Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Lost Art of Praying for Our Family

Last year Jackie and I attended a regional prayer conference. It was our first time attending this particular event and we looked forward to it with anticipation. And in many ways it was thought-provoking, inspiring and challenging.

However, we were only there a short time when we realized something . . . we were two of the youngest people there! Sure there were a few more youthful than us, but not a lot. I found myself wondering, "Why does prayer seem to be more for the elderly than others? Where are the young adults who still believe that prayer makes a difference?"

A pastor acquaintance once said, "If you schedule a prayer meeting, don't expect a crowd!" My experience has been that he's right much of the time. Now granted, there are lots of people from many different age groups who still believe prayer is important and who practice meaningful prayer on a regular basis. But I wonder how many of us, caught in the rat race of life, have put prayer within and for our homes on the back burner for a time?

And yet, the Bible reminds us often of the power of prayer. While we can't understand all the nuances, theology and implications of prayer, we do know that it makes a difference. And if prayer matters, then wouldn't we be wise to pray for our spouse and children on a regular basis? I think so.

So let me offer a few simple challenges. And if some of these would be fairly new or a major stretch in your life, start small. Don't set yourself up to fail by making your goals too lofty.

First, if you're married, get in the habit of praying for or with your spouse. You could start by just committing one minute (yes, one minute) to praying for each other sometime during the day. Add more time as you are able, but you can accomplish a lot in 60 seconds. Consider first thing in the morning, on your way out the door or at night before you go to sleep.

Second, keep a record or journal of your prayers and requests. It's pretty revealing and encouraging after a couple of months of praying to see how God answered. You'll likely be astounded. No, He doesn't necessarily give us everything we want (like any wise parent) but you will see His hand more directly on your life as you look back through your journal pages.

Third, if you're a parent, pray specifically for your children. Of course, it's important to pray with them on a regular basis but also ask them about things that you'll pray for them at other times. Pray for their character, safety and their living out their purposes. Pray for their friends and that they will model Christ-like behavior to others at school. In fact, try praying particular scriptures for them that you read in your own readings that day.

Finally, pray together at least some of the time beyond mealtimes. Little by little make prayer the norm when you're seeking wisdom, going through a struggle or just living everyday life. I remember when our son Tim was little we would pray with him about renting out our house for the summer while I went to seminary.
I'm pretty sure he didn't even understand all the ramifications of that but we invited him to pray with us about our needs anyway. I'm confident that experience made a long-term impression on him and helped him understand the importance of praying about everything just as Philippians 4 says.

In fact, our senior pastor and my good friend Will Davis, Jr. has written a couple of good books that could help you - Pray Big For Your Marriage and Pray Big For Your Children. Check them out!
Start or continue today to make prayer a normal, natural thing in your home. "The effective prayer of the righteous can accomplish much!"
Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

No comments:

Post a Comment