"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:4-7
Prayer... sigh... I just don't pray enough. :(
I ran across a wonderful blog, Bring the Rain, back in November and was so moved by her commitment to pray over her children 7 times a day. I was so in love with her challenge for us mothers to commit to pray faithfully for our precious gifts from God, that I forwarded her link to lots of friends. But, I failed to take on the challenge myself... instead trading the praying aloud over our children 7 times a day for the quick bed-time prayer that sometimes I fall asleep doing.
Yep... you read it right... I have this horrible habit of praying quietly in my head before bed, and then falling asleep in the middle of it. Ugh!
Quoting from Charles Spurgeon regarding praying while we are distracted, "Our thoughts go roving hither and thither, and we make little progress towards our desired end. Like quicksilver our mind will not hold together, but rolls off this way and that. How great an evil this is! It injures us, and what is worse, it insults our God. What should we think of a petitioner, if, while having an audience with a prince, he should be playing with a feather or catching a fly?"
How insulting to God that I go to His throne in half-hearted, half-wakeful prayers!
Romans 12:12 teaches us to: "Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer."
And, as we read how to put on the armor of God in Eph. 6:10-18, the bible instructs us to pray at all times.
Hmmmm... be constant... praying at all times... about everything. OK... I finally got it!! :)
So, I have taken on the "7x7" challenge. It is an honor to go before God's throne and petition for my children. God desires my whole-hearted prayers. I long for that close relationship with Him. And, how wonderful to pray His words over my children!
This week, I "personalized" the scripture by adding Caroline's and Ava's names and printed them out on card stock. Then, I told the girls ahead of time that I would be praying scripture over them throughout the day. They seemed very flattered and almost giddy about it. I prayed aloud over them when they woke up, when they ate, and when they took their bath, when they left the house and when they were going to bed.
The best part was that Caroline came downstairs and said, "Mom... I'm about to get dressed, will you pray over me?" Wow!!! She was so touched by it all, that she actually asked for more prayers! She had the biggest smile on her face and looked so honored as I prayed for her. What a blessing and praise to God!
So, I challenge you to the same thing: Go to Bring the Rain, personalize God's Word with your children's names... and run to the throne of God to petition Him on behalf of your children. You and your kids will be blessed by it!
And, I have to post Charles Spurgeon's entire devotional about prayer... it's just too good:
"But I give myself unto prayer."
-- Psalms 109:4
"Lying tongues were busy against the reputation of David, but he did not defend himself; he moved the case into a higher court, and pleaded before the great King himself. Prayer is the safest method of replying to words of hatred. The Psalmist prayed in no cold-hearted manner, he gave himself to the exercise-threw his whole soul and heart into it-straining every sinew and muscle, as Jacob did when wrestling with the angel. Thus, and thus only, shall any of us speed at the throne of grace. As a shadow has no power because there is no substance in it, even so that supplication, in which a man's proper self is not thoroughly present in agonizing earnestness and vehement desire, is utterly ineffectual, for it lacks that which would give it force.
"Fervent prayer," says an old divine, "like a cannon planted at the gates of heaven, makes them fly open." The common fault with the most of us is our readiness to yield to distractions. Our thoughts go roving hither and thither, and we make little progress towards our desired end. Like quicksilver our mind will not hold together, but rolls off this way and that. How great an evil this is! It injures us, and what is worse, it insults our God. What should we think of a petitioner, if, while having an audience with a prince, he should be playing with a feather or catching a fly?
Continuance and perseverance are intended in the expression of our text. David did not cry once, and then relapse into silence; his holy clamour was continued till it brought down the blessing. Prayer must not be our chance work, but our daily business, our habit and vocation.
As artists give themselves to their models, and poets to their classical pursuits, so must we addict ourselves to prayer. We must be immersed in prayer as in our element, and so pray without ceasing.
Lord, teach us so to pray that we may be more and more prevalent in supplication."