Last week I was talking to a fellow Mom who has three young kiddos (she’s still squarely in the sleeping deprived season of motherhood) and she mentioned that she always feels like maybe she isn’t praying for her children “enough” and or the “right way.” One thing I hope she took from our conversation is that there is no “right way” when praying for our children! Thankfully the Lord does not hold a quota over our heads when it comes to prayer. That said, I have learned a few helpful ways over the years to make sure I’m praying for my kiddos, our home, my husband and our ministry! So many things to pray about! Thankfully sky is the limit on when and where we can spend time in prayer. Here are some of my favorite:
1. The Traditional Method: I’ve talked before about my Prayer Card that I write out each year on an index card. (You can see how I’ve broken down my prayer categories here) And a lot of the important aspects of my life are included on this card, including my kids. Their names, and then next to their names the important things I want to pray for each of them: Salvation, Friendships, Schooling are tops, as well as Relationship with Jesus (for the ones who’ve already given their life to Jesus), but other topics that have crossed my prayer card categories in past years have been been Health and our relationship with them (when things have been rough).
By giving a broad category, it reminds me of the importance of keeping the “main things” the main things. I want to pray for my kiddos and not to get so caught up in the weeds of the day to day, which can end up being overwhelming rather than beneficial prayer time.
Having my prayer card in my Bible allows me to pray over these things each day when I’m having my time with the Lord. I’ve seen this be helpful in praying for my husband, job troubles and ministry issues. Having simple bullet points of prayer concerns, literally *points* me to what is important.
2. Clean up, Clean up! Even though my kids have been taught to clean up their own messes I still spend 99.9% of every day moving items in our house from room to room.
“Oh, this piece of mail needs to be on my husband’s bedside table so he’ll see it!” “I should take these towels to the kid’s bathroom!” “This water glass in my bedroom needs to be taken to the kitchen!”
I kid you not, I can walk 10k steps in a day just moving things around my house. But, what better time to pray!? I’m trying to be more intentional in the idea of ‘praying without ceasing” so by trying to remember that tidying my house can also be a time to pray over our family is a good way to practice. Folding laundry, making beds, driving to work...these are all mundane tasks that can call us to prayer if we let them!
3. Food for the Soul: Speaking of mundane tasks: I hear that some of you out there have your kids make their own breakfasts and lunches...wow! Teach me your ways! But even those lucky ones, are still making at least ONE meal a day. For me, a great time to pray is while I make dinner. I save my kids magical screen time for 4:30pm every day so I can make dinner in peace. This is a great time to pray for me. Then when my hands are busy, my kids are quiet and most of the day is behind me! It allows me to pray over the concerns and cares the day has already afforded.
4. Walk it off: This is a newer thing for me, but I talked about it on one of our recent podcasts. But prayer walking really DOES work!
During COVID quarantine my kids and I started taking daily sanity walks on nature trails all over our city. Things have changed over the months, but our daily walks haven't gone away ! Now even on days when we can’t drive somewhere, I’ll often leave my kids playing (morning is always their happiest time of day) and I’ll walk up and down in front of our house. I’m so grateful I’m finally at a place in parenting where my kids are old enough to be left in the care of a 10 year old while I’m still in yelling distance.
As I walk, I am much more focused in my prayers. I’ve started picking a different person/topic to pray over each pass of my house. Meditation is motion!
5.Seasons of Change: This last one I got as an idea from the podcast Glorious in the Mundane a year or so ago and I’ve loved incorporating it into the intentionality of prayer and preparation in our home. She was sharing how she would pray over their home, their family and those they entertained in it as she decorated for Christmas. I took this a step forward because I basically decorate for *every* known holiday ( I actually made up a new holiday this past May because I was so desperate for new decor during Quarantine!).
But even if you aren’t like me, but you are prepping for the start of school...sorting through books, sharpening pencils, getting study areas ready in your home- use that time to pray over the little hands who will use those pencils! As you put up fall pumpkins (that’s soon right? Am I jumping the gun, again?) pray for those who will see them. As we put new wreaths on our front doors, pray for those who will pass through the door. We can use these natural segments of time to take time to pray!
I hope these ideas help to loosen up your own idea of how we can incorporate prayer into our everyday lives. Hopefully some of my tips have given you your own ideas of when to add more prayer to your routine. Now, make a plan and try it out! I can’t wait to hear the ways you’ve found to add prayer into your own day!