In the first edition of the “Thankful Mommy,” I talked about rejoicing always. In this, the second, I want to build on that and bring to mind one of the greatest tools we have as moms, prayer.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
There is something so powerful and so comforting about knowing we can go straight to God in prayer about anything, at any time. What a privilege that is! And even more that He wants us to come to him.
“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”
Just as we would want our children to come to us with anything that is in their hearts to share, be it joy or sadness, success or failure, our Heavenly Father wants that connection to his children too. That’s why He reminds us so many times in His Word to pray! That’s why so many times in the gospels we see Jesus retreating to the Father in prayer. That connection is essential for life and renewed strength.
For some reason, however, in our busy lives, prayer seems to be the last thing we remember to do. When we are already so frustrated or discouraged we don’t know where else to turn, then we pray. What if prayer was the first thing we went to, instead of the last resort? For me, prayer has become my greatest asset in the daily routine of trying to be a God-honoring mom to my boys. It is how I have kept my sanity and my patience when I wanted to lose it, and has helped me stay focused on my ultimate goal of letting my family see Jesus through me. I am getting better at making prayer my first line of defense instead of my last resort. But it is always a work in progress. Here are some ways we can practice prayer as moms that I hope will help you and your children every day.
“In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.”
It makes such a difference when the first thing we do after we wake up is to say good morning to God. We sing a sweet song they learned in Bible study and thank God for the day. We ask Him to bless everything we are about to do and help us to be pleasing to Him and share His love throughout our day.
Pray when it’s good.
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.”
Some days are just good. Some moments so special that we have to stop and just thank God for His goodness. When little ones are being kind and loving and obedient, make it a habit to stop thank Him who is the source of all love. We might just say “thank you God for helping us be such kind and caring brothers to each other”. We might be out on a bike ride or walk and just thank God for His creation, His little gifts to us every day. We might sing a joyful song as we go about our day. Whatever you are doing, don’t forget to thank God for the sweet moments.
Pray when it’s bad.
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
On the other hand, some days just seem to start off with everything going wrong…maybe there is sickness, or fighting, disobedience, and tears. In those time we have to refocus our eyes on our help. We ask God to forgive us, help us forgive each other, and help us to be more like Him. I can’t tell you how many times in the middle of a tantrum I have just said “We need to stop and pray NOW!” And that’s just what we do. It is amazing how it can get us back on track.
Pray for others.
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
1 Timothy 2:1-4
Teaching your children to pray for others is so important. They begin to understand compassion and to look at others and try to see them as God sees them. I especially want my boys to pray with me for their father. I am so blessed in this season of life to be able to stay home full time with my little ones. I want them to see me thanking God for my husband’s job, and how hard he works to provide for our family. We pray for God to bless his efforts at work and keep him safe when he is away from us.
Also pray for other family members, friends (and even enemies), people in your neighborhood, city, country, and even across the world (such as deployed military, or believers in other countries). Whenever the boys and I see an emergency vehicle going by we say a quick prayer for the responders and whoever they are helping. Another idea would be if your kids are old enough to see or hear the news to pray for people involved in those stories.
Everyone could use a little more prayer!
Pray when they sleep.
“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
At bedtime we thank God for the day. We ask him for safety and security while we sleep. I remind the boys that we can sleep in peace because God is in control and always watching over us and protecting us.
Pray for yourself as a mom.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
I pray for help in the daily struggles to show patience and self-control, for the ability to show kindness, grace, and mercy to my children even when I don’t feel like it. Often times my prayer is nothing more than a quick “help me, Jesus!” when I feel my patience slipping.
But mostly, my prayer is that when they are grown my boys will remember seeing Christ through the way I treated them, my husband, and others around us throughout their childhood.
I pray that they will always know that mom’s love for them is endless and unconditional, but God loves them even more than me!
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
1 John 4:10
Pray for their future.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
No matter how little or how old your children are, you can always pray for God’s plan for their futures. I usually remember to do this one after they fall asleep and I am looking at their sweet faces. I am there in the quiet overwhelmed with gratitude to God for giving them to me. I ask him to bless them with health and safety, and that they grow strong physically, but more importantly that they grow in character and spiritually. I pray for their future success in school, career dreams, and for their future spouse. I pray that they become men who love God and others, who protect and care. I pray that God would keep them from temptation and sin as they grow into boys and men. My greatest prayer for them is that they would recognize their need for Christ and the salvation He offers to those who call on Him. I pray that they would love His Word and want to know Him all the days of their lives, and that they may be a light of hope to others that need to hear the gospel.
Praise God for His glory.
“Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.”
1 Chronicles 16:23-24
Just praise God for how good He is, how glorious and worthy of praise. We can never run out of things to praise God for if we just look around at creation and our lives. The one thing I want my boys to hear on a daily basis is how thankful I am to God for the gifts they are to me as my sons, and for the ultimate gift of His son Jesus Christ and salvation through Him.
Prayer doesn’t have to be a long, drawn out, or formal process. And it doesn’t have to just be about big, important things. You can share your greatest concerns and also your simplest thoughts with God. Prayer can be out-loud, in your head, alone or with others. If you are someone who benefits from writing your thoughts, try a prayer journal. That way you can go back and see how God has answered your prayers at different times. If you are a list person, make a top 5 or 10 things/people you are praying for, and top things you are thankful to God for.
Prayer is a ongoing conversation with someone you love all day, every day. Just like you might send a quick text to your husband to share something with him, say a word of thanks, or an “I love you,” send a quick word to heaven and stay constantly connected to the source of strength and hope for this journey of life.
Remember, moms, you are never alone. The same God who gave you these precious children is there every step of the way to listen whenever you need Him. So pray first, pray hard, and pray without ceasing!