Monday, November 24, 2014

For Things Eternal: Children and Prayer

Prayer honors God, acknowledges His being, exalts his power, adores His providence, secures His aid.

--E.M. Bounds

The men upon whose shoulders rested the initial responsibility of Christianizing the world came to Jesus with one supreme request. They did not say, "Lord, teach us to preach"; Lord, teach us to do miracles,'"or "Lord, teach us to be wise'". . . but they said, "Lord, teach us to pray."

 --Billy Graham

Someone is praying for you... someone is praying for you...

I rock my daughter to sleep on the well-used glider and we hear the strains together of the CD that is playing softly in the background. 

Someone is praying for you... someone is praying for you-

So the Mennonite choir sings and the words roll softly over and over-

And my daughter slowly nods off, her little head against my arm, her strawberry-blond hair still wet from her bath.

Then I place her gently in her crib and I see her little face all-lovely and peaceful.

And I pause a moment and I pray over my daughter while she sleeps. 

Later, I pause over my son and pray-

And then watch as his face smooths and he drifts into sleep, covered with the blanket of prayer. 

How important is prayer to me?

Because we live in a society that is so concerned, so consumed with physical safety - carseat placement, vaccinations, bike helmets, and the list goes on and on... 

But not so much with spiritual safety. 

And though no good parent would deny that physical safety is important, sometimes I have to ask myself honestly-

Do I care as much about my child's spiritual safety?

And I think that the answer lies in what we allow into our homes,  into our children's minds, into our children's hearts-

And it also lies in the emphasis that we place upon spiritual things - over the things that will inevitably pass away.  

So I think about something that my Mom urges my sisters and I to do - her words come again and again to my mind. 

Let your children see you pray... It's so important...

Let your children see you pray...

So I pray with my daughter before she goes to sleep - and I try to pray on my knees - so that she sees this - I want her little heart to grasp the idea of reverence for the Lord. 

And then I pray over her as she sleeps - for protection, for grace - that the Lord would draw her heart to Himself as she grows older. 

Because prayer is so important.

And I think of John Paton's father, his son a pioneer missionary to the New Hebrides, praying in a literal closet, for years - and his children heard their father's muffled voice and knew that he was praying for them. 

I think of another parent, a mother--Hudson Taylor's, who felt the Holy Spirit leading her to pray in a locked room until she sensed an inner peace that her son had become converted. Later, he would go as a faith missionary to China and begin a great work there - the China Inland Mission - going where others would not dare to go. 

Two parents - one a father and one a mother - two men - mightily used by God, moved through prayer - the means through which the Lord works. 

And so I pray - because I want to value the things that are important-

So I seek, through the grace of God alone, to pray with my children-

To pray for them-

And to let them see it when they can-

See me turn to God in prayer when I'm overwhelmed, 

When I'm tired, 

When I'm worried, 

When I see the beauty of His creation all around and praise Him-

So that they may value the things that are important-

The things that are eternal,

For the glory of God.

I share my posts with these blogs: Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth, The Modest Mom, What Joy is Mine, Yes They Are All Ours, Missional Call, A Mama's Story, Mom's the Word, Rich Faith Rising, Time Warp Wife, Cornerstone Confessions, Mom's Morning Coffee, So Much at Home, Raising Homemakers, Hope in Every Season, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Woman to Woman Ministries, Whole-Hearted Home, A Soft Gentle Voice, My Daily Walk in His Grace, Messy Marriage, My Teacher's Name is Mama, The Charm of Home, Graced Simplicity, Children Are A Blessing, Mittenstate Sheep and Wool, Imparting Grace, Homestead Lady, Deborah Jean's Dandelion House, Preparedness Mama, A Look at the Book, Essential Thing Devotions, Count My Blessings, Beauty Observed, Christian Mommy Blogger, Serenity You, Renewed Daily, Sunday Stillness, The Beauty in His Grip, Tales of a Kansas Farm Mom.


  1. Beautiful - praying for and with our children is so important.

    1. I'm glad that you visited, Jayne; the Lord bless you!

  2. Thank you for this beautiful blog. It's powerful for me and comforting.

  3. Wonderful post! One every parent should read! Thanks for sharing and writing this! God Bless You
    Haley Lillibridge

    1. Thank you, Haley; I'm glad that it was encouraging--God bless you, also. :-)

  4. Prayer is so important and I like how you say it is also important for our kids to see us go to God in prayer when we are overwhelmed, tired, worried, etc. If we don't practice this kind or prayer ourselves then how can we expect our children to learn it?

    1. Aimee, so true! This has been something that the Lord has been convicting me of--it is so important!

      God bless you, Aimee.

  5. As a mom and grandma I heartily affirm your words. Prayer is the most valuable activity we can have. It is so important to turn the hearts of our children to the Lord--and they learn by our example. Blessings!

    1. Carol, blessings to you, also; I'm so glad that you visited. :-)

  6. This is just so beautiful and important. Children learn what they see, you have reminded me of this and the need for them to see us praying and talking to God about all things. Thanks for linking up at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings to you and yours.