Recently I have felt a tugging to pray for and over my children more. My husband and I take them to church almost every Sunday and they see us serve in various ministries around the church but lately I have felt that my prayer life leaves a lot to be desired.
We pray at the “typical” times. Before dinner and before bed (sometimes) but, if I am being perfectly honest, life is just busy and I am too tired or too distracted to take the time to stop and do it more often. A very poor excuse, I know, but the only one I’ve got.
But I want that to change and I have felt the Holy Spirit gently urging me to pray more especially for and with my children. Heaven knows that in today’s PC world their (super hard-working and amazing) public-school teacher isn’t going to do that in the classroom.
If I want or expect them to grow up having a good relationship with God and seeking His wisdom in everything they do then it goes without saying that I need to be modeling that for them.
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Prayer is so important. It is how we communicate with God and is one of the key ways in which we strengthen our relationship with God. The Bible instructs us to “pray without ceasing.” I am no Bible scholar and I am not 100% clear on what that means or even looks like but I would imagine if I were to actually “pray without ceasing” then my life would resemble just one big, never-ending prayer.
One big act of living in which I am constantly talking to God, pleading with Him, apologizing to Him, asking for wisdom, lamenting to Him, sharing my joys and accomplishments with Him, running ideas by Him, thanking Him, praising Him, telling Him my doubts and fears and perhaps even arguing with Him at times.
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I think God already knows it all but He just wants to hear it. He wants everything. All the inside info. When we factor God into the equation of our life, asking for His guidance in our actions and decisions and sharing with Him even the smallest details of our day it brings Him glory.
Like any good and loving parent, God is honored and pleased when his children express gratitude, confide in Him, converse with Him, ask Him for advice and come to Him for comfort in both the good times and the bad.
I just tucked my three kids into bed. The older two have their first day of second and first grade tomorrow. They were both excited and nervous and everyone (including me) was oh-so-sad that our awesome summer came and went in the blink of an eye.
After giving them kisses, singing them a song and pulling up the covers, I sat down and typed out a prayer I want to say over them everyday before they leave my car and enter their classrooms.
Yes, I plan to say about the same thing every day. No, I don’t feel like that waters down sentiment of the prayer or makes it any less pleasing to God. I think routine is good for children and if it is the same prayer each morning, it will be less overwhelming for me and easier for them to eventually memorize it. My hope is that they will be able to recall it and draw upon it as circumstances arise throughout their day.
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I feel like the car line is the perfect time to have this moment of short (less than a minute) prayer. The kids are all confined and can’t escape! Have no fear, I will keep my hands on the wheel and eyes open throughout but will encourage them to close their eyes, bow their heads and listen to these words of thanksgiving and encouragement before their busy day starts.
I invite you to do the same. Use these words for yourself or write down what it is you want for your kids and what God wants for your kids while they are in school.
Thank You for this day. Thank You for the opportunity that these children have to go to school and learn something new. I pray they will always love learning. Thank You for their teachers who work so hard to take care of them and teach them throughout the day. I pray You give the teachers and the students energy to get through their lessons. I pray the students will be excited about learning so they can take on their school work and homework with happy, joyful hearts. Please protect them today and keep them safe. Help them not to worry or be scared about anything because You promise always to be with us and never to leave us. I pray they look for ways to be nice and helpful to their friends and teachers. I pray they will love other people in the same way You love us and will treat other people the way they want to be treated. Please grow within them the fruit of Your spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
What prayer routines do you have with your children? How do you make prayer a continuous act throughout your day?