Sometimes we can spend a few minutes in prayer, and move straight into our bedtime story without anything seemingly significant happening or being said. On those nights, we believe the significant “thing” is simply the faithful prayers, and routines/rhythms of a home that values coming before God together. Even when parts of the prayer seem rote and automatic, we make time and space available for hearts and minds to be honest before each other and before God.
We confess: there are nights this doesn’t happen. (gasp) We’re not too worried about forcing a child who was sleeping in the van on the way home to wake up and have a prayer time. Or when mommy & daddy are wiped from a long hard day, we’ve been known to skip right to hugs and “good nights”. But more oft than not, the days close with a pause for prayer and conversation about what God is doing in our hearts and lives. If it does seem like the prayers become more repeating a few quick things without much pause for thought, we mix it up. Some nights we ask each daughter individually what’s on her heart and mind, and then a parent will summarize all of these things in one family prayer.
Our church is beginning another emphasis on prayer right now as a reminder. I’ve written before about the helpful reminder found in “7-5-2”. It’s not a magic formula, and prayer does not guarantee a healthy family/home. But prayer brings together hearts and minds in the presence of God, and when that’s done on a regular basis….it sure offers a great place for His Love and our relationships to grow.
Here’s a short video, where my hidden iPhone camera catches the unpolished prayers of our 5 and 6 year olds. It may help to know that we are adopting a daughter from Africa currently, our church is praying for a young woman named Mollie who’s been bed-bound for a while now, and our extended family were on their way to visit us that weekend…