Here is a great word on praying for and with our kids from Kylie Kuykendall, who if you don’t already know her, is lots of fun and the life of the party, but more importantly loves Jesus and teaching her children to love Jesus! Thanks for sharing with us some great reminders as we pray for and with our kids!
Praying the Bookends
My childhood home had two large built-in bookcases that flanked either side of our fireplace in our family room. My grandmother used to look after us while my parents worked and I remember having conversations with my “Mah” about these decorative bookends that were on one of the shelves. “The adventure happens in between those bookends,” she would always tell me. Of course, she was referencing the various books that stood, held in place between those boundaries, but in my (overly) active imagination, I had visions of grandeur that the plots of the books were literally being played out in the space between the bookends.
Now, I’m an adult with two children who both inherited my (overly) active imagination. And when I was asked to put down some thoughts about praying for our children, those bookends kept coming to mind. Initially, I couldn’t figure out why, but as I reflected, I realized that we’ve fallen into a pattern of prayer in our family that mimics the function and fashion of those bookends.
Eric is generally the one who takes our kids to school and drops them off in the mornings. He uses their time together to pray particularly and proactively for their day ahead. He will target an event or classmate and will ask God to use our kids in very specific ways. Often he asks that they participate because we don’t just want to pray FOR them, we also want to pray WITH them so that they can see the fruit of an active prayer life. While we aren’t opposed to asking for general things like safety or good attitudes, we see their time at school as an opportunity for God to use our children to “shine His light” on their respective campus. We believe we are raising up soldiers in a spiritual battle, so we don’t want for our little warriors to only hear us pray defensive prayers.
My time to pray with our kids happens more during the afternoon or evening hours, specifically before they head to bed. During that time, we spend a lot of time thanking the Lord for His provision and protection throughout the day. Again, we like to try to pray intentionally and I attempt to reinforce the truth of Scripture by including specific verses along with the names of our children in our prayer. So, instead of saying something like “Thank you for protecting Karis today at school,” I try to say something like “God, I know Karis may feel like she’s hard pressed on every side, but we know that she’s not crushed. Karis may feel persecuted, but Your word tells her that she’s not abandoned. And while Karis may be set back or pushed down, You promise that she’s not destroyed. So, we thank You that You give us that the promise of that protection and we pray that You would continue to reveal it in very real ways in our lives.”
Our family prayers don’t follow any set formula, but as a rule, we try to use times of prayer WITH our kids and FOR our kids as bookends to our days…Because, after all, “the adventure happens between those bookends.”
So, what are ways that you pray for and with your children? Do you pray with them at certain times? How do you pray for them?