My need for prayer jumped off the charts when I became a mom. Sleeping dilemmas, separation issues, sickness, school stuff, and other kids’ influence—I needed serious help. As the size of our family grew and my desperation for God’s help increased, He taught me how to pray on the go. More than any book or expert advice, I have found prayer to be my most powerful parenting tool.
Drive-though prayer. We have drive-through banks, restaurants, and pharmacies. Why not drive-through prayer? When you drive through your neighborhood, past schools and friends’ homes, you can pray for kids and their familiies. My husband would intentionally drive past our children’s junior high school, and in the time it took to pass by, he prayed for the school. The time spent praying was less than a minute, but several times a week over the course of the 11 years our kids were there amounted to a lot of prayer.
Write it down. Like grocery shopping without a list, I have a hard time remembering what to pray about without writing it down. I keep a small notebook in my purse and a larger one in my living room to remind myself of how I can specifically pray for my family’s needs.
Double the effort. Commitments with friends—”I’ll pray for your kids if you’ll pray for mine”—have motivated me. I usually agree to pray for a particular length of time, such as a school year or sport season. Knowing that my friend is counting on me encourages me to keep praying.
By the book. “Pray-as-you-read” is another great method. When I read about Daniel facing the lions, I seek God for that kind of courageous faith for my children. Queen Esther’s confidence in God’s faithfulness becomes a prayer request for my daughters. Paul’s boldness is something I pray for my sons. In addition, I browse the Psalms for specific prayers: “Your word is a lamp to (child’s name)’s feet and a light for his/her path” (Ps. 119:105) or “Teach (child’s name) O LORD, to follow your decrees; then (he or she) will keep them to the end” (Ps. 119:33).
In the moment. Sometimes I do my best praying while I do my daily rounds: walking the dog, driving to work, preparing dinner. Occasionally, reviewing all the activities posted on the refrigerator door gives me the place to start. I think this is what the Apostle Paul meant when he encouraged us to “pray continually” (1 Thess. 5:17).
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