"Then Manoah entreated the Lord and said, “O Lord, please let the man of God whom You have sent come to us again that he may teach us what to do for the boy who is to be born.” Judges 13:8
The angel of the Lord appeared to a barren woman by the name of Zorah to inform her that she would give birth to a son. There were three peculiar things that would set the young man apart. First, he was to be a Nazirite from the womb. This meant that he was dedicated to the Lord and required that certain restrictions, such as prohibition against alcohol and avoidance of proximity to the dead, be observed throughout his life. Second, he was given a particular purpose in life. The angel said to Zorah, "...and he shall begin to deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines,” Judges 13:5. Lastly, the Holy Spirit was to be upon him (Judges 13:25) and would manifest in ways that cause us all to know his name to this day.
Unfortunately, Zorah's husband, Manoah, was not present to hear this unfathomable news. Upon hearing his wife's report, he immediately prayed to the Lord for the return of the mysterious visitor that he might inquire as to how the child should be raised.
Beloved, how striking it is to have the presence of mind to seek the face of God about the raising of our children. To be sure, we are grateful to be granted such tremendous blessings and some of us even dedicate them back to Him. But how often do we ask for God's direction in raising them? Each of us has a godly purpose in life though even into adulthood, many of us do not realize this fact or do not understand what that purpose may be. In truth, we may never understand the full ramifications of our presence on the planet. Nevertheless, if we pray for guidance in raising our children and "bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4), they will be more likely to discover and live out their purpose in Him. In so doing, we may better realize our own.
We have much to pray about in this life, but there is little more important than prayers rendered on behalf of our children and our parenting. They are not just the next generation of our individual families, but they are the next generation of God's children. And with all of the adversaries of righteousness that we and they must face, it is critical that the people of God are as prepared and fortified as possible.
By the way, the identity of Zorah and Manoah's son? His name was Samson.