A Mother's Prayer
By Cheri Fuller
If you are like many busy moms, you may find it hard to set aside time each day to pray. Author Cheri Fuller understands. In her book, When Mothers Pray, she discusses the power of prayer and ways to incorporate time for prayer into even the busiest of schedules. Read an excerpt below.
Although it would be wonderful to draw away every day in the early morning or late evening to spend time alone with God—and surely those times will come again—it’s not essential for prayer. Prayer isn’t limited to a slot in our schedule. It’s living in the Lord’s presence and being open to Him. Rather than seeing it as time away from our children, we must integrate
prayer into our activities with our children—for our sakes and theirs.
“Prayer is a lifestyle of keeping in touch with our best friend, Jesus, sharing our joy with Him and giving Him our burdens,” says my friend Cathy. She allows God to direct her throughout every day at home, not just at church, and uses prayer as her steering wheel, not her spare tire. With Cathy, prayer is a moment-by-moment activity. And her children are richer for it.
When her four children were young, if she heard them fighting with each other in the morning, she prayed with them at the door before they left for school. She encouraged them to ask forgiveness and let God cleanse their lives of any words or actions before they went out, so Satan wouldn’t have the victory.
One day in particular stands out in her mind. Mark, age seven, and Susan, age nine, were viciously attacking each other (only verbally, thankfully). “Lord, I don’t know what to do!” Cathy prayed, confessing her frustration and her need for His help. “Role-play,” He seemed to say. So Cathy took Susan and Mark aside and had them switch roles and act out how they were tearing each other down. Quickly, tender-hearted Susan burst into tears. “It’s my fault!” she cried, asking both God’s forgiveness and her brother’s for her harsh words. Mark, however, had no intention of recanting or praying. Rather than forcing him to say what he didn’t yet mean, Cathy left him to deal with it on his own. As his anger festered, he grew more miserable by the hour. The atmosphere of the whole house was tense.
Seeing that Mark was digging himself deeper and deeper into a well, Cathy went into his room that evening, put her arm around her willful and unhappy child, and asked Mark once again to pray with her. This wise mother first of all asked him just to tell God how he felt, including all the anger, resentment, and hurt. Then she asked him to ask God to forgive his
wrong attitudes toward his sister. And finally she suggested he ask God to make him into the godly young man He desires.
Cathy waited patiently for his answer, and finally he agreed. The minute he finished praying, the warmth of the Holy Spirit came in, and joy returned to Mark and to their home. Susan and Mark each shared something fun that happened at school, and the family enjoyed a peaceful
That night when Cathy put Mark to bed, he laced his fingers behind his head and spoke with a maturity beyond his years, “Mom, I want to thank you for waiting for me to pray today. It was amazing! God really took my anger and changed my heart!”
Cathy’s natural way of bringing God into her children’s conflicts and everyday situations unlocked amazing blessings. Little did Cathy realize it at the time, but this particular day was a benchmark in Mark’s life. Talking to God about his feelings became a life pattern. Years later as a young adult serving as a counselor in summer camp, Mark, in turn, passed the message on to many young people. Now married and a parent himself, he keeps short accounts and asks forgiveness quickly when he and his wife have harsh words. Cathy’s daughter-in-law is grateful to her for the critical lessons she taught Mark as a young boy.
Read more practical tips for praying for your children from author Cheri Fuller.
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Excerpted from When Mothers Pray © 1997 by Cheri Fuller. Used by permission of WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc. Excerpt may not be reproduced without prior written consent.
My thanks to Barbara Sorrell, a Tulsa, Oklahoma, mom, for sharing with me her understanding of praying through the developmental stages of a child’s life.
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