Thursday, January 26, 2012


Anticipating the Teen Years

I often find myself telling people, "Anything multiplied 7 times equals-- a lot!" For instance, taking all of our children to a movie is a major financial commitment! Quite a few years ago, when our 7 children were entering their teen years at what felt like a crazy rapid pace from a mother's perspective, I began reading books and listening to experts on raising teens. I was anticipating that the teen years, when multiplied by 7, were quite likely to be an experience of a lifetime-- one which I wanted to be as prepared for as possible. One of the more disturbing things I read in my research was the statistics on the lives of churched kids. I was informed that there is very little difference statistically between kids who grow up in church and those who don't as far as drinking, drug use, and sexual activity-- all activities that I was counting on us avoiding in the Templeton house! With this unfortunate information filling my thoughts, I began to talk to the Lord. 

Fears and Facts
I remember one morning telling the Lord, "What are the chances that out of 7 children, they will all walk closely with you? That none of them will get into some of these ungodly activities? Lord, I just do not want to accept that any of my children will become one of these statistics. I am going to have to find faith in you for this God-- it will be a sign and a wonder." As I was talking with Him about my concerns, and grappling with my fears in the face of the facts at hand, I heard two words in my spirit, "Not One" These words dropped with a weight into my heart and my spirit, filling my mind. It was as clear to me as if I had heard it with my ears. And as soon as I "heard" these words I knew a few other things as well. I knew God wanted me to pray into this-- it was more a call to prayer than it was a "done deal." It was a solid promise from Almighty God and He wanted me to partner with Him in it. It's funny how two words can carry so much information and weight, but God is pretty amazing that way. 

So, I had a weapon in my hand (1 Timothy 1:18). "Not One" of my children were going to become a statistic! This call to prayer gave me faith to believe that our family could beat the trend, faith to fight the fears of a mother. As excited as I was by this word from God, I didn't have time to tell Stephen about it that night. It sometimes takes us days before we can really sit down to a proper conversation (another reality of having 7 children, except this time division, not multiplication was at work)! I did call Susan Hillis and share this with her since the two of us have prayed for each others' children for years and I thought that the Lord would not mind at all if I included her 11 children in this "Not One" prayer. I figured that if He could do this saving and keeping work for 7, he could surely do it for 11 more! That next night something extraordinary happened. 

"Not One, Not One, Not One"

I went to our church to attend a meeting. It was the only meeting in a series on the presence of God that I was able to attend and I figured that going to one was better than none. As I sat in this meeting, the man who was speaking went over to the piano and began to play. Then he began to pray over people, singing and speaking what he felt the Lord was saying. He asked me to stand. At this point I was not at all prepared for what came next. I knew that the Lord was about to bless me and I was excited to be prayed for by this man of God, so up I stood. And then something so precious and powerful happened. Something I will never forget. This man began to sing, "Not One, Not One Not One of your children will fall away from me. They will ALL KNOW MY HEART." Yes. Three times he repeated the very phrase God had spoken to me the day before as I was walking and praying. Three times He had this prophetic man sing those words that I had only spoken to one other person. And then He added that all of my children would know His heart. There is nothing Stephen and I desire more than this for our children. Nothing. We have come to know the heart of God is so kind, so good, so full of love. That they would each know His heart is the bottom line, isn't it? He didn't promise that none of them would struggle, that they would all behave perfectly or that they would never make a bad choice. But He did tell me, in no uncertain terms, that they would not fall away from Him and that they would know His heart. 

I cannot tell you how many times I have reminded the Lord of this promise, how many times I have prayed it, or how many times Stephen and I have reminded each other of it. I cannot tell you because there have been seasons when it has been literally my constant daily payer. I believe it. And when the facts don't seem to match up to the promise, I am bold to remind God that He promised it and confirmed it supernaturally.

For You Too

I share this with you today because I believe that this "Not One" call to prayer and promise is for you too. I believe that you have permission in the Lord to receive "Not One" for your children. Let us stand in faithful intercession for our children, believing God to do what only He can do. That not one, not one, not one of our children will fall away from Him; that they would ALL know His heart. Amen 


  1. What an amazing word...I'll receive it too!

  2. AMEN! I am claiming this over my 3 children as well! The teen years have hit our home and have increased my prayer life! :)
    Thanks for this!

  3. Yes Jerusha-- I know it is for you too!
    And Jenny, I join with you in your AMEN for your three children. I'm with you-- I never prayed as often and as fervently for my children as I have in their teen years. God has been so faithful, always 'coming through' no matter how intense or long the struggle.

  4. You have no idea how much this story ministered to me at the C4C Retreat this past weekend. I wept listening to this...and to many sentences that I believe where straight from the Lords heart to mine that Sunday morning. I am 3 years into a very difficult adoption and your words gave me HOPE just when I needed it. Thank you.

    1. Oh Traci, what a joy it is for me to know that God was using what He gave me to share as a powerful blessing for you!. I've decided that there is nothing like HOPE in difficult times-- the confident assurance of good to come. I am sorry to hear that it has been difficult for you. We also have had some very difficult issues and it is so easy to grow weary. May you be filled with HOPE and God's thoughts about your children, about your family, and about you-- the mommy whom Jesus loves.