Whenever we guide our children toward greater integrity, it’s like stepping into the spotlight: our own weaknesses are suddenly highlighted and our unabashed youngsters are quick to point them out. As you spend time in private prayer preparing for this lesson on gentleness, use the following prayer to help you fully embrace the opportunity to “tune up” in this area as well.
If you prefer to personalize your prayer, read through the additional verses provided under “Scripture-guided prayer” for direction and inspiration.
Abba Father, You tend Your flock like a gentle shepherd, gathering lambs in Your arms and carrying them close to Your heart (Isaiah 40:11). Jesus said,
“I am gentle and humble in heart” and offers us rest for our souls (Matthew 11:29). Thank you for being our gentle Father and Master. Our sin is deserving of severe consequences, but You continually restore us with gentle prompting and unending grace.
Lord, I desire to have a gentle spirit, which is of great worth in Your sight (1 Peter 3:4). Please send Your Spirit to shape the inclinations of my heart to be kind and tender. In Your Word it says that if someone is caught in sin, those who are spiritual should restore him gently (Galatians 6:1). So often when I correct my children, it is not with gentleness. I humbly ask You to forgive me for being harsh and acknowledge my need for Your Spirit to live in me. Please remind me often of Your gentle grace and prompt me to offer Your love and forgiveness to others.
Jesus, as parents brought their children to You, so I bring ________ and ________ before You. Please put Your gentle hands on them and bless them with the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives, especially in the area of gentleness. It is such an attractive quality in anyone – boys, girls, men and women! I pray that others would be drawn to You because my children share Your love and grace with others.
In the daily grind of life when someone treats ________ or ________ in a way that bothers them, I ask that You will remind them that
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1). At play, when my children interact with other children, help them be gentle in their speech and actions. Satan is sure to tempt them to use their hands or words to hurt others, to be unforgiving or quick to point out fault in others. Please send Your Holy Spirit to work in my children’s lives, filling their hearts with Your love, prompting them to be gentle, gracious and tolerant with others.
Lord, I pray that our family will be a welcome contrast to the harsh and unforgiving world we live in. Please allow our gentleness to be evident to all whom we have contact with. Let us be gentle because we know You are near (Philippians 4:5). I ask that gentleness, among the other fruits of Your Spirit, will be reflected in our actions and in our communication, letting others know You are Lord of our hearts and our home. Amen.
Pray through one or more of the selected Scriptures under each heading. Focus on listening to God and allowing His Spirit to direct you as you pray.
Begin by letting God know how much you appreciate His gentleness and grace.
Isaiah 40:11 | Jonah 4:1-2, 10-11 | Matthew 11:28-30 | Luke 13:34 | Galatians 5:22-23
Acknowledge where and how you lack gentleness personally.
Proverbs 3:31-32 | Proverbs 15:1 | Galatians 5:24-6:1 | Ephesians 4:29-32 | Titus 3:1-2
Thank God for ways you have seen gentleness exhibited within your family.
Ask God to help you and your family to be gentle in your thoughts and actions.
Luke 11:11-13 | Galatians 5:25 | Colossians 3:12-14 | Philippians 4:5 | James 3:17