Thursday, December 27, 2012

Pray deeper for your children

Mr. Steady and I have prayed for our children since before they were born. We feel we cannot parent without prayer.
Over the last few months, we have both felt it impressed upon us to deepen and expand our praying, to pray more specifically and to have our children hear us praying specifically for each of them. Pretty simply put- we both believe that in order to grow and raise prayer warriors you must become one yourself.

For many years I have daily used Lisa Whelchel's book The Busy Mom's Guide to Prayer. I love the extra pages tucked in the book for my own specific written prayers. I love that in approximately a ten minute time period I can specifically pray for myself, my husband, my children  and the world around me. This  book sits on my bedside table with my Bible and my Power of a Praying Wife prayer cards and is used daily.

Tucked in my Busy Mom's Guide to Prayer is a bookmark I was given many years ago when I was in MOPS- 31 Biblical Virtues to Pray for your Kids. I pray one or two each day.

A few months ago a friend let me know about a great prayer book for parents that was (at that time) free for Kindle users. I love me a free book.
It's a serious quick read too... so much so that you read it again to let it all soak in. Then you go back and highlight. And you read portions out loud to your husband.
And you spend more time talking about the ideas in the book than it took you to read the whole thing.

If you aren't sure how to pray for your children- this book is for you.
If you pray for your children but want to step up those prayers- this book is for you.
If you have children...
If you pray....
This book is for you.

It's a $1.99 Kindle download right now.
It is so worth the 2 bucks. So worth it.
If you're not so sure- you can download the first chapter for free.
Do it.

Don't have a Kindle or prefer a book that has real pages to turn... pages you can write on?
That's only 99 cents more for the real deal in your hand.
Worth it.

It's a quick, meaty read.

Yes, there are pieces that you're nodding your head like you know all that already but are glad for the reminder. And then there's the parts that knock you upside the head like a V-8 moment.

Mr. Steady and I have always prayed specifically for our children. The bookmark I mention above that I use daily is very similar to this list below (written by the same author) This one is downloadable!:

We love that it's 31 prayers- that's one specific prayer a day for a whole month. We love how it highlights specific character traits. When we are having to deal with issues with these particular character traits, this is a handy reference of specific scriptures to pray.

We have also been specifically praying for our children's future spouses for many years. Recently, however, we have both felt challenged to pray even more specifically for other areas of their lives. We see the character traits we want to continue developing in our children as well as the bad habits and traits we want to nip in the bud. Mark Batterson's Praying Circles book has helped us flesh out some very specific prayers and prayer habits we want to begin creating.
In his book, Batterson shares 5 prayer circles, complete with real parent stories. He challenges
parents to create a prayer legacy for their children. He shares of creating prayer lists that are specific and unique to your family, of praying not only for your children but through your children. The ideas in the book are both simple and revolutionary. We love how he speaks of praying not only defensively but offensively; of not just praying for your children to not do something but to lengthen your prayers with what you'd like to see them do instead of the "no-no".

This book couldn't have come at a more appropriate time for us-- what with Ms. Books turning sixteen and all.... we decided after our first read through of the book to create a prayer poster for our oldest daughter (based on the ideas from Chapter 5). I'll share more about that prayer poster in another post but the idea of it rocked Mr. Steady and I. We began praying in earnest for God to help us highlight specific character traits we see and we want to develop and encourage in our children. Because we have become so very specific in our prayers, God has opened our eyes to more and more daily opportunities to pray these special prayers into our children. And often this nudging towards prayer comes at times when I, myself, need to step back the most... times when I'm about to lose my cool and become radioactive.

As we have changed our prayers to being more open and spoken aloud in front of our children, we have begun to see our children pick up on this and join our prayer circle- praying more specifically not only for themselves, but for each other. Our prayers have made us more compassionate towards each other.

And that can never be a bad thing.

Do you pray for your children?
If so, please share in the comments how you pray- let's encourage each other!

NOTE: If you've enjoyed this post, you may be interested in this post about creating a prayer poster for your child.


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