praying for your children {part 2}

June 19, 2013

I apologize for the extended gap between part one and part two.  Summer happened.  I am slowly realizing that I cannot actually work part-time, mother full time, feed children, keep a somewhat clean house (and I use that term "clean" loosely), chauffeur 3 kids, and maintain two blogs.  What made me think I could accomplish all that?!  I just have not figured out yet what is going to have to go!  Probably the somewhat not so much clean house!

Onto to the post though...

I wanted to offer a few more tips for praying more effectively for your children:

Keep a prayer journal. I have found it so useful to keep a journal of the things I pray for my children. When I feel discouraged, I can look back and see God's work in our lives.  It is hard to remember what we were praying for a year ago.  The journal always reminds me how God does answer our prayers in HIS own ways and times.

Some people keep one journal for each child.  The advantage of that is that you can look at the prayer needs and changes over time for each individual child in one place.  Also, someday you could give that child his/her prayer journal (on their wedding day or at college graduation) so they can see how you covered them in prayer throughout their childhood. Wouldn't that be such a great gift?

I found having that keeping separate journals for each child is overwhelming so I keep one for now. I do think that someday when my children find my prayer journal long after I am gone, it will be a treasure for them.

A prayer journal also keeps me accountable.  I fall into and out of the habit of daily prayer for my children.  But if I write things down in a journal, it is more likely to get done (kind of like a spiritual to do list!)

You can download some free printables to make a prayer journal here.  Or you can buy some good ones at this Etsy shop or this Etsy shop.  They both have great personalized prayer books and journals for Mom and kids.  Click on the photo to link to the shops.

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Team up with others to pray.  I recently faced a very serious situation with a child and I was praying my heart out daily about it.  Then I read somewhere that if prayer wasn't seeming to make it better, invite two other Moms to join you in praying for that issue.  I asked two Moms who love my child and who I KNOW would pray everyday for the situation.  I even told them exactly what I wanted them to pray.  I asked them to commit to 3 weeks of prayer over said child.  Things have definitely improved.  I am not sure if they prayed every single day but I know they helped me reach God regarding this problem.  And those Moms asked me to pray for their intentions too.  We have helped one another in our prayer needs.

Another way to team up to pray is to host a gathering to pray for your children.  I have done this at our church (many years ago).  You can do this at your home or at a church.  And there are many ways to proceed. There is even a small chapter on how to do this in The Power of a Praying® Parent Book of Prayers (Power of a Praying Book of Prayers) by Stormie O Martian. When I helped organize it it at our church, we gathered in a room and went around the circle with a prayer intention for one child each.  People brought a photo of one child and very briefly explained the prayer request.  We usually relied on Stormie O'Maritan's book for the prayer or the parent or a leader led us in specific prayer for each child's needs.  It was a beautiful experience to pray with other Moms for our children. For where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them.  Matthew 18:20

Speaking of gathering others to pray, I host a healing rosary each week in my home.  It started out to pray for a very dear friend and her cancer battle but it has grown into much more. Yesterday, Kate (my 7 year old daughter) joined our group for the first time.  She had never prayed an entire rosary before and she was very excited.  I briefly explained to her, that I would open with a prayer and ask for everyone's prayer intentions.  She stopped me there saying she had a list in a book.  I had no idea what she was talking about.  I had never given her a prayer journal.  She ran upstairs and came down and sure enough, she had one (from VBS last week).  She read the opening page to me. "When prayers go up, blessings come down."  Then she turned to her prayer list and it said, "Harry (her brother), Libby (one of her best friends) and some of my Mom's friends."

So, Kate prayed a beautiful rosary with my friends yesterday and she proudly offered those three intentions just as gracefully as my 40 something year old friends do from week to week.  And it was then that I realized how praying for our children does way more than I thought it did.  It also provides an incredible model for our children to be other oriented and to pray for those in need.


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Up next on the Nurtured Home...Summer FUN and strategies for staying sane.
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