Editor's note: In an effort to reach out to single mothers in the Body of Christ, Crosswalk is posting a series of articles by Hope & Help for the Single Mom based on their CD set 21 Principles of a Healthy Single Mom. For more information or to purchase the full CD set visit: www.hope4singlemoms.com.
One of the greatest blessings I have ever received in my life was the challenge to respond to the question that Jesus asked His disciples and -- I believe -- He is asking every single mom today, "Could you not keep watch with me for one hour?"
Jesus is asking single moms to pray with Him for one hour every day. When a single mom keeps watch and prays, she will become aware of the temptations around her, be led by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and be spiritually equipped to fight the battles we face.
You may be wondering how to find the time to spend an hour with God each day, especially with the hectic schedules we have as single mothers. I asked that same question to God and He answered me with the verse from Mark 1:35. "And in the morning, rising up a great while before the day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there he prayed." Jesus woke up very early in the morning to spend time with his Father. As single mothers, we are to start our day very early, as Jesus did in prayer. Rising early before the children are up will allow you, as Jesus did, to have solitary time with God to set your day with Him and receive what He needs to give you for the day.
How do you think Jesus was able to do all that He did in a day? Where did He receive the strength to perform miracles, preach, teach, feed 5,000 people, and travel the distances he did in one day? It all came from prayer with His Father. Jesus was in communion with God early in the morning and throughout the day. He received God's plan for His life when He prayed. He was then equipped spiritually and physically to do what God called Him to do. Jesus said that His house would be a house of prayer. Every single mom is called to make her house the same.
The Lord has given us the perfect "outline" to pray that will cover every aspect of your life and your children's lives. It is the very way that Jesus taught His disciples to pray when He said, "This, then, is how you should pray":
"Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed by your name"
We are to praise God and thank Him for who he is. Our Abba Father, our daddy. We are to thank him that He is our righteousness, that He has set us apart for His service, that He is our Healer, our provider, our peace, our Sheppard, our victory and that His presence is everywhere, that He will never leave us or forsake us.
"Thy Kingdom Come, thy will be done"
Daily, we are to give the Lord permission to reign over us. When we cry out, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done," we are submitting to God and calling on Him to perform His will on earth, not ours. We have plan B; God has plan A. Invite Him to come and interrupt your plans with His. We are to pray for His plan over ourselves and each one of our children. Pray over your church, pastor, leadership, congregation, and the people that are not in a church that need to be in yours. Pray over our nation and all government leaders.
"Give us this day our daily bread"
A single mom is asking God that she be within His perfect will. She is to pray for time to spend with God's word and in prayer, for time to be involved in her church, for a diligent work habit, and to give her tithe and offering. She must believe that it is God's will to prosper her, and pray specifically and tenaciously for everything that she needs.
"And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors"
We need to ask God to forgive us of our sins and we need to forgive others. Pray to have the right attitude towards others and get along with everyone, especially your children's father if he is involved in your life.
"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil"
We must arm ourselves against Satan by putting on our armor daily over ourselves and our children. Put on your buckle of truth, your breastplate of righteousness, your footprints of peace, your helmet of salvation, your shield of faith and use your sword of the spirit. Ask the Lord to wrap a hedge of protection around you and your children, form the crown of your head, to the soles of your feet, from the front to the back, to the left to the right.
"For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever"
As we start our prayer with praise, we are to end with praise. Give God praise that He took you out of darkness and brought you into the light of truth. Praise Him that the same power that God gave Jesus, is now in you through the Holy Spirit living in you. Praise God that through His glory, we are slowly changed into the very character of God.
Declare that Gods promises are already complete.
This is an adaptation from Larry Lea's book, Could You Not Tarry One Hour?: Learning the Joy of Praying (Creation House).
21 Principles of a Healthy Single Mom offers meaningful messages, helpful advice and loving encouragement for every single mom. To inquire about and order the CD packages, call 1-888-430-HOPE, or visit the website at: www.hope4singlemoms.com.
Dr. Charles Stanley says of the 21 Principles:
"If a single mom will follow these 21 Principles, there is no way for her to fail. She will watch herself grow in her own strength and abilities and become more confident as the leader of her home.
The 21 Principles of a Healthy Single Mom is a practical asset for single mothers to apply specific, workable, successful guidelines to her life."