“We should pray about that,” he said to me.
“Why haven’t we before?” I asked.
“I guess we never thought about it that way,” he replied.
A conversation like this happened between my husband and I a few weeks ago as we were laying in bed one night. We’d gone through another seemingly pointless family devotion time, complete with kids bouncing off the walls, fighting over who got to pray first and giggling uncontrollably at the Bible story while pinching each other’s legs.
I’m sorry, did I just tell you what devotions really look like in our house? ;)
That night, as we pondered yet again our disastrous efforts, we had a revelation: we should pray over our family devotional time.
We always pray during devotions, but not for devotions. As in, praying about it before we even do family Bible study each day!
It got me thinking that there are probably some other family-related everyday events that we are parents forget to bring before God in prayer.
If you sense that there are a few items you may be forgetting to pray about concerning your kids, I want you to be encouraged by these three areas of family life that are worth remembering to pray for!
Three Things Parents Should Pray About (But Maybe Aren’t)
1. Pray about Family Devotional Time
Like I mentioned above, sometimes it’s hard to have a devotional time with your kids that you feel is beneficial to all involved. When you have young and/or distracted children, it’s easy for things to quickly spiral downward when you pull out your Bible or favorite family devotional book and attempt to learn more about God.
What can you pray for specifically? My husband and I began praying that our time during family Bible study would be fruitful and focused. That our children would learn that studying God’s Word is important and that it’s respectful to sit nicely and listen, participating when it’s appropriate and not bothering one another.
It can be HARD to have Bible time with young kids! Our children are 10, 7, 4 and 2 and so we encourage our older children to model respectful behavior for the younger two. But it is still a constant work in progress!
Thankfully, our times spent in devotions and prayer have improved SO much over the past couple of months. I truly believe it is God answering our prayers.
My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart. Proverbs 4:20-21 NKJV
Need more practical encouragement in this area? I’ve previously shared our top four tips for effective family devotions and I know they will be helpful for you as well! (I’m also working on a post about the specifics of how we make family devotions work with a busy toddler!)
This post about what we’ve found to be the simplest method for doing devotions with young children may be helpful too!
2. Pray about Getting Ready for Church on Sunday Mornings
Friends, this is one area in which I truly wish I had prayed about more often when I was in the midst of having our four babies. With one child, it was a bit of a struggle to get ready on Sunday mornings and leave on time for church. However, the struggle got worse as we added more children!
Part of the difficulty for me was that during the time when I had a new baby every two years, my husband served as a pastor of two churches. One was a country church with an early service and then we had Sunday school at the town church while he was gone (before the town service, which was the one I often attended). I had no one to help me get my kids ready for church after my husband left at 7:30 am to head to the first service in the country.
So many times I became so incredibly grumpy with my kids. They were never ready on time for our friends from church to pick them up for Sunday school. The baby always had a blow-out right before we left for our service at the town church. I felt like I was constantly hollering at the older kids to stop goofing around and brush their teeth or get their coats on. By the time we arrived at church, I was a frazzled mess!!
Have you ever been in a situation similar to mine? Maybe it is that way even if you and your husband are together on Sunday mornings! Mommas, I want us to commit this precious time of our Lord’s Day into God’s hands. Satan loves nothing more than to discourage and frustrate us when we are getting ready to go to God’s house! Let’s ask the Lord to protect our Sunday mornings and prepare our hearts for worship. This is an area I am focusing on more this year even though things are a bit more smooth these mornings at this point in time now that we only have one service on a Sunday, it’s still an area in which I struggle to maintain my calm!
3. Pray about Time Management
We all have the same 24 hours in a day, right? So how do some people seem to accomplish so much while my husband and I often collapse, exhausted, at the end of every day wondering how in the world time got away from us without accomplishing much of anything?!
While we can find very practical ways to get organized and use our time wisely, there will always be times when we are sidetracked, especially when we have young children. But what would happen if we prayed about time management in our day to day family life?
Praying for the flexibility to allow ourselves to be interrupted (without getting too frustrated) while still finding ways to complete necessary tasks and projects that contribute to our family’s well-being is something I truly believe God cares about. He created the family and so He does care about providing for our needs.
As we pray about managing our time well, we may find that we begin to notice habits that may be robbing us of precious minutes of the day. Our hearts will turn to God more easily as we seek His guidance each morning and evening and ask Him to order our steps.
Direct my steps by Your word, and let no iniquity have dominion over me.
Redeem me from the oppression of man, that I may keep Your precepts.
Make Your face shine upon Your servant, and teach me Your statutes. Psalm 119:133-135 NKJV
Since we’ve begun praying over these areas of our family’s life, we have seen God at work in them. Not because of something we’ve done, but because through conversation with God, He transforms the hearts and minds of each of us!
Something to think about: Have you had an “aha” moment about praying over something regarding your family? How did God change your family life through it?
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