“Seldom is there more exuberance than that which erupts when a new soul enters the world” (8). These words begin Andrew Case’s work Setting their Hope in God: Biblical Intercession for Your Children.
Many parents are familiar with the joy that comes with the arrival of a child. But shortly after comes arrival of the stress of trying to be a “good parent” to their children. The age in which we live puts tremendous stress on parents to make sure that their children receive the best education and are involved in the best extracurricular activities. But as Case notes in his work, “[O]ur duty remains to prayerfully labor and laboriously pray for their salvation and welfare. The parents who neglect this, even while offering their children every other worldly comfort and opportunity, waste their reward and do their children great harm” (9).
For parents who follow Christ, the desire to give their child a good life must be eclipsed by their desire to obey Paul in bringing up their children in the “discipline and instruction of the Lord (Eph. 6:4).” But what all goes into this instruction and discipline? In Setting their Hope in God, Case looks at the unseen aspect of raising children in the Lord, that is interceding for them before God. This review will look at the two major sections of the book.
In the first section, the preface and introduction provide the proper biblical perspective on praying for children. Along with a helpful collection of Bible verses that shows the importance of praying for your children, Case includes an edited work by William Scribner that was originally published in 1873: An Appeal to Parents to Pray Continually for the Welfare and Salvation of their Children (12-19).
The second section of the book presents a collection of prayers. Case urges parents to take these prayers and customize them to their own situations, not simply read them word for word (20). The prayers, like Scribner’s work quoted earlier in the book, revolve around the topics of salvation for children and intercession for their well-being. Each prayer is based on Scripture and is God-centered. As with his other devotionals, Case includes many quotes throughout the book from Christian leaders, past and present, to strengthen the prayer time.
Parents who are looking for a simple, clear work to spark their prayer life for their children should consider Setting Their Hope in God.
Jacob Dunlow is Pastor at Vassar Road Baptist Church and an Ed.D Candidate at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
[Editor's Note: This review originally appeared in The Journal of Discipleship and Family Ministry 4.1.]