How can we Pray When Vanity is the Language of Survival for Children?

As we look at today’s culture where people give themselves to vainglory—empty ostentation, flattery becomes the language of their survival. We pray continuously for our children’s wellbeing. We ask for protection from a world that rewards self-promotion, and prioritizes self-focus over valuing the needs of others. As parents we teach our children the true meaning of love and moral values in life from a very young age. Nevertheless, the temptations and the trends of this world may be distracting them.

It is hard to convince them—whether they’re your children, friends or family members, because in the world, evil is being called “good” and good is being called “evil” by the culture. Everything seems upside down. What hope is there for our children when this is the world in which they are growing up? This is the burden that gives birth to a parent’s fear. 

Colin Smith says in one of his teachings regarding “How to pray when you fear for your Children”, and what our children are facing today. 

“Flattery always becomes the spoken language in a culture where people give themselves to vanity. Flattery is saying only what other people want to hear, and hearing only what you want other people to say. Flattery is one of Satan’s brands of deception. If you only hear what you want other people to say, then you end up not being able to see the light of God’s Word. This desire for flattery runs deep.”

Children want to be affirmed constantly. They build up a little world in which they seek out people who say what they want to hear. They become more and more preoccupied with themselves. Their eyes grow dim, and the more they are affirmed by others, the less they see the truth. 

When the desire for flattery is fed, it soon becomes a powerful addiction. A person ends up locked in a prison of oneself, incapable of hearing anything other than the smooth talk of affirmation. As with any other addiction, they can never get enough. The more the person is affirmed, the more they feel the need for affirmation.

As parents we get doleful and disappointed when we see the influence of the world, which will even use the Word of God out of context to justify an action. We find it more discouraging when children are unwilling to hear the instruction of the Lord. You try to tell them that you’ve lived longer, experienced more than them and have seen much, and though even at times you may have ended up going backwards for a time; you learned what it takes to go forward. You try to save them from causing their own roadblocks, and warn them about the pit of consequence that may result from their actions.

Ultimately, there’s one thing we can do to point them to the light of God (the Gospel)—pray for them. Speaking of myself, I’m not a perfect mom, but I always seek guidance from above. I pray for the awakening of my children’s souls (to be aware and guard their hearts) in this world of desolation. At times I get fearful, and when my prayers ring dull, the Holy Spirit encourages me. I can find the chord again by praying God’s Word. When I pray through the Psalms, I hear God reveal to us His character; who He is, and what He can do when we cannot. At times I feel discouraged, desperate, lonely, completely helpless, and need a fresh view of God. I pray Psalm 139 for myself and my loved ones. I’ve inserted my needs in the last verse of Ps-139 and it has become my daily prayer now.  

O Lord my God, “Search us (my children, my husband, and me), God, and know our hearts; test us and know our anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in us, and lead us in the way everlasting.” [Psalms 139:23c-24 | NIV]

I put all trust in God and never cease praying for them.

“Train children in the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” (Proverbs 22:6 | NIV)

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