

Had his mother not hidden him, God, in His sovereignty, might have raised up another deliverer for Israel? There could have been a possibility that Moses’s birth could have been announced by the angels, like Samson’s, but this was not so. Yet his mother hid him because she knew there was something about her baby boy; her instincts kicked in and she utilised it.

Hey mother, you are wonderfully and beautifully created! You have these instincts in you and much more the Holy Spirit (revealer of secrets). What gifts have you noticed about your baby girl and/or baby boy? How are you cultivating them for the Master’s use?

Reference: Genesis, Exodus

Should a parent map out the ambition of her/his child?

I love my parents, they brought us (family of four) up to be industrious, academic, hard-working, frugal, prayerful to mention a few. Great virtues were instilled in us via ‘teaching by doing’, ‘teaching by saying’ and ‘teaching by the rod’. I respect them so much and will always celebrate them. They are successful, in fact very successful, in their careers. They affected lives positively.

I grew up in an era where the future career was ‘sort of pre-determined’, you are either a medical doctor or an engineer. In my case, I was being mentored to become a medical doctor which was fine by me, only if I had gotten the right scores needed to be in that path. I invested time in pursuing this path and tried the required exams a couple of times but I was just few marks short. Between, I am a brilliant lady.  I studied Computer Science at Undergraduate, Informatics at Masters and I have written several professional exams in Business Analysis, IT service management, Project. I love what I do now and I am successful at it.

What if? What if Judges 13:12 had been applied by my parents? Judges 13:12 “And Manoah said, Now when your words come true, how shall we manage the child, and what is he to do?” This is Manoah, Samson’s father, asking the angel of the Lord the ‘how’, ‘what’, ‘when’, ‘where’ and ‘why’  of training Samson up.

How often do you, as a parent, ask God for His plans for the children He has put in your care? Are you quick to map out their ambition without consulting God? What if you sought God to know the purpose of each of your children and then help them to achieve it? Or do you think that is going overboard?

Kindly drop your comments.