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I recently published a post …
entitled:The Problem With Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. (Read it here: http://bit.ly/1mjsp3K) I was absolutely shocked by how many views, shares, and private messages I received from other parents thanking me for opening up about this topic and the lessons I’ve learned along the way.
I guess it struck a nerve.
Since that wasn’t the only mistake I’ve made on this topic, I figured I’d write a second post.
Before I bare my soul again, let me first ask you a question:
When do you most commonly pray with your kids? Before meals? At Bedtime?
You might have an idea where I’m going with this, but before you jump to conclusions, let me first share a story with you. I want to tell you why I make it a priority to pray with my son before school. Every. Single. Day.
Kids who start their day in prayer …
are more likely overcome the temptations and stressors that will come their way. God tells us this in Ephesians 6:10-18. Believe me when I tell you, as much as we want to, we can’t shield our kids from drugs, alcohol, sex, and self-doubt. I’ve been on the losing side of the equation, and it almost killed me at the ripe age of 14. Kids are going to face temptation, over and over again. We have to prepare them for it. Starting the day in prayer is one way we do that.
I believe it’s my job as a parent to instill the right prayer habits in my son. I didn’t fully grasp this notion until a few years ago. It happened one morning when my son was getting ready for school. I could tell something was bothering him. When I asked him what was going on, he shared with me he was really nervous about a big test he had that day. I tried my best to encourage him, but it didn’t seem to help. So, we decided to pray about it. And just like that, his childlike faith took over and his test anxiety disappeared. He was ready to go on about his day.
I could learn a lesson from him.
The problem was, I couldn’t let it go. It wasn’t the test. He did fine on that. What bothered me was he hadn’t thought to pray about something that clearly bothered him. It was my fault prayer wasn’t my son’s first resort. Prayer was something we only did at mealtime and before bed. Though I prayed every morning, I never made it a priority to pray with my son before school. But I do now! I look at it this way: if I can help him create the right habits (putting on God’s armor) before he has to face the temptation of drugs, alcohol, sex, and self-doubt, he will have a firm foundation to stand against them.
Is prayer a priority
before school in your house?
If not, here are a few questions I have found helpful to get started. I like to ask my son Carter these questions before he prays in the morning. It helps him think about what he might face during the day:
- Is there anything happening today that you’re excited about and want to thank God for?
- Any classes you need to ask God to help your mind focus on today?
- Is there anything you’re nervous about, or afraid of, that you want God to help with?
- Are there any friends you want to pray for? Or do you need God to help you remember to be a good friend today?
- Are there any teachers you want to pray for?
- Anything about recess you want to pray for? (He’s usually good for a few requests for a few touchdown catches on the football field)
If we don’t invest time preparing our kids for the storms of life, we will spend it managing the consequences of a bad decision. It’s never too early to instill good prayer habits in our kids. Start today!
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