I'm in a wonderful Bible study with 3 dear friends and last week they shared that sometimes they have a hard time finding time praying for their kids. I totally understand this as I used to have a hard time also. Who wouldn't? We have these little rug rats running around all the time needing a clean diaper, a snack, a book read, a boo-boo kissed etc. Truthfully, I'm surprised we find the time to go to the bathroom (and who am I kidding, my kids totally follow me in...).
Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians to pray without ceasing so how does that translate in our busy days? First of all, I do think it is important for you to find at least 5 minutes for you and God each day. The more the better and each day can differ but try, every day, to have at least 5 minutes with God to listen to His voice.
Ok, so back to making this happen. Here's some practical ways to pray for your kids (and I'm talking about praying individually for a specific child in these examples):
- As you prepare their meals
- As you fold their laundry and/or put it away
- During quiet, private moments alone with that child
- At bedtime
- In the car
- In the shower
Friends, I'm not talking hour long prayers that fit a perfect formula. I'm talking about little prayers that get to the heart of the matter, short and sweet. Your Father knows your situation; He knows what your day looks like and He honors the energy you put into your husband, children and home. He longs for deliberate time with you (and it is so good for your soul) but these little prayers not only give your heart's desires to God but it keeps Him in the forefront of your mind while you're on the battle front all day.
Lastly, don't underestimate the power of praying FOR your kids in front of your kids! Your words have power. When you pray for them at night when they are all snuggled down in bed they are removed from distraction, they are focused on you and they are seeing you go to God with your greatest desires for your kids' lives. Samuel is fully aware of the man Jeff and I long for him to be because he hears us pray it every night. "God, please call Samuel to You at an early age so that he will know Your saving power early on. Please give him a kind heart so that other children are drawn to him and he can point to You even as a child. As a teenager I pray he will be strong in his convictions and firm in his faith. Finally, as a man I pray he will be Spirit led and live a life that glorifies You and builds Your kingdom." (FYI, I don't pray out loud with Emily every night. She's just too little still but she's not far off. I love thinking my kids will know I prayed for them since they were on my lap.)
So the prayer I just wrote out is just how I do it; you obviously have your own desires for your kids and you can pray them however and whenever you want; I just want to encourage you to pray for them out loud.
Now, back to these little prayers whispered throughout the day... when I'm cutting up an apple or a hot dog, "God, give Samuel and Emily patience today. Help them to love one another." As I'm putting M's pajamas on and getting her ready for bed, "Lord, pour Your Spirit out on Emily and fill her heart with kindness". When I'm helping Samuel put his shoes on, "Father, please help Samuel to love others".
Friends, I am not perfect (if you've been reading this blog for very long you know that) but am passionate about this topic. Maybe its because I am so imperfect that I am so dependent on God's grace but I know that in the end, these are His kids and I want to raise them with His guidance and grace. I also know this, praying for your kids will introduce a legacy of prayer in your home and there is nothing better than having your child come to you with a problem and then ask if you'll pray to God with him about it. That's good stuff my friends, really good stuff.
Drop me a note and let me know some of your ideas on practical ways to pray for your kids; I'd love to hear them and with permission share them with my readers.