Friday, January 14, 2011

Prayer time

I have been working to beef up our prayer time as a family.  I noticed a while ago that my own prayer life has dwindled to the cursory.  I also noticed—I am a little slow on the uptake—that my kids’ prayer life has always been relatively cursory.
So, I have been purposely introducing my kids to longer prayer time.  We have switched our prayer list to something more visual.  We took all our Christmas cards and cut them to size.  There is a dry erase board on which we add the photos and written names. 
There are times I fear I might just be boring the kids.  This causes me more concern in regard to prayer than it would if the boredom were due to something like reading a school book or increasing the chore list.  Prayer is a conversation of love between God and ourselves.  I don’t want to make prayer something the kids dread. 
But today I was blessed to overflowing—my eyes overflowed, to be exact.  My daughter and I were watching a really lousy movie with a philandering guy and she asked me to pause it to ‘discuss’ something with me.  She asked how would she know if a guy is a jerk.  It began a great conversation.
I still wonder at how we got from there to the most beautiful prayer I have been honored to hear my gal pray for her youngest cousin.  The conversation started with trusting parents’ perceptions when dating a guy because the parents won’t be full of hormones.  Then we talked about how important it is to be with a guy in all sorts of situations to see them handle stress, victory, women, crowds, and whatever else comes our way in real life. 
She said something that was so sweet.  “A man might want to marry me because I am pretty.  You are always saying I am beautiful, and a man might only like me for that.  But then I could get lots of wrinkles or have a baby who cries all the time and he will just leave because it would be hard.”  She nailed that, didn’t she?
I told her that it happens all the time.  When people marry for fun, it doesn’t last, since nothing in life is fun all the time.  And when there are kids involved, the damage can only be healed by Christ.  When children are left by their dads, there are many who wonder who can love them if even their dads can’t.
This brought us to our beloved boy, my nephew and my daughter’s cousin.  He hasn’t always been the easiest for her to get along with, but when she heard that his daddy had left him, her heart almost visibly swelled.  We continued to talk about how important it is for babies to have their needs met, how important it is for all of us to know we are loved.  When we don’t, we end up with problems.
She began brainstorming ways to help her cousin know how special he is.  I told her that she has great ideas, but this isn’t a problem she could solve with her own creativity or strength.  We needed Jesus to touch him and heal him.  Her lovely hands shot out before I finished my sentence.
Her prayer…goodness!  She is so articulate, so passionate and so insightful.  Her love is tangible and her faith is large.  She speaks with confidence that she is heard. 
I don’t know that our kids aren’t bored each time we pray together, but I think something is touching their hearts in spite of it.  Or Someone.

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