Friday, January 29, 2010

Mommy's Prayer Journal

It's been a while since I have blogged. I am going to begin cutting back on Facebook so that I can focus on building a blog. Why build a blog? Well, I have always wanted to do this, if for anything, for myself. It's fun to just sit down and write what is on my mind. I can do that with Facebook but not to the extent I like to do it with the blog. There are many reasons more but that is the mean reason right now.

Today I wanted to write about a discipline that I started several years ago. I realized a few years back that I wasn't really praying specifically for my family. Bad thing when you desire your children to walk with the Lord but you need His help to get there. I found a solution that I love having with me at every meeting I have with the Lord.

I simply took a 3 ring binder and created a section for each person. They have a cover sheet printed on card stock and slipped into a slip cover. I also print their names in their assigned family color and include a picture that I think represents them well. :) I would place several pieces of notebook paper behind each persons name and then begin to pray that God would show me the prayer needs of each person in my family. As I prayed for each person and would read my Bible, the Spirit would lay scripture on my heart that I needed to be praying for a particular child or person (yes, I have extended this prayer journal to other people as well.) I would simply go write that down on the notebook paper included behind that persons name. Over time, I honestly had several sheets of paper full of prayer ideas, needs, and scriptures to pray over each person. Once I believe there is nothing more to add to each person, I go type it up with room to add more as the needs come throughout the year. After all this, the question of when to pray for my family came to forefront. Eight people is alot to pray for in one sitting. So I finally decided to assign days to each pray section and each person. Most days have two sections that I pray over on their assigned days.

One of the most important aspects of this prayer journal is that I assign a life verse to each child, something I believe covers the calling God may have on their lives. I have mentioned at times before that I pray specific prayers that are centered on the boys names taken from scripture. It took me awhile to find verses for my girls. I had to realize that the vision the Lord had for my girls was the same vision He had for me as a woman of God. Some of my children have very few things on their pages simply because it's not yet evident what some of their indwelling sin is going to be. But they ALL have a life verse that I pray and speak over them.

How has this changed my life and my walk with the Lord? Well, for one thing it's placed me in a position to trust God with my children. If I am asking God to save my children then I can trust that He will do that in HIS timing. Same goes for a particular sin they may be struggling with or a habit that needs to be formed. It even allows me to time to repent over ways that I might be sinning against them and asking God to change my heart.

Most important, this is my time to cry out for the heart and soul of each children. I have recently discovered a particular "fear" that I possess. I do not want to be in heaven in the end times only to look down and see my children (or any other family member) still here. . .LOST!!! Nothing brings me greater grief than that thought. As I grow deeper in my own faith and grow to understand the meaning of the gospel in my life, the desire to see my children saved and living this out in their lives is often overwhelming. As we sing at church, I am often overcome with the meaning behind the words we sing. Many of the songs are deeply gospel centered. I find myself not just overwhelmed with gratitude for what it all means for me, but I am often overwhelmed with a sense of prayer for my children and their lost hearts (or immature hearts as I believe that at least one of them is saved.) I want my children to grasp the meaning of the gospel for their lives. When that takes place, I want to see them walk faithfully with the Lord and reject the world that is calling them to live for themselves. I greatly desire to see them live boldly before the world in the name of Jesus Christ. But I can't get them there. I can attempt in my humanness to be a good example. If that is all I rely on though to save my children, then I am afraid they are hopelessly lost. I can't save them no matter how good I try to be or act before them. My own salvation is based solely on what Christ did on the cross for me. The evidence of that doesn't come from within but from what the Spirit does in me. So crying out to God for the souls of my children is of utmost importance to my role as a mother. If I do nothing else in life, I want to lead them straight to the cross. I can teach them math. I can teach them to read. I can even teach them to read their Bible daily. But all that means nothing in the scope of eternity if they do not belong to Jesus. I believe it my responsibility to beseech the Father to call them and save them and to do it as often as possible.

It is painfully obvious in my home when I am not praying for my family. Relationships between everyone seems to be strained. The days don't seem to run as smoothly as I would hope they would. It just seems that something is a miss. I don't believe necessarily in the idea that if I have a quiet time and pray then I will have a good day. I am wise enough now to understand that it doesn't often work like that. The enemy will often work harder on the days that I connect in greater ways with the Lord and than on any other. But what this time of prayer does set up for me is the opportunity to specifically cry out to God for help and wisdom in the area of my calling, which is specifically my husband, my children, and my home. And it allows me to focus during those harder times of the day on the issues of the heart that God has given me to pray over.

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