“Lord, help me have a good day at school.”
“God help us to have fun today at soccer.”
“Help us obey our parents today and be nice to our brothers.”
Me, me, me. Us, us, us. Sound familiar?
Now don’t get me wrong, I think it’s biblical to pray for ourselves and the things going on during our day. There’s nothing wrong with praying for yourself, your needs, your children, your spouse or your problems.
But, if we aren’t intentional, our prayers can become extremely self centered and that is exactly what I noticed happening in the lives of our boys. Whenever we prayed before a meal, during family worship or at small group they were praying a whole lot for themselves and very little for others.
In an effort to help them think beyond their own needs we worked together to make a prayer jar.
I used tissue paper and Mod Podge to cover the lid of an old jelly jar. It would be beneficial for me to stop now and discuss my mild obsession with saving glass jars and repurposing them after all, recognition is the first step to healing. I digress.
Next, I sent out an email and several Voxer messages asking friends and family how we could best pray for them.
Sidetone: if you don’t have the Voxer app, download it now. It’s amazing for keeping in touch with people who are on the other side of the world. Hint, hint.
I typed all of those requests into an excel spreadsheet, because I’m nerdy like that, printed them out and cut them apart to go in the jar.
Now, before breakfast and lunch, one of the boys pulls a slip of paper from the jar and we pray for that specific thing when we say the blessing before our meal.
I don’t remember to do it every time but I try to be intentional to vox/text/email the person that we have prayed for just so they know we love them and are praying for them that day.
Of course, I spent a few minutes hot gluing twine and a scripture reference to the front of the jar but when you’re the only pink in a house of blue, adding a little frill to your life is a necessity. I’m confident the prayers would be just as effective with any type of container or old jar. =o)
I recognize I have a little more time to spend on breakfast and lunch because our boys are currently homeschooled. I know there are lots of wonderful mom’s flying out the door at break-neck speed trying to get kids to school by 8 a.m. (fist bump to all the women who manage to get their kids dressed, fed and out the door before 9. I have mad respect for you and still aren’t quite sure how you do it. Rock on ladies, rock on!)
If you don’t have that kind of extra time in the morning, the prayer jar could be used at dinner, family worship, bedtime,on the way to school, the ride home from daycare or any other time you have a few free minutes to pray with your kids.
I’d love to add your names and your specific needs to our prayer jar. So, feel free to comment and let me know how our family can be praying for yours.