Monday, December 6, 2010

A House of Prayer

Today begins week number one of the three months of joy challenge! First up is prayer.
This challenge is based on Ann Voskamps Parenting Manifesto of Joy.

1. Today, I will make our home a house of prayer. I will pray at set times.
And I will invite our children to come move into an interior space that lives with God.
I want prayer to be a big part of my life and I want that to drench over into the lives of my children. I want them to see God. To feel Him. To know Him. I want them to see His power working in their lives. But, how are we as parents supposed to teach this to our children? By praying in front of them. By teaching them to pray over the little things in their daily lives. Not too long ago, my children wanted to see a bear in the worst way. Seeing as how we were headed into the mountains for a day apart, I suggested that they pray that they would see a bear. Each child bowed his head and earnestly asked Jesus to let them see a bear in the mountains that day. As we were driving along, they kept peering eagerly out the windows in high hopes of seeing a bear. (I said a silent prayer to the Lord as well, asking that He might show them His love today.) Towards the end of our journey, they spotted a bear! It ran right across the road in front of our car and stopped on a little incline on the other side to look at us! How great is our God?! The children and I were so blessed by God's answer to our prayers. You see, this is what I want for them. I want them to know God and His love. And I love to see Him answer their prayers.
I not only want my children to pray aloud, but I also want them to see me in prayer. Praying for them. Praying for the Holy Spirit to fill our home and our lives. I want them to know and to see that their mama was and is a person of prayer.
Yes, we pray at mealtimes. We pray at bedtimes. We pray at worship times. But do we ever just pause during our busy days, when things aren't going too well, bend our knee and talk to Jesus. Plead with Him to intervene and make our home a happy place? Do our children hear us praying over them, pleading with the Lord for victory in their lives? I think of our forefathers/mothers. Ones such as Susanna Wesley. All of her many children have fond and poignant memories etched in their minds of their mother praying for them aloud. I want my children to have that memory too.
And so, how do we really establish our house of prayer? Yes, we pray at all our usual times, but we also pray in our minds while we're folding laundry, washing dishes, scrubbing dirty little hands. And, we find a place within our home to make a special place for prayer. This is something I have been mulling over for some time actually. I want a place within the four walls of my home where I can stop and pray and draw strength from the Lord. This is my special project for the week: To find and make a special place of prayer within my own home.

Ann has a really good article on how to build a house of prayer:

I hope you will join me this week in making your house and home a place of prayer for you and your family! It's an exciting journey!

Also, head on over to Laura's to see what she has to say on prayer!

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