Are you feeling it? That slow tightening in your chest or in your neck? That sense of anticipation mixed with dread?
School is coming and pretty soon the demands on your time will be unbelievable, if not unbearable. You’ll feel pushed and pulled in every direction. And whether you have one child or six, you’ll feel the pressure from teachers, coaches, and maybe even yourself to get involved and help out.
Volunteering is great, I’m all for it, but it also requires us to think carefully about how we spend our time.
Think about it. We parents could spend our time in so many different ways from selling t-shirts to helping monitor the lunch room to tutoring a child in reading. We could probably spend every day volunteering at our child’s school . . . if we had time for that.
As I look back over my daughters’ elementary school days, I realize that the best thing I did for them didn’t take place inside the school.
It wasn’t the hours I spent helping out in their classrooms.
It wasn’t the years I spent on the PTA.
It wasn’t the days I spent chaperoning field trips.
No, the best thing I did for my girls was spent in my own living room on Friday mornings surrounded by other moms from their school.
The best thing I did for my daughters was to pray for them.
It started so easily. Someone told me about a group of moms who had been praying for the school—the kids, the teachers, and the administration—on a regular basis. Unfortunately, the group had fizzled out just before we came to the school, so I contacted Moms in Prayer (then Moms in Touch) and got the group going again. We met in my home for several years, and I made some of the best friends of my life in that group.
Here are just three ways that regular prayer benefitted our daughters, our family, and me.
1. Example. This prayer group spoke silent volumes to my girls. Every Friday, as I scurried to hide the mess in our kitchen, my daughters knew that once they left for school our group would be praying for them. I can’t help but believe that the impact of that regular prayer has affected their lives today.
(Even now, many years later, when I asked my girls what I should write for this post, one of them said, “Why not write about your prayer group?”)
Yes, God answered some every day prayers for my children, and He showed Himself to be faithful to them in big and small ways when their faith was formative. But I believe that He is still using that prayer time as a strong example in their lives today and that the many prayers lifted up back then are being answered even now.
2. Growth. Our prayer times were rich and they taught me so much about prayer. The organization that helped us set up our group also gave us fantastic guidelines for prayer, which I still use in my personal prayer time today. We’d start by focusing on a specific attribute of God, move toward a time of personal confession, then a time of thanksgiving for answered prayer, and, finally, a time to pray for the specific needs of our school and our children.
More importantly, though, was seeing how God answered our specific prayers for our children. As we prayed for biblical qualities in our kids, we began to see them lived out in our children’s lives. When our kids had specific problems at school, we’d pray and watch God handle it.
My faith grew so much by praying for my girls with other moms.
3. Friendship. One of the best benefits of our prayer group was getting to know other moms from the school—moms who live in my neighborhood with whom I am still friends today. This wasn’t a time to sit around and have coffee—our time was specifically geared toward prayer—but that didn’t stop us from getting together outside of prayer time. I still cherish the women from that group.
Want to really make an impact on your child in the year ahead? Pray for her. Grab a couple of moms, set a regular date (every week or every-other), and go! You’ll never make a better investment in the life of your daughter.
Did you know we are praying all month on Facebook for our daughters! Join us each morning (posts go live at 7:00AM EST