“For this child I pray and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. Therefore, I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives he is lent to the Lord and he worshiped the Lord there.”
(1 Samuel 1:27–28)
These verses come at the end of this chapter that depicts Hannah praying, pleading for a child in her barrenness. And God answering, God providing a son named Samuel. And Hannah says, “The Lord granted me my petition and I surrender this gift, this son, to the Lord. He is lent to the Lord,” she says and this specifically leads to Samuel now dwelling at the temple with Eli the priest, which is why it says in verse 28 that he worshiped the Lord there. But this is a powerful picture. Just think about it, of what it means to be a parent or what it means to live for the worship of God in children.
Children are wonderfully made by God and belong to Him. May we pray for children in the church and throughout the world to be saved by God’s grace through Christ.
Whether they’re our children or children around us, this should be our posture, praise and thanksgiving to God for them. Children don’t come merely biologically, they come ultimately supernaturally from God’s provision. He provides children and our response of gratitude and praise to him with our children. I think about my children, they belong to the Lord. I pray that they might grow up to love and know and honor and worship, to glorify God. They don’t ultimately belong to me. They don’t ultimately belong to my wife and myself. They belong to God. So for us as parents to surrender our children to the Lord, for all of us, when we see children around us in the family of faith in the church to say, “These children belong to you. Please, oh God, may they know your love. These children belong to you so we pray. Please, oh God, these children whom you love, who you have provided, you have created, they are each fearfully and wonderfully made.”
I think about kids in our home, I think about the precious kids you have given to Heather and me. I think about kids in the church, children that we will see on Sunday. God, they are all, every single one of them, beautifully and wonderfully made by you and created for you for your purposes to know you, to know your love for them. God, we pray that they would know your love for them, they would know how much you love them such that they trust in your love for them. They trust in you with their lives that they would trust in you to save them from their sin. They would trust in your word to lead them as their lives, they would trust in you as the Lord of their lives. God, we pray for that and God, we yield them to you. In this sense, lend them to you. They are yours. We pray that they would grow to know you, love you, walk with you, enjoy you and glorify you however you lead them.
God, keep us from trying to control their lives. You are Lord over their lives, not us and so we pray that you would lead, guide, direct their steps for their good, for the spread of the Gospel through their lives for your glory through their lives. We trust you with our kids. We pray, God, that the fruit of our trusting you with them would be what it was said of Samuel here, that he worship the Lord, oh God, that they would worship you, they would know and enjoy and glorify you. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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