Our church is starting a new Sunday school class soon on prayer. I’m very excited about it because it will be our first real attempt at a multi-generational class. The kids and the adults will be learning together and from each other. We tried once before but really didn’t have the right materials or the right information to make it work. Now we have both!
I’m also excited about the class because I love to learn about how to make my prayer life more effective. I’ve struggled long with carving out a good block of time in my day for prayer and I still struggle in that area. Some days it works out and I can get up and pray and read my Bible an hour before the kiddos wake up. Most days I just don’t make it up that early.
Recently I realized I needed to work with what I have instead of constantly trying to change myself or my situation to have the prayer time. I implimented a “Bible” time into the school schedule. So simple. Why didn’t I think of it before? Right after breakfast all of the kids and I sit down in the living room with our Bibles and read and pray on our own for about 30 minutes. (the two littles look at picture Bibles) Then we each take a few minutes to share with the group something that specifically spoke to us that day. The sharing part is optional but the kids are getting more in to that part as we make this a regular part of our day.
So I have seemingly figured out the morning devotional problem. So prayer is finished for the day, right? I used to function that way and wondered why, if I did my morning devotional like a good little Christian, was I still having rotten days? I Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to “Pray without ceasing.” Prayer should be on our minds and in our hearts all day. Our minds should be on our father in Heaven when we wake up in the morning and when we go to sleep at night.
I wonder how things would change if we could all really keep Jesus at the forefront of our minds all day long. I pray this prayer out loud to the children most mornings. But do we really do it? Am I thinking about my Lord and Savior when my oldest is dawdling (again!) over his math work, when I trip over my 5 year old’s train tracks, or when I catch my 18 month old throwing the bath toys into the toilet?
I read a book once called Lord, Help Meet Me In the Laundry Room: Heavenly Help for Earthly Moms by Barbara Curtis. She talked about how it is OK if you can’t carve out time in your day for devotional — especially if you are in the lots of littles stage of your life. You just talk to Him wherever you are and no matter what you are doing. It doesn’t have to be concentrated prayer time to “count.”
Hmmm… I’m not sure I agree with that any more. I had a friend tell my husband recently that she is in “deep prayer” for our church. That really touched me. Am I ever really in deep prayer?? I can think of one time in my life when I was truly in deep prayer. Doctors told me I should never attempt to have children. I set aside a whole hour every night for I’m not sure how long to pray on this matter alone. And this was in the midst of the craziness of college life. Guess what? I’m expecting baby #6 in August. And babies 1 – 5 are 100% healthy. Deep prayer changes things!! I am awed and amazed at the blessings being poured upon me.
So I issue a challenge to you and to myself this Lenten season. Take some time for “deep prayer.” Make it a priority. And then be amazed at what God can do!!
Blessings to you all!