• Jennifer Hastings

Take it to the Lord in Prayer

Updated: Oct 8, 2019


“I’ll be praying for you.” A common phrase you hear in the south, but do people really stop and pray later or does it slip their minds?

Should prayer be private? Should it only be reserved for weddings, church services, and funerals?

A few years ago one of my friends helped me change my prayer life. We were doing what girls do, walking the fine line between gossiping and sharing our hearts with each other when she says…"Instead of saying we will pray about this or that later, let's do it like... right now."

Prayer became real and active in our friendship, not private. Now, we stop, drop and pray.

I’ve been trying to use that same logic with my own kids. If they are scared at night...instead of offering them my words of encouragement, we pray and give their fears to the Lord. I pray aloud for them. I want them to know, this world will always have troubles and we need only to take our cares to our heavenly father.

The first time I realized this method was getting through to Claire, she was worried about something and asked me to pray for her. My heart soared- she is listening! She sees the value and worth prayer can bring to her life.

Fast-forward a year and we are all hanging out in the living room when a clap of thunder rings out over the hum of the TV and living room noise. Everyone takes notice! My husband immediately starts for the front porch with my three-year-old strutting behind him as if to say this is man’s work. I will never understand the need for men to rush out to greet a storm.

Claire says,"Can I sleep in your room?”

“Are you ready to go to bed.. it is only 7:30?”

“Do you think this storm will turn into a tornado?” She asks biting the edge of her blanket and turning into a much younger child before my eyes. “Check your phone.”

I reassure her, “It is just a summer storm.”

“Mommy, will you pray with me?”

I open my mouth to begin praying when I feel God whisper, “Her turn.”

“You pray this time, just tell God how you are feeling.” I nudge.

I’m not sure what she even said, but what a blessing to my mother’s heart to hear her take her fears to the Lord. What a life skill! In the moment, in real-time, he is our good shepherd. He is the one to give us peace in all storms and seasons of our life.

As parents, we celebrate all kinds of steps toward independence, but learning to trust the Lord with your fears is radical freedom. You don’t quit having fears just because you grow up, they just change and get even bigger.

Praying is a profound mystery. I don't know exactly how it works, but I witnessed a panicked frightened child become calm in the midst of a summer storm. Somehow he comforts us when we acknowledge his presence and power in the world.

Follow these steps to help your child develop an active prayer life.

  1. Model prayer, it can’t be private if you want your kids to learn how.

  2. Encourage your child in the moment. Gradually let them take over part or all of the prayer.

  3. Be amazed! God has the coolest way of changing our hearts and attitudes through prayer.

What storms are you experiencing? Whatever the storm, try lifting your eyes off of the problem and onto your savior. Leave it with him and let him fight your battles.

Love,

Jennifer

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