This month, I’m joining the Compassion Blogger Network to help promote child sponsorship and encourage my friends and family to sponsor a child. If you’ve ever considered sponsoring a child, now’s the time to do it!
A couple weeks ago, my pastor gave a wonderful sermon about encouragement. His text was Hebrews 3:13, “Encourage one another daily.” He pointed out that while some people have the gift of encouragement, this verse provides a clear baseline for everyone. As I mentioned in my previous Compassion post, I’m remembering to pray for our Compassion kids more regularly, and as I reflected on the sermon, I realized encouragement would be a good thing to pray about. I want our kids to feel encouraged! I don’t want them living without hope for a future, and saturating them with encouragement is one way to provide them with hope. I want to be an encourager in their lives, and I pray they are encouraged by the stories they read in the Bible.
One way I can be an encourager, my pastor noted, is to compliment like crazy. Our kids don’t give us too much to go on in their letters, but what they do tell us, we make sure to applaud. For example, one of our kids mentioned becoming a music leader for his youth group, so in our next letter, we made sure to congratulate him on that and wish him well in his ministry. Another kid mentioned doing well on final exams, so we told her how proud we were of her.
In our letters we also frequently share Bible verses that we have found encouraging and that might speak to the situations they face. I pray regularly from a little booklet, “60 Promises to Pray Over Your Children” by Roy Lessin. A verse in Hebrews 12—”Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us”—inspires the following prayer:
Thank you, Lord, for the example of the men and women of faith who have followed you through life’s journey. Thank you for the testimonies of their trust, the fruits of their faithfulness, and the witness of their walk. I pray that what has been written about them in [the Bible] will be a source of encouragement to my children, and that their patience and endurance would encourage my children to wait on you in full assurance of faith. Bless my children with the blessings of Abraham. Help them to learn from Daniel to be uncompromising; from Joseph to do what is right by not sinning against you; from Gideon to be strong and courageous; from Moses to hear your voice and have your glory shine upon their faces; from Ruth to fully identify with you and your people; from Sarah to believe that you can do the impossible; from Samuel to recognize your voice and speak out your words; from David to be a person after your own heart. Use them to be a blessing, an encouragement, and an example to others of what it means to follow you.
Won’t you encourage a child in need today by sponsoring one?