I didn’t want to…

Last night, I just didn’t want to. It had beTotalFamilyMakeover6en a long day:

  • Waiting on hold for an insurance company for what seemed like hours.
  • Answering and filing hundreds (okay maybe not hundreds but a lot) of emails.
  • Writing and researching for a few hours.
  • Helping my daughter manage ever changing emotions about her new wig that arrived.
  • Driving teens back and forth to work.
  • Topped off by “back to school” night for my 8th grader hearing details about the DC trip my other three had already taken and meeting all the teachers that already know our family name all too well.

I’m sure you could write a similar list filled with good, bad, and often mundane. At the end of the night I settled in to talk to my husband around 9:30pm armed with a bowl of chocolate ice cream and a drink. Just then our daughter knocked on the door, “Is someone coming to pray with me?”

Everything in me screamed, “I don’t want to right now!” Yet I heard that still small voice urging me not to miss the opportunity. I would regret it more than the whole bowl of ice cream. I put my food down and headed upstairs with her. It didn’t take long. I listened to her struggles from the day. It was Tuesday… the night we pray for Teachers. I had just spent time with many of hers. She prayed for one, and I chose another. We thanked God for the strength and opportunities and asked for help for her sister adjusting to the new wig. I kissed her on the head and headed back to my ice cream. (I actually like it melty so it was in perfect condition when I returned.)

Praying with our children isn’t always easy, especially at night when we are tired. Yet those few minutes pack a powerful punch when it comes to making connections with each other and growing in faith. Sure we miss some nights. Thats how I knew I would regret it if I didn’t go when she asked.

Sitting down to talk to God with our kids doesn’t have to be long and overwhelming, but having a basic plan has helped our family. A friend shared with me an acrostic years ago that has stuck with us for over a decade. I hope it might encourage you today to pray with your children. We can’t pray for everyone, everyday, so try out:

  • Monday – Missionaries (people you know, countries across the globe, those serving locally)
  • Tuesday – Teachers (coaches, school teachers, Sunday School teachers)
  • Wednesday – Widows and orphan (children you sponsor, grandparents, foster care kids)
  • Thursday – Those who don’t know Jesus (anyone who is far from God who needs love and truth)
  • Friday – Friends and Family (cousins, aunts and uncles, neighborhood friends, school friends)

Even when you don’t feel like, take the time to pray out loud with your children. Then watch the seeds of faith sprout and bloom on God’s timetable not ours.

(Prayer is the topic of one of the chapters in my first trade book coming out September 20th – Total Family Makeover: 8 practical steps to making disciples at home! Its available now for preorder at your local Christian retail store and online! You can read a sample chapter here:http://www.abingdonpress.com/download/907/TotalFamilyMakeoverFirstChapter.pdf)parenting book cover


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