“Praying for the Salvation of Your Children”
From “Characteristics of Faith” May 27th, 1860 by C. H. SPURGEON
Edited by Dr. Jerry Nelson www.soundliving.org
This is a strong indictment of those who care more about their children’s happiness than their children’s holiness:
“Now, have you ever thought my dear Christian brethren and sisters, about blessing your household? Do I hear someone objecting by saying, “I keep my religion to myself?” Do not be very anxious about its ever being stolen, then; you need not put it under lock and key; you don’t have enough religion to tempt the devil himself to come and take it from you. A man who can keep his godliness to himself has so little of it, I am afraid it will be no credit to himself, and no blessing to other people.
But have you met a father who seems to have no real interest in the spiritual welfare of his own children? He wants to see his sons prosper financially and he would like to see his daughters marry comfortably; but as to their being converted, it does not seem to trouble his heads. It is true the father attends worship and fellowships with other Christians; and he hopes his children may turn out well. But he never seems to have made it a matter of the anxiety of his soul that they shall be saved or not. “Out” with such a religion as that! Cast it on the dunghill; hurl it to the dogs. It is not the religion of God. He that cares not for his own household is worse than the heathen.
Praying the Promise of God Regarding Your Children: Never be content, dear parents, till all your children are saved. Lay the promise before your God. The promise is unto you and unto your children. The Greek word does not refer to infants, but to children, grand-children, and any descendants you may have, whether grown up or not. Do not cease to plead, till not only your children but your great grand-children, if you have such, are saved. I stand here today a proof that God is not untrue to his promise. I can cast my eye back through four or five generations, and see that God has been pleased to hear the prayers of our grandfather’s grandfather, who used to supplicate with God that his children might live before him to the last generation, and God has never deserted the house, but has been pleased to bring first one and then another to fear and love his name. So be it with you: and in asking this you are not asking more than God is bound to give you. He cannot refuse unless he turns back from his promise. He cannot refuse to give you both your own and your children’s souls as an answer to the prayer of your faith.
“Ah,” says one, “but you do not know what children mine are.” No, my dear friend, but I know that if you are a Christian, they are children that God has promised to bless.
“O but they are such unruly ones, they break my heart.” Then pray God to break their hearts, and they will not break your hearts any more.
“But they will bring my grey hairs with sorrow to the grave.” Pray God then that he may bring their eyes with sorrow to prayer, and to supplication, and to the cross, and then they will not bring you to the grave.
“But,” you say, “my children have such hard hearts.” Look at your own. You think they cannot be saved: look at yourselves, he that saved you can save them.
Go to him in prayer, and say, “Lord, I will not let you go except you bless me;” and if your child is at the point of death, and, as you think, at the point of damnation on account of sin, still plead like the nobleman, “’Lord, come down lest my child perish (John 4:49), and save me for your mercy’s sake (Psalm 109:26).’ And oh, God that dwells in the highest heavens never refuse your people. Be it far from us to dream that you would ever forget your promise. We put our hand upon your Word most solemnly and pledge you to your covenant. You said your mercy is unto the children’s children of them that fear you and follow your commandments (Psalm 103:17). You said this promise is unto us and unto our children (Acts 2:39); Lord, you will not turn back from your own covenant; we challenge your word by holy faith this morning—”Do as you have said.”