Truth be told– I used to pray and not really remember what I said or if I said it right. I was just talking to myself. But as I learn more, I find that God hears everything I think too! If God knows our thoughts, why not invite Him into prayer with us? He is on our side. Also, I thought, “Do I want to miss out on blessings and help while raising my kids?” Of course not! So I decided, when my daughter was in elementary school that every night we would pray before bed. Even though I made some bad choices in life and I felt I didn’t know how to teach her about Jesus, I didn’t want to try to raise her alone. Deep down, I knew prayer to the Lord is good.
Our first prayer together:
Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
If I should die before I wake
I pray the Lord my soul to take.
Somehow I remembered that from childhood! My daughter and I would say that little prayer and ask God for something personal, tacked-on at the end. Although I rarely gave God credit for taking us through one challenge after another, I began to see that God was in control of everything.
Our Second prayer together became The Lord’s Prayer (See Matthew Chapter 6 and Luke Chapter 11).
“Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread and
Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us,
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil,
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.”
This prayer became a favorite of ours at bedtime, as this is how Jesus taught others to pray.
Our ending requests became more personal like, “Please help me with my difficult appointments tomorrow,” or “Please help my friend not get picked on.” Starting with this prayer helped our minds and hearts get right by focusing on Christ and relaxing in His Peace.
When we demonstrate that prayer is important to us then our kids will also see prayer as important.
We don’t have to sound like a pastor; we just need to be authentic, even transparent, about our challenges so they see how we rely on God.
Keeping track of our prayer requests is a fun reminder of how involved He is in the business of shaping our lives. You probably figured out that bedtime isn’t the only time to pray but it is a good time to do it together.