i didn't even know what i was doing when i was doing it.
when i tuck my little ones in at night, i pray over them to have sweet dreams, for their health and their safety, and that they feel loved. when i started asking them at around age 3, "how can i pray for you?" i promised to pray for their sweet requests: to get along with his sister, to find a friend her age, to do better at math, that the butterfly will come out of her cocoon, for snow on Christmas. and when a firetruck blares by, lights flashing and ambulance sirens crying, we stop in our tracks, hold hands, and pray Jesus to the rescue.
but the other day, i realized my prayers are doing something more than petitioning God on their behalf and establishing my role as their praying Mama.
the other day, when my 4 and 7 year old saw concern come across my face, they huddled together, leaned in, and Big Girl asked me "how can we pray for you?" that's when i realized:
i am raising prayer warriors.
we were at an office supply store recently when an employee, an older gentleman, stopped his shelf-stocking to have a conversation with the kids. he asked their ages, told a goofy story about himself growing up with a big sister that got my kids to smile and giggle. he helped us find what we were shopping for, and then something on the shelf caught the man's eye. it was a large box for an expensive looking piece of computer equipment, but the box was empty.
"they stole it." he said. he was angry. "they do this all the time. come in, rip open a box and take it right out of the store." the man looked mad. frustrated. defeated. we stood there appalled, in the scene of the crime, the kids' eyes wide and mouths agape.
"we will pray for the person that's stealing from the store, right kids?" i said. they nodded in agreement and God's comfort washed over the three of us. but the employee looked confused. we smiled at him. yes, sir, we're going to pray for God to move in the heart of a sinner. and we did.
i am raising prayer warriors.
by being open and available to pray for their needs, by teaching them the all-powerful Word of God, by making prayer priority in our home, we're raising little prayer warriors! what an honor! something that i was doing that just came naturally - like singing the alphabet song or asking what does a dog say? - is nurturing in my children's hearts a desire to pray on behalf of their needs and the needs of others. by watching their Mama pray, my children are learning to develop an ask-seek-knock relationship with our faithful Father.
Lord, I'm so thankful!
Mamas, we are raising up the next generation of men and women of God. let's teach them the power of prayer! pursue the Word on their behalf and teach them to claim God's Word, to openly praise His holy name, and to ask for our needs according to His will! let's raise mighty prayer warriors!
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.