8 My child,[a] listen when your father corrects you. Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction. 9 What you learn from them will crown you with grace and be a chain of honor around your neck.
Father in heaven, I pray that my children listen with gratitude to our correction and instruction. I know this cuts against the grain, but I thank you that they will walk with grace and honor because they truly listen to the correction and instruction they receive from us and others. Thank you that they will desire the wisdom of their parents and others who love them and want the best for them. Thank you for giving them ears to hear!
10 My child, if sinners entice you, turn your back on them! 11 They may say, “Come and join us. Let’s hide and kill someone! Just for fun, let’s ambush the innocent! 12 Let’s swallow them alive, like the grave[b]; let’s swallow them whole, like those who go down to the pit of death. 13 Think of the great things we’ll get! We’ll fill our houses with all the stuff we take. 14 Come, throw in your lot with us; we’ll all share the loot.”
15 My child, don’t go along with them! Stay far away from their paths. 16 They rush to commit evil deeds. They hurry to commit murder.
Lord, may the invitation of those making poor choices hold no appeal to our children. I thank you that they will be children (men and women) of wisdom and honor, people of conscience. I thank you that they will run from those encouraging them to commit evil. May they be the ones inviting others to join them on paths of righteousness instead. May they be the influencers rather than the influenced. Thank you that they turn their backs towards sin and evil, and that they turn their faces towards you, O God!
17 If a bird sees a trap being set, it knows to stay away. 18 But these people set an ambush for themselves; they are trying to get themselves killed. 19 Such is the fate of all who are greedy for money; it robs them of life.
Let our children perceive when traps are being set for them, traps to lead them astray from you, God, and from doing what’s right. May they stay away from those traps. And help them make good choices that do not create traps for themselves…doing what’s right, choosing friends wisely, etc. Thank you that they are lovers of God, not lovers of money. Thank you that they experience fullness of life, not life robbed from them because of wrong and poor choices. May they come to know the fullness of life you desire for them.
Thank you, Lord. I release my children to you, knowing that you love them even more than I ever could. Amen!