Sometimes I feel like I’m still getting the hang of this whole prayer thing. Especially when it comes to teaching my own children how to pray. My oldest son Brady and I pray together every night before I tuck him in. I also pray in the morning after I read my devotions and have my Bible time. The morning time prayer used to be my “real” prayer time where I talked deeply with Jesus, speaking to him about my worries, areas I needed to work on and the successes I was having in my life .
My evening prayer time with Brady was an entirely different event. There was a big problem with this prayer time. This prayer time was all about Brady. Yep- all about what I wanted Brady to fix or improve. Poor Brady. He really is a good kid. I just figured prayer time was a good time to tell Jesus how I really wanted him to be more compassionate or to practice self-control when his little brother was annoying him etc. I did praise Brady for the good things he was doing, but certainly, most of my prayers were about the things I wanted him to fix.
Yikes. Didn’t I want Brady to like Jesus? Didn’t I want him to think of Jesus as his best friend? Someone he can talk to about anything? I didn’t want him to view Jesus as standing with a clipboard in hand, checking off all of the things he needs to work on. No, Jesus is there to have rich conversations with. Not just to listen about what Brady needs to work on, but to listen to what is on his heart. To listen to his fears, his worries and to also feel his joyfulness.
Needless to say, my nighttime prayers with Brady have changed. Brady hears me talk about my own fears, share my own wrong doings and celebrate my own joyfulness in the Lord. He is learning that prayer is not just a time to talk about your sins, but a time to share everything you have in your heart with Jesus. It’s also a time for me to model that being a Christian doesn’t mean you are always perfect. I want him to hear how I, his mother, mess up daily, but Jesus is still my BFF.
Dear Paige, Remember you are trying to raise boys who will have a deep, meaningful relationship with the Lord. One built on love and not fear. Pray in front of them often, not just at bedtime. Show them the conversation is ongoing and that He is always there to listen to the good and the bad.
Thessalonians 5:17 pray continually.