If your family calendar looks anything like most, those undersized numbered squares are bursting at the seams with music lessons, sports practice, school events and church commitments. As parents we wonder when our family life spun into such chaos. Can we reclaim an atmosphere of calmness and peace within these four walls? How do we shift our family norm from simply surviving until Friday, to thriving every week?
The secret is found in an unlikely place – an ongoing dialogue that weaves in and out of our busy schedules, mealtimes, and routines. It’s an intentional choice to include our Maker in all that we do, and to invite our children to join in on the conversation.
Prayer slows us down and extends time beyond its natural limits it feels. Our eyes are redirected up from the unending paved road before us, to the limitless sky above. Gratitude is exchanged for entitlement, and our worries melt away like popsicles in the heat of summer.
Start to see and experience the change prayer can make to your family life with these simple ideas. Look forward to hearing about your results!
Good Morning Song
Choose a song that reflects your prayer for the day as a family. Sing it out loud at the breakfast table or on the way to school, and be amazed how quickly your kids will remind you if you forget. Over bowls of oatmeal, we bellow out together, “In the morning when I rise give me Jesus… You can have all this world, give me Jesus”.
Popsicle Stick Prayer
Write the names of family members or friends onto popsicle sticks and place them in a mason jar or pail. Each time you gather around the table to share a meal, have your children take turns pulling out a name to pray for.
Hide it in Your Heart Art
Choose a visible place in your home to display a bible verse in a creative way. Read and pray over the words together as a family, until you all know them by heart. During the summer season paint a verse like this one on a pot of flowers, “He has made everything beautiful in His time.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11) For school-aged children, have them make a collage of pictures and verses, then laminate them to use as daily placemats.
Meltdown to Jesus
In the midst of a difficult moment, invite your child to express their anger, frustration or disappointment out loud in prayer. Teach your child that Jesus wants to hear from them no matter how they feel. Pray for God’s peace to come and calm them. What a gift to impart to your child at a young age, to help them face future struggles.
Sticker Map Prayer
Hang up a laminated world map in your home and attach stickers to specific countries. Make it a fun experience to pray for a sponsored child, missionary, family member or world event that matters to you and your family. As your child gets older, allow the map to be teaching opportunity about people groups around the world and how they live.
Bedtime Popcorn Prayer
Before the lights go out, take turns to thank God for the things you are grateful for during the day. Stick to just a simple one-line prayer, so that even a preschooler can easily participate. This can be a fun and spontaneous way to curb selfishness, and have your children go to sleep with a heart bursting with gratitude.