Stiles, R Todd
Do you typically spend more time praying for your kids or playing with them? I think I already know your answer. Nothing wrong with playtime, but what about pray time? I think the secret to consistent prayer for our kids is tied to our everyday routines. The more we inject our group members’ hard-to-remember prayer concerns into our easy-to-recall habits, the more we’ll actually pray for them. Try these ideas.
one-a-day letter vitamins
Assign a letter to each day of the week. Then, each time you see a calendar, pray for group members whose names begin with that day’s letter. Let’s say Wednesday is your HP” day. As you walk past your refrigerator and notice the
magnet calendar from your local bank, whisper a prayer for Pete. Or as you drive by the bank and see the electronic date/time/temperature display, breathe a prayer for Paula. Or when you open your daily planner, talk to God about Patrick.
Dress for success
is you get dressed in the morning, use your wardrobe as a prayer reminder. When I pull on my Asics (a popular wrestling shoe), I pray for the wrestlers in my group. On the days I wear a suit or tie, I pray for the kids whose parents are executives. When I’m standing in front of a mirror shaving, I pray for kids who are driven by appearance and image. When I notice how fast my body is falling apart, I pray for kids who don’t measure up to the “cool kids” because they’re too fat, too skinny, too short, or too tall.
I’m not a heretic, so hear me out. Let’s say you’re watching a Date/line segment about a guy named Michael who, after his mom and dad split up, must endure abuse from both parents and has no one to turn to. As you watch, pray for the “Michaels” in your group, kids who are in abusive settings, or kids who are dealing with divorce.
Other ideas: When you see commercials for local businesses where your kids are employed, pray for them. As you watch news coverage of your surrounding area, pray for group members who live in those towns or suburbs.
Whether you’re driving to work, running an errand, or taking a walk, you pass community (not necessarily historical) landmarks all the time. And those landmarks can spur you to pray. For example, when you pass a school, pray for the kids in that school. When you see a ball field, pray by name for the athletes in your group. If you see a restaurant, pray for kids who have after-school jobs or who work at that site. On my way to work, I cross a bridge that overlooks my city. Each day as I drive over this bridge, I ask God to give me a love for my community. I pray that the people in my community would respond to Christ’s pursuit of them.
My family prays for my group members each night before dinner. We ask each of our children to pick a teenager and pray for that person. We often help them decide by linking our main entree with particular teenagers. For example, if we’re having lasagna, we ask, “Who in the group loves lasagna or Italian food?” Then my little Bethany or Brett will pray for those kids. Or we’ll match the first letter of the food (in this case, an L) with someone whose name begins with an L.
Music is a powerful force in kids’ lives-they listen to it an average of two hours a day, according to Barna Research. Chances are, because you work with kids, you’re also a music listener. So use music as a reminder to pray for them. For example, if you’re listening to the latest Chris Rice CD while you’re doing the dishes, pray for all the kids named Chris in your group. Think about the subject of a song, then pray for kids who are struggling with that issue or need what the singer is celebrating.
Certain words in songs can remind you to intercede for aspects of your ministry. Any time I hear the word “mission” in a song(and it happens more than you’d think), I ask God to give us grace for our upcoming mission trips as well as for the leaders and young people involved.
Obviously, you can create your own prayer reminders that overlap with your unique habits. As you connect your life’s routines with your heart’s concerns, praying becomes a way of life–a “without ceasing” attitude from sunup to sundown!
Copyright Group Publishing, Inc. Jul/Aug 1999
Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved.