Recently, I have heard many people ask: how do you become a praying family? As a way of beginning, I thought I’d offer a few thoughts.
Where to Start
Becoming a praying family starts with us as moms and dads, ideally as couples. We must ask ourselves: Is prayer an integral part of our lives?
If not, we must first start with ourselves and cultivate intimacy with the Lord. I can’t simply tell my children to ask God for help and trust Him when they feel afraid when I, myself, am not doing that. However, when my kids see me turning to the Lord in thanksgiving over His provision or asking for forgiveness when I’ve made a mistake, or asking for help when I’ve lost something or feel afraid or irritated or impatient — as my kids see me depending on the Lord in everyday circumstances, they are learning what it means to trust Jesus in their lives, too!
Prayer comes from intimacy with God. Think about and evaluate your prayer life. Why do you pray?
- Is it a means-to-an-end? A way to get what you want?
- Is it simply out of habit or because praying is what a “good Christian” does?
- Do you pray because you should or because it feels like we gain God’s approval by doing the “right things”?
“There is a difference between the discipline of sitting down with God and the pleasure of knowing His voice. It is one thing to make yourself do something. It is entirely another to find pleasure in relationship.” (Emily Freeman, Grace for the Good Girl)
Cultivate Communion with God
As you grow in your relationship with the Lord and in conversation with Him through prayer, this will spill over into all parts of your life. You won’t be able to help yourself!
- As you see God’s goodness, His provision, His wonder all around, give thanks! May His praise always be on our lips.
- Before you discipline, pray!
- While you’re correcting, pray!
- As you restore the relationship, pray!
- Is your child afraid? Did she lose something? Do you see someone in need? Pray, pray, pray!
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV)
Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in all circumstances. This is God’s will for us!
My kids and I were recently visiting family. Upon leaving, we discovered quite a bit of snow had fallen and we had quite a steep driveway to navigate. Naturally, I started asking God to help us make it up the driveway and arrive home safely. After many attempts, we finally made it to the top and we all cheered loudly, thanking God for delivering us from the icy driveway!
“God helped us up the driveway!” I exclaimed. “We prayed and asked Him to deliver us, and He did. God always hears our prayers. He is our rescuer!”
My enthusiasm was contagious, and it was real. How awesome it is to point out God’s hand of provision in our lives. I wanted my kids to recognize the connection. We didn’t just ask God to help us, He did! He answered our prayer, and we praised Him for His provision.
What a blessing it was to my heart to be able to share on my Facebook page this little conversation I overhead:
Becoming a praying family starts with us as parents; it starts with me, and it’s never too late to start!
Question for You:
How do you cultivate prayer in your own life and in the lives of your kids?
Resources for You:
Ideas for creative ways to pray together: I’m writing over at “For the Family” today, sharing some of the ways we try in our home to be consistently praying for others.
Blessing My Kids While Mama is Away (with a link to blessing to pray over our kids when they are afraid)