The Desire to make time for prayer
As a mom, I know you have a heart to pray for and with your family. But, making time for prayer as a family is not always easy. It is a challenge with our busy lifestyles. Never the less, it is prayer that connects us to God. Prayer then, connects us to each other.
It’s never too late to start praying God’s best for your childrenJodie Berndt
There are times to pray in private and times to pray as a group. The challange as a mom is to find the right time and place. The place where prayer as a group or training in prayer can take place. As well as the time to have private, individual prayer. When you do this, your children see you. They understand that this is important to you. Then training will become easier. This can even occur with adult children, although it becomes more of a discussion about discovery rather than a training. Teaching adult children is about sharing your love and passion with them and allowing them to take that passion and make it their own.
The practice of making time for prayer
It’s your responsibility to pray. It’s God’s job to answer. Leave it in His hands.Stormie Omartian
Before addressing how we can teach our family how to pray, we must first examine our own prayer life. We also need to examine what prayer means to us. Prayer is communication, a relationship with our Father, God and Jesus. It is how we meet with Him as well as one of the ways He communicates with us.
Are you seeking God daily. Are you making time to both talk to God and Listen to what he has to say? I know it is hard, I have struggled with this throughout my life. As an adult I have gone weeks without actual, real prayer. Prayer that communes with God. I worked at it. Following lists, books and scripture. But part of the problem, was I did not feel the relationship between Christ and myself. It actually became easier when I found the truth that prayer is about relationship and not about completing a task or checking off on a list.
As you do this, you will find it easier to train your family in prayer. When you truely understand it is just building your relationship with God, it will not seem so daunting of a task. Therefore, helping your family see this truth will be an expression of the walk you have.
The How and the When
I found one of the easiest times to work on these things has been the holidays, especially Easter and Christmas. It Easter, we do Resurrection cookies. Walking through the recipe, there are 2 prayers. One prayer that evening and one in the morning, when you “see that the tomb is empty”.
The other one is Chrsitmas. I always wanted to do Advent during the Christmas season with my family but that was just one of the things I failed at. I could not do a lesson each night during the month of December not matter how hard I tried. We just had too many activities that kept us busy. I looked and looked for one that was maybe 1 or 2 times a week and could not find a plan. Hence, I finally decided to create my own. Now, each years in early November, I start asking God what direction I should go with the Advent, using the basic outline of Hope, Love, Joy and Peace. as the guide. Each week, we study a scripture, have a discussion time, and activity ( maybe) and end in prayer. We pray as a family, sometimes one of us sometimes all of us.
As you go….
Above all, I think the most important time to teach your children about the importance of prayer in your life is in your daily walk. How do you pray, when do you pray and why do you pray? Can your children see you praying or do you always do it alone? I admit, homeschooling made this one easier although I certainly was not perfect. There were days when I went without praying as I said above. Even seasons when I only prayed before they awoke or at meals. But, I think they got the overall picture that prayer was important and that I believed God heard me and would answer my prayers.
When God does answer your prayers, do you share that with your kids? They need to know mom was praying and God heard her pleas and answered. They also need to know that sometimes god does not give us exactly what we asked for and that he has a reason. These are the greatest lessons and sometimes the most difficult to discuss.
There are many resources you can use for prayer as well as to teach about prayer. Over the years our family has used a variety of prayer guides. We have used specific ones like The National Day of Prayer which is coming up. Also, we have used general month to month guides. We have had guides given to us through church and AWANAs. I have also found guides or information on line.
Stormie Omartian writes a series of books with specific prayers to do daily and weekly so you don’t have to think about them, Another good source is Focus on the Family. Maybe you are using a certain Bible study currently. If so, has God shown you any specific ways you could pray either for character building, encouragement, joy or mourning? I read a book by Beth Moore simply titled “Praying God’s Word“.
may God make you worthy of his calling, and by his power may he bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.2 Thessalonians 1:11