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3 Everyday Moments

I will never forget holding my precious, beautiful daughter in my arms and tearfully confessing to my friend, “I think I’m a bad mom.”

At that moment, I meant it with my entire heart. She was my third baby in three years and I was exhausted and full of hormones. I felt like I would never be able to manage it all.
How would I raise all my kids? How would I remember all the appointments? Get my son to preschool and pick him up on time? How would I ever give them all the attention they deserve? Will they eat the right foods? What about allergies?! How will I find time to teach them about Jesus? What if I mess that up and they grow up not loving Jesus?  

The Best for Our Kids
We put so much pressure on ourselves to do it all and be it all. There are a million decisions to be made weekly. There are days when I have great intentions to have meaningful moments with my kids and family, but then I blink and it’s bedtime and I feel like the perfect moment slipped away from me without me even realizing it was moving by.

We feel this pressure and we often succumb to it because we love our kids so much. We want everything that is good for them.   But as a mom who knows and loves Jesus, I don’t just want good things for my kids, I want the best thing for them.  Yes, I want them to get good grades, have a solid group of friends, participate in activities, and be happy. But most importantly, I want my kids to know and love Jesus—that is the absolute best thing.  

Incorporate prayer
Teaching my kids to pray is a critical step in developing their relationship with Jesus, but with everything else going on in our daily lives, how do we make room for God and prayer?

How do we make room for what we know is important? The simplest answer is to stop thinking about how to make room and start thinking about how we can add those important things into what we are already doing.  

One misconception of prayer is that it has to be a formal, separate part of our day. But it doesn’t have to be this way!

There are a lot of things we can do to make prayer part of our daily life. We just have to be intentional about it and change our language a bit.
Here are three examples of normal, everyday activities you are probably doing with your family that can be easily turned into moments of prayer.

3 Ordinary Means for Intentional Prayer

1. Go on a walk
I remember taking my firstborn out for walks around the lake near our house when he was just weeks old, so proud and so cautious of the precious little bundle in our stroller.  Ten years and two more kids later we go on more family bike rides than walks, but we still love to spend time together outside. It’s often a time when we praise God together.

If you are walking or biking with your family, you are probably talking about the things you observe as a family.  “Look at that beautiful flower!” “It’s hot, let’s sit under the tree for some shade while we eat our snack.”  Instead of just saying those things, change your language to talk to and with God, and it becomes a prayer!

“Wow! God made this flower such a beautiful color!” “Thank you, God, for making this tree to give us shade on this sunny day!”

This is not a shallow prayer—it’s just simple! If you’re genuinely grateful for the flowers and the shade, simply direct that gratitude towards God! Praising him for his creation and goodness really is that easy!

2. Getting ready for the day
Saying goodbye to your kids in the morning can turn into a faith-filled moment if you take the opportunity to bless them. If you don’t have kids in school or daycare, blessing them in the morning is a powerful way to start your day focusing on what really matters. It’s never too early to start intentionally speaking good words over our kids!

You’re probably already saying something like, “Good-bye! I love you, have a great day!”  
Instead of leaving it at that, get on their level, look into their eyes, place your hand on their shoulder and say, “May the Lord bless you and keep you, may you feel his presence and love throughout your day.”  

This hardly takes any time at all and you are ensuring that your morning routine encourages connection between you, your kids, and God!  

3. Think outside the box 
Modern families are good at thinking outside the box and making things work in a non-traditional way. If we weren’t before, these last few years have given us plenty of practice!
So, consider other moments that you could incorporate prayer into your home. God doesn’t have a schedule for our prayer. He longs to communicate with us any and every moment of the day!  

I once spoke with a mom who was frustrated because prayer with her young kids was so hard. Dinner time was stressful, and by the time they got into bed, their overtired daughter was too busy melting down to pray.

She felt the pressure to pray before meals and bed, but as she described her bedtime routine, together we decided that she should try praying during bath time when her daughter was happy, relaxed, and not overly tired.

Jesus wants to talk with your kids and he wants to talk to you.

Raising Prayerful Kids, is filled with ideas to add prayer into your daily routine. With a little creativity and flexibility, family walks, the time before school, and bath time can be the beginning of a new prayer journey for your family!   You can breathe easy knowing that you can add prayer into your family’s life in a way that works for you as you turn everyday moments into faith-filled moments.