WE VALUE FAITH — We commit to growing closer to God through prayer, worship and scripture.
I’ve never been more scared. After years of disappointment and two miscarriages our son Zachary was born. I wanted to be excited. Somewhere buried under the other emotions I’m sure I was, but my fear was much greater. I wanted to be excited but instead I felt helpless as my newborn son, born 14 weeks early struggled for his life. I wanted to pray, but struggled to find the words. There were no words. A few days later Michelle and I came into Zachary’s room and there was a little card taped to the top of his incubator. On it was these words:
Lord, bless this child with all the love that heaven can release
Send angels down to protect and surround this child with your peace
When danger draws near be always there to lift the fear away
Lord, give this child the strength and grace to do your will each day
These were the words I was searching for. The Spirit heard my cries and interceded just as Paul describes in Romans 8.
26 A similar thing happens when we pray. We are weak and do not know how to pray, so the Spirit steps in and articulates prayers for us with groaning too profound for words. 27 Don’t you know that He who pursues and explores the human heart intimately knows the Spirit’s mind because He pleads to God for His saints to align their lives with the will of God? (The Voice)
The Spirit, through the hands of a faithful nurse, gave me words to pray. Michelle and I have prayed these words over our kids every night for the last 7 years. We pray these same words together as a family every night before the kids go to bed. They are not magic. It isn’t some kind of incantation. This prayer reminds us who we are as children of God. It reminds us we are a family born in to, and forever surrounded by God’s immeasurable love and grace. No matter what happens over the course of our day, at least in these few moments we remember Jesus is our provider and protector and strength. Now we have changed the word child to family and we call this our FAMILY PRAYER.
In our family we value FAITH. One of the ways we express this is through our commitment to prayer. As a family we have found it helpful to build our prayer time around simple rituals. We establish consistent PREDICTABLE PATTERNS of prayer. We pray the Lord’s prayer together in the mornings around the breakfast table and we pray our family prayer at bedtime. We pray in other ways too. Establishing these two consistent times and ways of praying simply helps our family express this aspect of what we say we value. We will share more about the importance of PREDICTABLE PATTERNS later. In short, PREDICTABLE PATTERNS help us pray even when we don’t feel like it or when we don’t have the words. They help us trust the Spirit to step in and articulate prayers for us. We value FAITH so we pray. We pray and trust God is listening and is alive and at work in the world. We pray and our hearts and minds and actions align more fully with God’s.
[tweetthis]PREDICTABLE PATTERNS help us pray even when we don’t feel like it or when we don’t have the words.[/tweetthis]
How do you pray together as a family?