I allow each of my boys to pray at night as they are lying in bed. My youngest boy is three and my oldest is five. The youngest one usually prays and his older brother then follows.
At first my youngest boy didn’t want to pray because he was embarrassed. He didn’t pray like his older brother, and I think that made him self-conscious However, I encouraged him without any pressured expectations, and he started to pray now and then.
One night, my youngest son jumped into praying. He prayed for juice, toys, cookies, popcorn, etc. I could hear my oldest son snickering under his breath. When my youngest son said, “Amen,” I kissed him and went over to my oldest son’s bed.
I whispered in his ear, “You used to pray like that. He will get better and better as he practices. Let’s not make fun of him, okay?”
My oldest son looked grave and shook his head in agreement. He then prayed his prayer with confidence. He asked God to bless our family and protect us while we slept. I kissed him goodnight, turned off the lights and shut the door behind me.
Prayer is often so misunderstood. There are people who can pray all the pretty religious phrases and others who are straightforward. They are all beautiful as long as the motive is right. What is the motive of prayer? To speak to God.
We have an amazing line to God, and it takes time to get the hang of it. We must not beat ourselves up if we feel like we didn’t pray right. God hears the heart, not the words. The only way to get better at talking with God is to practice – practice makes perfect!
Do you feel like your prayers are hitting the ceiling? Be honest with God, and He will meet you where you are at. He wants to communicate with you more than anything. How can you save time for him every day? What could you take out or move in your schedule in order to put praying to God as priority?
And just remember that when there are no more words, the Holy Spirit prays on your behalf!
“Father, help us to seek You every day. We know that it takes work to forge an intimate relationship with You. Put a passion in us that seeks to know You more. We pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.”
“I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours” (John 17.9 NIV).
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