Terrell and I just had a long, fun weekend with our children. Since we’re spread out in various cities and states, we treasure the gift of simply being together. Nowadays, we have various devices that enable us to communicate frequently, yet the richness of sharing silly or special moments, listening and talking in person, or just knowing someone is ‘right there’ is immeasurable.
Before we said our good-byes, each of us shared something we’d like prayer for as we begin a new season. Terrell just began his second year of residency, Ellison and Carter are in graduate school, and Cecilia is moving to a new city to begin a Fellows program. We prayed for each other and hugged good-bye. An added blessing is that each of us knows our family is committed to continue to pray for each other.
This didn’t happen overnight. When our children were old enough to write, we began to share prayer requests with each other. I bought them spiral notebooks and we shared requests most weeks. We encouraged them to pray those requests throughout the week.
Yes, they complained, groaned, and wore facial expressions to match.
Yes, they said, “No one else does this.”
Yes, I’m sure plenty of days went by and they didn’t pray for their brother or sister—just because.
Yes, I second-guessed my effort plenty of times and wondered if this was a ridiculous idea and a waste of everyone’s time.
Time passed. And as it did, Terrell and I prayed for their young hearts to want to pray, to remember to pray, and to experience God answering our prayers in whatever way he willed.
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” (James 5.16)
Simple prayers like being able to sink the basketball into the basket gave way to more vulnerable prayers for friends, guidance about decisions, help with a challenge, or even help to overcome an issue within our home. Terrell and I participated, too. Answered prayers were celebrated. Some prayer themes remained for months, while others were modified from week to week.
Our kids experienced that talking to God on behalf of their family matters and is effective. God showed them this, not us. Most importantly, they practiced building a personal relationship with Jesus. As we lead our children toward the Lord, he meets them where they are and loves them.
Begin a new season with your family—share and commit to pray for each other.
Please prepare the hearts of our family to become more prayerful for one another. Lead each of us into deeper intimacy with Jesus. Amen.