Every night when the kids go to bed we pray with them. Most of the time it’s just us doing the praying. Sometimes Asa will whisper the prayer from his Bozdvd’s. But usually it’s a solo. So, I try to use this time to model how I want them to pray.
For example, when I picked Lydia up from school yesterday, she got in the car and said, “I got a strike.” Then she immediately started sobbing. Getting a strike is a bad thing in kindergarten. If you get 3 strikes, a note is sent home. Lydia was talking when she wasn’t supposed to and her teacher gave her the strike. She was devastated.
But it gave us some really good talking points. We got to talk about disobedience, picking the right friends (4 of them got a strike at once!), talking to Mommy, learning lessons and more. That night when we prayed I said something like, “God, thank you that Lydia told us right away about her strike. Help her remember what this feels like. Holy Spirit, I ask that you remind Lydia to be obedient at school and to help her stay self-controlled.” It was much better than me scolding her and it was a sincere prayer from a parent to Father God. It also modeled what her response should be from that situation.
I ended the prayer with what I pray every single night: “Lord, I pray Lydia would love you more and more every day.” It’s just a simple phrase. It’s not based on scripture. It’s nothing profound. But really, it is my true desire: that my kids wouldn’t just BE better or DO more, but that they would just LOVE Jesus more and more every day. (Do you know how many heartaches that would avoid? Problems that would keep them from?)
I don’t pray that little phrase because I think it’s a magic phrase that needs to be repeated in order to work (see my prayer post from Day 1!), I pray it because when Lydia and Asa do pray by themselves, I want them to pray the same thing, “O God! I want to love you more and more every day!” I want that prayer to be their desire.
It was my pastor who gave me the idea. He said he prays out loud the things he wants his kids to pray. And as the years went by, he began to hear his children pray the same thing he had been praying over them every night.
This modeling and repetition will get into their hearts and minds. And soon, it will come out of their mouths.
What can you start praying and speaking over your kids? So that one day they’ll say the same thing?
Resources for you:
How To Use Repetition as a Fun and Effective Tool To Teach Our Children by Kat from Inspired to Action
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. by Mandi from Cumming Local
5 Tips on Prayerful Parenting from Mark Batterson