13 Ideas for Making Prayer a Priority
Written by Trisha Pull
Raising kids comes with an unending list of things to do. As I cross one item off the top of the list, I seemingly add three more to the bottom. Amid it all, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s really important in my job as a mom – the things that never even make it on the list.
Regular, earnest prayer is undoubtedly one of the most important ways I can be a better mom yet, without intention, prayer can easily be neglected.
I Thessalonians 5:17-18 says pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. How, in the busyness of raising kids and homeschooling do I add continual prayer and thanksgiving to the list of things to do?
Here are a few simple, but effective ideas that have worked for me as I’ve sought to move prayer to the top of my priority list.
Start at the beginning
Before you get out of bed in the morning, start by talking to the Father. Consider these ideas::
- Begin the day with thanks for all that is ahead, even that which is unexpected.
- Ask for strength, wisdom, guidance for the day.
- Pray over a child by name – here’s a bookmark free download to print with ideas on how to pray for your children
- Pray for your husband.
- Worship. Tell God how great He is.
- Cast all your anxieties for the day ahead, on him.
If it’s hard to remember at first, put a note on your bedside table or alarm clock. Or, better yet, ask God to help you think of Him first thing in the morning. That’s a prayer He’ll be pleased to answer.
Pursue Uninterrupted Time
Some time ago I began asking the Lord to wake me in the morning to give me some uninterrupted time with him before the hustle of the day. Some days, I doze and pray in bed. Others, I head to the chair in the corner of my bedroom to sneak a few minutes of quiet, prayer, and Bible reading before the day gets moving. It’s a precious time. Worth the exchange of a little sleep. Give it a try.
Morning Time With Your Kids
We have traditionally had a time in the morning where we meet as a school to read aloud, complete group subjects and study the Bible. As a part of that time, we pray. This is a great time to pray for your kids, train your kids in prayer and give them experience praying out loud. You can also explore all the different kinds of prayer, like adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication and intercession by teaching and practicing these different forms of prayer together. You could even add praying for people around the world using Operation World.
Talk to God All Day Long
God is always with us so there’s no need to save concerns or prayers for a special time. Because His Spirit lives inside of us we can share our thoughts and needs with him throughout the day as they bubble up. For instance, you can ask God for help finding lost things, and, simultaneously teach your kids to do the same. My kids know my response to their request for me to help them find something is, “Have you prayed about it?” Don’t forget to tell Him thanks when you find it, too. My kids have frequently heard me exclaim, “Thank you, Jesus!” when we find something we’ve been looking for.
Pray when it’s not going well
When a kid is melting down over math, pray for them. Pray that you will have a helpful response. Pray to respond like Christ or just say (aloud or silently), “Help me, Jesus!”
Pray when it is going well
Give thanks when something works or you feel encouraged by your kids, husband or a friend. Give thanks for a problem working out smoothly and quickly. Give thanks for a pantry full of food and kids to love and snuggle.
Pray on the Spot
When someone shares a prayer need, whether it’s your kids, or otherwise, pray for them right then and there. It will bless them and you at the same time.
Put it on Your Wrist
At times I have used disposable wrist bands to keep prayer concerns that others share with me or that are of great import to me. When someone shares a request, I write it on my wrist. I usually tell them I’ll pray for them until it falls off. You can find the wrist bands here.
There’s something beautiful about writing prayer down. Even if it comes in brief, quick spurts, give it a try. Use your quiet time journal or buy a beautiful journal specifically for prayer.
We eat three meals a day with our kids. Before each meal is a great time to pause, reflect, and talk to God. It’s also a great time to model prayer for your kids and encourage them to pray out loud, too.
To make prayer at meals more fun and to help our kids engage in praying for people important to our family, we bought a pack of colored popsicle sticks and wrote names on them. When we met a new friend or missionary, we made a new stick and put them in the jar with the others. At each meal a child would select a stick and pray for that person. In order to make sure we prayed for all of them regularly, we had a second jar we put the sticks that had already been prayed for inside.
End as You Began
When it’s finally time to get in bed at night, spend your final moments of the evening thanking God for the day, praying blessings over your family and friends.
If continually communing with God in prayer is foreign to you, just choose one idea on this list to incorporate for the next month. When you think you’ve got it down, you can come back and add another. Need structure and encouragement to make that happen? Try this habit tracker from my friend, Melissa, to help you get started.
Remember, prayer is a gift, not one more thing to do. It unburdens us from thinking and acting like it’s our strength that gets the job done. It aligns our heart with God’s heart. And, modeling regular, continuous prayer teaches our children to do the same. I can’t think of anything better for myself or my kids. This November, put prayer at the top of the list, where it belongs, and see what a difference it makes.