Praying with My Children, By TheMomCafe’s, Christine Carter

The Mom Cafe

Pray With Your Children

Every morning on the way to school, I pray with my kids.  They expect it, and they remind me if I am in one of those haphazard can’t see straight moments- because it means something to them.  You should hear the urgency in my son’s voice if we haven’t yet started our prayer halfway down the road.  I love that.  Oh, how I love that.


We have been praying together before school every morning for years.  I can’t quite remember when it became our “tradition”, but I know that we haven’t missed a morning for a long, long time.  Did I tell you how much I love that?  Oh, how I do.

It centers us.

It brings immediate peace.

It nourishes our hearts.

It fuels our day.

It frames our thoughts.

It focuses our perspective.

It renews our spirit.

It fills our souls.

 

With Him.

 

I often find myself repeating many things every morning, with the same emotion and passion as the very first time I prayed those words.  They are new every day to me, much like His Blessings and His Grace.  I seem to cover a multitude of areas in this Morning Prayer, and yet it never feels overwhelming.  I can sense my children drawing near to Him as my words are spoken and the car is full of His Presence.  They expect to breath in His Grace and pour out their gratitude.  We offer up our concerns and lift up those in need.  We realize our potential and value our purpose in His Will.  And most graciously, we ask Him to shine His Almighty Light through us, in us, on us, and always before us in leading us where we should go.

There is truly nothing more significant and more critical to my Motherhood Mission than these moments of prayer every morning in the car.   What could possibly be more important?

Oh, how this time in prayer is…

 

Precious.  Personal.  Powerful.

 

As we reach out to Our Creator of Heaven and Earth.

 

How I cherish knowing that He loves us just as we are.  A mom and her two kids offering up their blessings and their gratitude.  Praying for their teachers and their friends.  Asking Him to guide them and use them in His Plan.  Giving our hearts and our minds over to Him in surrendering to the One who knows us best.  Trusting that His Will is so much better than ours. 

 

And we rejoice in another day we belong to Him.

 

When do you pray with your kids?  If you don’t, then perhaps these ten minutes of our day will inspire you to find ten minutes of yours.  

 

Family-1

Chris Carter is a SAHM of two pretty amazing grade school kids.  She has been writing at TheMomCafe.com for almost three years, where she hopes to encourage mothers everywhere through humor, inspiration and faith.  You can find her at the following sites below:

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The Mom Cafe

Book Review: Praying Circles Around Your Children — by Guest Blogger, Crystal Scott Towery

 

Below is writer and blogger Crystal Towery Scott’s (http://agreateryes.wordpress.com) latest review, Praying Circles Around Your Children, By Mark Batterson — Join us at FB for a live discussion on praying for your children at: https://www.facebook.com/ShapingYourIdentityInMotherhood?ref=hl

I want to begin by saying that this little book will change the way you pray for your children. Mark Batterson says, “You’ll never be a perfect parent, but you can be a praying parent!” Praying Circles Around Your Children will help you understand how important it is to pray for your children out loud. Pray where they can hear you and you will be truly amazed at how well they will remember the prayers and the Bible verses you said during your prayer time.

The five prayer circles, Circling the Promises of God, Making Prayer Lists, Creating Prayer Mantras, Forming Prayer Circles, and Praying through the Bible, are explained in detail, and Mark also gives examples from his life and the lives of others as to how to best apply and use these methods. It is interesting to read how these approaches to prayer have changed the lives of many and how others witnessed prayer’s effectiveness taking place in peoples’ lives.

One of the suggestions Mark suggests is to make a prayer journal for your children. That means to write down the prayers you pray for your children, and when they graduate high school, college or get married, present them with the journal. This is something that I am personally going to start doing for my children. I have always prayed for my children but not like Mark suggests. It is time for a change for the better and I am so glad I read this book.
Mark also stated, “Prayer is the way we write the future. It’s the difference between letting things happen and making things happen.” I am ready to start making things happen in my home and with my family. That begins with prayer. Prayer for my children, prayer for my husband, and prayer for everyone.

If you would like to purchase this book, you may do so by clicking on the link at the bottom of my page http://agreateryes.wordpress.com or by visiting your favorite retailer.  I have a copy of Praying Circles Around Your Children to give away–just visit my site and follow the steps for a chance to win.

Crystal is an inspiring Christian writer and speaker, who loves serving God by helping others learn to trust and rely on God. Crystal states,”I love being able to encourage women to trust God and to truly listen for His voice in their own lives, but I know I cannot do that on my own that is why I let God lead me and give me the strength to be able to carry out His will for my life.” 

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” Philippians 4:13,  is Crystal’s life verse and lives by it.  Without the strength that God provides, Crystal on a daily basis, she would not be able to accomplish what God has called her to do.

Crystal is a stay at home mom with three daughters, Marissa 12, Rebekah 10, and Chelsey 7 and she has three stepsons, Aaron 23, Eric 22, and Daniel 20. She has been married for 14 years to Tim, and they enjoy raising their family in a loving, Christ-centered home. They enjoy family game nights, movie nights, and all other family activities and they enjoy monthly date nights, that allow them the time to focus on keeping the marriage alive. Crystal also enjoys co-leading her daughter’s Girl Scout Troop and leading the 1st and 2nd Grade Girls in Action group at her church. She is an avid reader of any Christian fiction, non-fiction and Christian living books.

If you love to read but don’t have a lot of time to explore what’s out there, check out my friend Crystal’s blog at:  http://agreateryes.wordpress.com

 

A Prayer for Your Child Tonight

I bet you love to watch your children sleep…I know I do. I love to pray for them while they are sleeping and sometimes I need some specific direction in terms of knowing what to pray. Tonight, I’m going with the prayer on teachability–a willingness to learn and grow taken from While They Are Sleeping, by Anne Arkins and Gary Harrell.

“Father, it is your own Spirit who teaches us through your Word. I pray that _______ would yield to your instruction. Please protect __________from developing a stubborn or rebellious spirit. May he/she be a spiritual sponge, soaking up your truth. Grant him/her a teachable spirit and heart. You are the giver of every good and perfect gift. Thank you that you want to give wisdom and instruction to my child.”

Recommended Scriptures:

“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good spirit lead me on level ground.” (Psalm 143:10)

“The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out.” (Proverbs 18:15)

“Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens…” (Daniel 12:3)

“Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”  (Psalm 25:5)

 

Do you have a prayer for your children that you has been on your heart?

Endurance: Do You or Your Child Need a Dose?

When I was a teenager, I had a bunch of  sappy posters with inspirational sayings taped up like, “Sail on to the end of your dreams,”  “Take your passion and make it happen,” from Flashdance, my all time favorite movie in high school, and many more sayings that I won’t bore you with. (Thank you Hallmark store for having provided the wall decor during that oh-so important time.)  But there was one poster hanging with a saying that we all know is true that I find myself thinking about, not only in my own life but in the lives of my children:  “Winners never quit and quitters never win.”  In layman’s terms: don’t give up.

Endurance: withstanding lasting difficulty.

There is a tough decision between the act of forging ahead or throwing in the towel, and again, each circumstance has its own factors that support either argument–only you as the parent can be discerning enough to know what a situation calls for through prayer, wisdom and personal insight and perspective from your own life experiences.  Wanting to bail out can present itself as an option in many situations that are challenging; there is no shortage of them.  There’s the not-wanting-to-participate on a particular sports team with a screaming, strict coach, challenging relationships, working for a poorly run organization, a disparaging boss, the list goes on in our lives and in the lives of our children.

We have all had those times when we are called to endure yet when it comes to our children, we want to protect them from hardship. I know I need to be careful of that line, for protecting might mean they don’t develop a character trait tied to the lesson of seeing something through with the realization that there are difficult and challenging people and situations in life, throughout life. The world is not perfect. Man is not perfect. The ability to endure has to be taught by pressing on and through. (And please know I am not advocating remaining in situations that are just plain inappropriate, hurtful, unjust or go against your values, ideals and morals. Again, you know what’s what.)

Where in your or your child’s life is God asking you to endure a difficult situation? If there is a place, let Galatians 6:9 encourage you: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will recap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Father, I pray that you would gently build endurance into ___________’s life. Give ________a heart that helps her to keep on pressing on even when she/he faces discouragement and is tempted to give up. (Adapted from While They Are Sleeping, by Anne Arkins and Gary Harrell, published by Family Life, 2010)

Recommended Scripture:

Endure hardship as discipline: God is treating you as sons. For what sons is not disciplined by his Father?” (Hebrews 12:8)

“And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way; bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience…” (Col 1:10)

“Truthful lips endure forever.” (Proverbs 12:19)

And finally, as we endure, “Let us encourage one another.” (Heb 10:25)

 

 

 

Praying Character Traits For Your Kids: Courage

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Courage: persevering with confidence in spite of difficulty, danger, pain or fear

The Cowardly Lion wanted it desperately. We saw him clutch his tail and wipe his runny nose, sobbing, often running and hiding during outbursts of weakness.   Expressing his fear meant that he was getting closer to unearthing the strength he believed he lacked but was hidden below the surface.

I think all of us have courage in the areas we lack, but sometimes, we don’t see it take root until we’ve traveled a long journey fraught with obstacles…only to discover that courage was there all along. Often, it’s the journey that gives us the opportunity and ability to put courage into play; otherwise known as God’s refinement process. If all our characteristics are ingredients contributing to who we are, and He is above us mixing them all together, He might be saying, “Hhmm, given what I am planning for your life and for eternity, and given I know all that will take place in your life and the plans I have for you, I think you might need more patience, or sensitivity or courage.” We can trust He knows how much to allow in our lives and what exactly is needed, for His purposes and plans are intentional and good. “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.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

For our children, courage may look like a lot of different types of things.  It might mean starting a new school and having to make new friends, getting up in front of the class to give an oral report, standing up to someone to defend another, speaking out against a wrong action to declare the truth, not following what the crowd is doing…there are countless examples of circumstances where our kids have to face their weakness and sometimes go through a refinement process in order to become stronger. And through that, we have to encourage our children to listen to the word of God, not the word of the world.

Praying for courage and endurance is a prayer worth praying. The practice runs may be painful, but will equip our kids with what they need for life.  And with God as our personal refiner, we can trust that He knows how much we need in order to achieve that oh-so important attribute.

“Dear God, build up _______ to become a person who is strong and courageous because he/she trusts in you. As he/she faces people or circumstances that will test his/her convictions, help him/her not to be paralyzed by them but to always remember that you are with her/him.”   (From: While they Were Sleeping, by Anne Arkins and Gary Harrell)

Recommended Scriptures:

“For my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2Cor 12:9)

“The Spirit helps us in our weakness.” (Romans 8:26)

“For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2Corinthinas 12:10)

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)

Praying Character Traits for Your Kids: Kindness

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A friend of mine says that we are imperfect people trying to raise perfect kids.

When I get hung up on the imperfections that I see in myself and in my children, it helps to commit those areas of weakness to prayer.

An attribute I like to pray for in my children is kindness (thoughtfulness arising from love).  It’s simply not enough for me to tell my children that they have to be nice or that they have to share. They need to see what that actually looks like in everyday life.

Each morning on the way to school, when we pray for our day, I illustrate examples so my children can hear ways of how they can give in their own school community and we talk about their ideas. I will pray that they would have an awareness of others and look for situations where they can help another classmate with a project he is struggling with, let someone from behind go ahead of them in line, pick up something that someone else dropped, keep a child company who is playing alone and/or ask the teacher, “what can I do to help?”  I can pray for more than a willingness to serve but a true desire to want to–even if it means they have to sacrifice their own needs for someone else’s. Helping doesn’t have to be a chore or a feelingless act but can bring genuine joy to the giver. There are loads of opportunities to do so, and sometimes our kids just need scenarios described so they can recognize the possibilities in their own world.  Of course, volunteering and serving is another powerful way to model kindness.

A guided prayer on this trait comes from the book, While They Were Sleeping, by Anne Arkins and Gary Harrell:

“Father, may _________ be willing to give of himself to help a person in need. May _________ not only see the needs of others but act upon those needs in a sacrificial way. Deliver ___________ from holding too tightly to his own possessions. Give him a willingness to share with others the resources he has.”

So the next time you see a trait or tendency that may need further development, try committing it to prayer and see what God does. He may just bring forth loads of opportunities to practice and “perfect” the very thing you’d like to see take root in your child.

Scripture References:

“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” (Hebrews 13:16)

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers…Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” (1 John 3:16-18)

“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)

“He who despises his neighbor sins, but blessed is he who is kind to the needy.” (Proverbs 14:21)