indexNote: With Chris on a well-deserved vacation, this week’s blog is contributed by his brother Tom.
Catch Chris in his radio conversation on “Live the Promise” hosted by Suzie Larson. Listen on KTIS radio Friday October 28, 2016 at 3:00pm and again at 11:00pm. If you miss the live program, audio stream the recorded program by going to http://myfaithradio.com/programs/live-the-promise/.

In his book The Isaiah Encounter, Chris provides a very practical definition of worship:

“In worship we acknowledge our Mighty God with hearts of wonder and gratefulness, and we respond in a life of love, obedience, and service.” – The Isaiah Encounter

The Story of Hannah & Samuel
Of the many reasons we worship God, His image and life in our children is a top-of-list prayer by parents. This has been true over the countless generations of our covenant relationship with God. The old testament story of Hannah and her son Samuel is very representative of this prayerful wonder and gratefulness … and of a response of love, obedience and service.

Childless Hannah had prayed to God for a son, vowing that she would give him to the LORD “all the days of his life”. Samuel (“God has heard”) was a Prophet, Judge, and wise Leader of Israel, and is an example of fulfilled commitments to God. He was the last of the Hebrew Judges and the first of the major prophets who began to prophesy inside the Land of Israel. He anointed the first two kings of the Kingdom of Israel – Saul and David – and counseled both in a Godly way.

Hannah to the Priest Eli:

“As surely as you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the LORD. I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.”
– 1 Samuel 1:26

Today as you see your own child entering into a new year of school (or work, ministry, searching, or just life in general), I encourage you to pray in the same way that Hannah did … with a heart of wonder and gratefulness and a response of love, obedience and service.

A Prayer for Your Child
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for this treasured child. Although you have entrusted him (her) to me, I know this precious child belongs to you. Like Hannah offered Samuel, I dedicate my child to you, Lord. I recognize that he is always in your care.
Help me as a parent, Lord, in my joy and thankfulness, and also in my weaknesses and imperfections. Give me strength and godly wisdom to raise this child according to your Holy Word. Please supply what I lack. Keep my child walking on the path that leads to eternal life. Help him to overcome the temptations and sin that would so easily entangle him by focusing on you.
Dear God, send your Holy Spirit daily to lead and guide him. Ever assist him to grow in wisdom and stature, in grace and knowledge, in kindness, compassion and love. May he serve you faithfully with his whole heart devoted to you. May he discover the joy of your presence through daily relationship with your Son, Jesus.
Help me never to hold on too tightly to this child, nor neglect my responsibilities before you as a parent. Lord, let my commitment to raise this child for the glory of your name cause his life to forever testify of your faithfulness.
In Jesus’ name I pray.
Amen.